- punished yourself for making the wrong food choice?
- felt guilty for being UP on the scale?
- wallowed in shame for allowing life to get so busy that self-care falls by the wayside?
- berated yourself for not being as consistent/disciplined as you 'should' be?
I get it, I’ve been there.
And if that’s you, the best gift you can give yourself is forgiveness for not knowing then what you know now.
When I WAS there, I didn't know that punishment wasn't an effective change-making strategy. I didn't know that guilt never led to positive movement. I didn't know that self-care ebbs and flows and that shame does the opposite of motivate. I didn't know that consistency is a an evolving practice rather than something I do/don't do.
When I WAS there I believed that I was either "good" or "bad". I believed that there were rules I followed or I failed. I believed that if I failed I deserved to be punished. And I believed that I needed to succeed or try harder.
AS IF it was that simple (it's not).
But in order to grow, I had to forgive myself for not knowing then what I know now.
And what I know now, is this:
- Sometimes I will make the less-than-ideal choice
- Perfection isn't a requirement for progress
- Guilt and shame will always push me farther from my goals/my healthy life-giving relationship with food
- Self-care grows and evolves with my consistent effort. The more I water it, the more beautiful it becomes.
- Life will get in the way. And sometimes that means my consistency isn't what I want it to be, but the best I can do is the best I can do, given my circumstances.
- And regardless of those circumstances, I am enough.
Knowing and living by these truths has helped me to live a more results-driven and authentic life. Imperfection is built into my plan. Failure is expected. And as a result, I am able to set, reach and even exceed far more powerful goals and it feels oh-so good (no guilt here!)
But before arriving there I had to forgive myself for not knowing then what I know now.
Can you relate? Are you in that place right now, where you're punishing your less-than-perfect behavior?
If so, I get it. I've been there. And I want to encourage you, today, instead of punishment, try forgiveness.
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.