If you’re finding it difficult to get over the vicious cycle of dieting, know that you’re never alone. Stay grounded through the chaos, and soon you’ll find yourself again.
What does it mean to “get back to your center”? Your first thoughts may immediately go to yoga or meditation, but getting back to center is so much more than that.
Let’s start with a little exercise:
Close your eyes for a sec. Take a deep breath to inhale, then exhale. Feel your shoulders drop and relax. Let your limbs hang, and be still.
Now allow yourself to think about who you are. Think only positive thoughts about yourself, nothing negative. Tell yourself a couple of things that you like about yourself and a couple of things that you’re good at. Speak truth to yourself, while you’re relaxed and in the moment.
Literally imagine yourself getting back to your center, whatever that feels like for you.
Getting back to your center can feel like you’re letting go of your physical body, and focusing solely on your mental and spiritual self. It’s about reminding yourself of who you are on the inside, instead of how you may be perceived on the outside.
It’s about meditating on what being healthy looks like for you – mentally, spiritually, and physically. After all, your body has to have another purpose aside from just what you eat and how you exercise.
Here are a few reasons how getting back to your center can help you overcome the diet mentality that’s holding you back from being yourself.
1. You are gifting yourself with time.
Getting back to center is a deliberate action you have to take; it won’t just simply happen. It can start by just spending 15-20 minutes each morning journaling, reading, meditating, or praying. This is your time to seek the truth within yourself, and not allow the outside world distract you.
2. You reconnect with your truth.
On those days when external pressures pull you in different directions and begin to overwhelm you, you will feel yourself pulled away from your center. However, when you start your day by grounding yourself, you will be able to stand firm and remind yourself of your truths.
3. You reframe your relationship with food and your body through a more truthful lens.
When you are struggling with the diet mentality with food and your body, it is the outside pressures of our culture’s wellness narrative that is making it difficult to trust your body.
When you’re in a difficult moment to trust your own intuition, speak truth to yourself. Here are a few scenarios:
Scenario: I can’t eat dessert tonight because I had dessert last night.
Truth: Dessert isn’t a bad thing. And food isn’t moral. If you’re craving dessert and truly want it, allow yourself to enjoy it.
Scenario: My belly looks fat today. I should start a diet.
Truth: Starting a diet won’t cure your image of your stomach. Eating regularly, listening to your body and having compassion on your curves will keep you in a healthy place.
Scenario: I have to go to the gym today because I haven’t been in a week.
Truth: You don’t have to go to the gym to be healthy. Find other ways to move joyfully if you don’t feel like going to the gym.
Scenario: I had a hard day at work so I deserve ice cream.
Truth: Ice cream isn’t going to meet your need for rest and processing the day at work. Choose something other than food to meet your needs for a peaceful evening.
Scenario: I’m only going to be happy if I lose this weight.
Truth: Happiness is not a size. Happiness lies in your ability to find peace with your body, wherever that is.
By finding ways to stay grounded, it helps prepare you for those moments when negative thoughts seep into your mind. There will undoubtedly be days where you struggle more with your body image than others. You may not feel like you’re doing enough, or are “healthy enough”.
But by starting your mornings with an intentional practice to prepare your mind, you will stay rooted in your truth and remember the things that matter most in life.
And remember, you’re never too far gone to get back to your center.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: ARTEM KOVALEV
Victoria Yates, RN is a Registered Nurse & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor based in Westchester, NY who focuses on helping women reach a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. She is passionate about guiding others reprogram negative thoughts around food and body image so they may experience a truly joyful life.