Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ladder of Life

Think about life as a metaphorical ladder.    Are you scrambling to get to the next rung, always trying to get somewhere, to achieve something?

"When I lose weight, then I'll start dating."
"When I'm a size zero, I'll be perfect."
"When I finish grad school, my life will be great."
"When I get a new job, then I'll be happy."
"When I get a promotion, I'll feel good about myself."

Goals are great - but if you're always looking to the future, you're never really in the present.  If what you want is always in the future, you never have what you want.  Deprivation leads to emptiness, and people who feel empty may turn to food (or away from food) as a way of comforting, soothing, or distracting themselves.

As with so many things, balance is the key.  So, imagine standing on that ladder:

Look down the rungs and think about where you started, how far you've come.  Think about the experiences you've had since you started this climb, of the personal growth and change that's brought you to this rung of your ladder.  Take a moment to appreciate this progress, whether it's progress in recovery from disordered eating or your evolution as a person.

What were you afraid of back at the bottom rung?  What's different now?  How have you changed the way you face those fears or anxieties?   What do you notice about the difference between the past and the present?

Now think about the rung you're standing upon.   Look at yourself, your life, your relationships, the things about yourself and your life that you appreciate. Take in the moment... breathe... take measure of your present, both the things you like and those you don't like... hold both.

A famous quote is, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.  That's why it's called the present."

What do you like about yourself?  What do you appreciate about yourself and your life?

If you can balance appreciating your progress from the past, looking towards the future and what you hope to achieve, with being where you are - in the  moment - you'll probably feel better.   You don't need to turn to disordered eating (or other things) to cope, if you feel good.

Making peace with yourself leads to making peace with food.

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1 comment:

Chantelle said...

I found this so helpful & refreshing to read. Refreshing also meaning a 'refresher' on the things I need to remember from my past treatment...that I may not be applying now. It's so true, I always (& I know of others who do this) say "I'll be happy when..." "When I'm this weight, I'll be happy"...and all the other things you said. Well, I'm 30lbs. less and even less than when I was in treatment and still not satisfied. A few years back I would've loved to be where I'm at now...then why am I so unhappy? It's that same mentality...when I get to here, then it'll all be ok. It's never enough. I used to say, when I get to that weight it'll be great...well I'm here now and it's not that exciting. And I'm not in the present, enjoying my 'so called victory' cuz I'm thinking about getting to the next goal. Balance is the key and I'm trying to find it. Sorry for the ramble...but your post really spoke to me & it made me really reflect at what I'm going through. ~CC