It's Not About the Cookie!By Julie Sponsler, M.A., MFT
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Julie Sponsler, Inner Bonding facilitator in training and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, offers hope and inspiration for people struggling with food issues in her new article "It's Not About The Cookie." Find out how having issues with food may just be a blessing in disguise.
What is it you say to yourself when you've eaten those extra cookies, that piece of cake, candy, pizza etc you didn't really want? Perhaps you eat enormous amounts of quantities of food and feel terrible afterwards. Do you tell yourself that you're bad? Do you say things like "What's wrong with me?" or "I SHOULD be stronger?" Do you become like an authoritarian parent and vow to be stricter with yourself next time? Have you found this doesn't work so well?
I was bulimic for 13 years. I've been in recovery for almost 7. I can't lie, I still struggle with comfort eating and overindulging sometimes. The difference is that I now see my struggle as a gift and an opportunity.
My belief used to be that I couldn't stop eating because once I got to a certain point my body responded in a certain way leading to a chemical reaction...
I now believe that this "chemical reaction" resulting in overeating is simply a result of what we tell ourselves it means about ourselves as a result of what we ate. When we tell ourselves "I'm bad," or "I SHOULD be stronger" WE EAT MORE.
We tell ourselves LIES. Stop for a minute- Is it REALLY true that you aren't going to be loved if you go off your diet. Is it REALLY true that you are BAD if you eat that extra something? Of COURSE NOT! One has NOTHING to do with the other. It's not about the cookie!!!
I'm not trying to suggest you can simply stop believing these lies you've been telling yourself. But I am suggesting and hoping that you use Inner Bonding as a way to discover the truth about who you are.
Overeating for me has come to be my teacher. I now know when I eat that extra something and am bothered by it that I am somehow telling myself lies about what eating that extra something means about who I really am. I have come to see my overeating as a call to be gentler to myself. A deeper call from my soul to lighten up and reaffirm that who I am is okay whether I eat that damn cookie or not. I now see that my struggles with food have given me an opportunity to be more loving to myself and therefore more available for others. I bask in the gratitude for my struggle that has led me to a kinder gentler richer place and I am visioning the same for you.
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What is more important to you in this moment - loving yourself and sharing your love with others, or trying to have control over not getting hurt - feeling safe from being rejected, smothered, taken advantage of, and from failure or loss? Today, make love your highest priority and notice how happy you feel!
By Dr. Margaret Paul