"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.
Comments and questions are welcome. Please share on Facebook and/or Twitter so more people can benefit from the information on this blog.
Legal Disclaimer: The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.