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What I Learnt in The First Few Years of My Food Freedom and Body Image Healing Journey…

Things I wish I could tell my younger self when I first started my food freedom and body image healing journey... These might surprise you!

As someone who has been on this journey for many years, and now helps other women do the same when it comes to healing and taking back their power… here are some things I share with my clients now that I wish I could’ve also told my younger self - things that are foundational, but that will truly help you embark on this journey in the most empowering way

1. It’s going to feel hard sometimes, that is okay, that is normal

One of the number one things me and my clients talk about, is how hard and rocky this journey can sometimes feel. I need you to know, its hard because you are doing something WORTHWHILE, if it were easy, everyone would be doing this work. But you are taking back your power and literally creating a life you life, that is some bad ass sh*t! Trust me, you will get through this and you’ll be so happy you kept going. Sometimes it can feel easy to fall back into the trap of wanting to lose weight, or wanting to restrict your food, or reverting back to old negative narratives. The more you choose not to give those old programmings or thoughts power, you slowly start to take your power back, and you can begin to rewrite your story.

Its actually so normal that some days will feel really hard, and like you have to fight extra to silence those old thoughts or old programmings, and try to reinforce those new narratives, sometimes it will actually feel impossible and thats literally part of the process, if you’ve been reinforcing the same path for years and years and maybe your whole life, of course it will take TIME to start choosing a different path to walk down. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, but unfortunately it is so conditioned into us to want a smaller body, to be our smallest selves, to skip meals, to not take up space, to be our own worst critics. THOSE DAYS ARE OVER. Now you get to choose to nourish your body, you get to choose to eat foods you love, you get to choose to be kind to yourself, to spend more time doing things you LOVE. When it feels hard, focus on WHY you started this journey in the first place, and always remind yourself how much more life you are gaining.

2. You can trust your hunger, you can trust your body

It is okay to feel the hunger (no matter how loud and extreme it might feel - if you've been restricting for a long time, your hunger will be a bit inconsistent and it's NORMAL to feel really hungry), and it is absolutely necessary to honour it. Consistent nourishment is such a huge component to healing and allowing the body to feel safe again. If you've been operating from a place of survival mode for so long, your body is desperately trying to tell you it needs more energy, don't deprive it of the fuel it needs!

It is ALSO okay to rest when your body needs it. I know that sometimes it might feel hard to take more rest days or to lessen your movements in general, BUT once again, if you've been in a state of survival mode for years, you body doesnt need more exercise, it likely needs more support and slow movement, instead of trying to keep your movement intense, focus on getting outside for walks and choosing to do activities that add joy to your life. Rest is crucial to fully healing and allowing your body to function optimally, it is one of the biggest components to your long term health and happiness!

It is okay to do what is best for you and trust that it’s what you need most. We often lose our ability to trust our bodies, because for so long we’ve ignored signals or punished ourselves instead of cared for ourselves, this will feel foreign, but you deserve to get back to trust with your body. You don't have to follow what your friend is doing, or listen to anyone but yourself (and of course if youre working with a professional or coach you trust that has your best interest at heart), but ultimately you need to know you can trust yourself and that your body is smart, it will ALWAYS tell you what it needs. Rest often, eat enough, have more fun and focus on what feels good FOR YOU, this will lead you to the lifestyle that is realistic for you and that you enjoy the most!

3. You are not a statue, your body is meant to change

I think the hardest part of this journey is the body dysmorphia and body changes that come along with giving our body enough nourishment for once, trust this part of the process. Your body is always on your side, and you are not meant to shrink yourself your entire life. If your body is changing because you're now eating enough, finding more balance in your routines and having more enjoyment within it all, it's likely that your body is healing and evolving into where it needs to be. If you had to restrict, go to extremes and fight against your own body to stay a certain size, your body was definitely NOT happy or at its healthiest. You deserve to feel energized, empowered and strong.

If it ever feels hard to deal with the body changes, know that you're not alone and that this is also a normal part of the process. Think about all that you are gaining in your life, because you are so much more than a body. Think about all the ways you're having more fun, you're feeling more in-tune with yourself, you're able to be more present in your life, you enjoy spending time with your loved ones more, you're feeling stronger, you're overall enjoying your life more, now THOSE are things that are worth your energy and to celebrate. The more you continue down this path, the more you reinforce those new narratives and no longer give energy to the old negative ones, the more you remind yourself you're becoming a happier human overall, you will begin to see you are so much more than your body and you are here to do so much more with your life than just be consumed with how you look. You got this!

4. Don't forget about the 'FUN'!

Sometimes we are so focused on our own healing, our own growth, the journey ahead of us, that we literally forget to smell the roses along the way. It's so important to remember that your journey is about more than just doing the work and constantly improving, you need to also enjoy the process, the little things that spark joy, the mundanity of everyday life, the small but forever lasting snippets that create the best memories. Start asking yourself "How can I have more fun?" and I guarantee you you will start to view your journey and ultimately your life in a different lense.

So honestly, how can you enjoy this life of yours more? What are the things that bring you joy? What are the things that make you excited to wake up in the morning? What are the things you've always wanted to prioritize more but continue to put off because you think you aren't 'healed enough yet'? Go do those things, today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed and we can't lose sight of the whole reason we're on this journey in the first place, it's to ADD more life to our life, it's to enjoy the journey a bit more in general. That’s the whole point anyways. You are not your healing journey, you are here to have fun, learn, make memories and do the things that set your soul on fire as much as you possibly can.

5. Discovering yourself and getting to know yourself more is the direct result of you prioritizing your healing

I think for a lot of us, we actually don't know ourselves very well. We know who we want to be to others, how we want others to see us, the identity and the standards we think we have to uphold in certain relationships, the roles we play if you will... but when you start to actually take the time to go inwards, to question all the narratives you've lived with up until this point, it might feel really uncomfortable at first to learn about yourself and realize youre changing and growing, and this can actually cause some upset in your life before the healing comes.

Ive experienced this SO many times - either I'm outgrowing people, or I'm feeling so lost because I'm quite literally transforming into this new version of myself, it's like a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon - you entered as one being, and emerged as a whole new shape and entity. This will often make me wonder about what is actually important to me, or question the things that once brought me joy or I enjoyed doing - somewhere along the line now they just don't mean the same things or elicit the same feelings, this all just means you're growing and youre getting curious about yourself. This is AMAZING, and not something to fear, because you're actually giving yourself room to question things, to get curious about what you actually like, what’s acually important to you, what kind of energy you want to be around and so forth.

The reason why this can feel so turbulent at first is because you're stepping into the unknown, you're literally becoming a person you’ve never been before, and so its normal for it to feel hard and scary and even crazy at first, but you're simply outgrowing what is no longer serving you, and if you commit to this growth and you don't revert back to those old ways, you will see your external environment start to shift and grow for the better, to better match who you truly are on the inside - you’ll have gotten to know yourself more, and this is the greatest gift you can give yourself, because now you know: not only are you not just a body or your physical appearance, but you won’t be searching for something outside of you to make you happy or feel whole, you’ll have reconnected to this deeper part of yourself that actually has always been what you were seeking all along, it was always within you, and you will have come back home to yourself.

And how do you do this work? It takes time first and foremost, don't expect this journey to be an overnight quick fix, you need to commit to your growth and your happiness, to realize this is your LIFE you are changing and growing. For me its looked like A LOT of time in nature, like going for hikes and walks and being at the beach with myself. Nature has always felt so healing, it always brings me back to myself and gives me the best moments of reflection. Doing mediations, guided meditations usually so I can really connect with myself and sit in stillness, and work through whatever is coming up for me in that time frame (sometimes its visualization, sometimes its focusing on a specific goal, or simply just coming back to the present moment). Usually lots of reading, learning and being curious. My favourite books throughout my own journey have been "The Mountain is You", "101 Essays that will Change the Way you think", and "The Universe Has Your Back". But there are honestly SO many books I read throughout this journey, maybe I'll create a whole new blog post for them all! Journalling, writing and just basically word vomiting sometimes and exploring whatever thoughts pop up, it's sometimes the best release! Protecting my energy, thats a BIG one, really being so intentional about who I spend my time with, how I spend my time, my energy, what I choose to do with my days.

6. Find support you trust and can lean on

One of the biggest things I wish I had dont back when I first started my own journey, was lean on my people and ask for more help. I thought I had to do it all alone, because I didn’t think anyone would understand. Whether its a close friend, your mom, or a coach or counsellor who can help guide you, build a support team you can rely on.

I hope this helped, and let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

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Nov 14, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This was very eye opening and very needed. Unlearning these bad habits has to be the hardest part of all of this. It's nice to see someone saying that it's ok

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