I know that healing your relationship with food and your body can be challenging, deep work. And, I also know that there are some simple practices + tools that can create ease along the way.
I love helping my coaching clients develop practices and create tools so they can feel supported on their healing + growth journeys. Today, I’m sharing a few of those favorite phrases to help you cultivate food freedom and a more positive body image in just two words.
You can take these two-word phrases, stick them in your ‘tool belt,’ and grab one out anytime you need it!
And, because our thoughts impact how we feel… and how we feel influences our actions… these little thought swaps can be really powerful!
‘So what‘ is great if you find yourself making an experience mean something about you as a human or defining yourself based on an experience.
If you feel really full at the end of a meal or a pair of jean shorts feel tighter than the last time you wore them or you see a picture of yourself that you don’t like… what do you typically make an experience like that mean about you?
Where you might typically make that experience mean something about you as a human (i.e. ‘I’m a failure‘ or ‘I must have done something wrong‘ or ‘I need to be fixed‘) you can shift gears into separating who you are from the experience by using the phrase ‘so what!‘
Example: You try on a pair of shorts that fit last summer but they don’t fit this summer. What would you typically make that mean about yourself? Would you make it mean that you’d done something wrong and must ‘fix’ it by trying to make your body smaller? Would that then trigger you into feeling terribly about yourself and lead you down a path of trying to restrict food or obsessively exercise?
But, what if you try on those same shorts and when they don’t zip up you say, ‘so what?!‘ You don’t make it mean you’re a failure or that you need fixed. You don’t feel terribly about yourself and you aren’t pushed down the path of restriction. It gives you the space to put on something that fits today and continue caring for yourself in the way you deserve.
It instantly frees the situation from meaning anything about you as a human, which changes how you feel about yourself, which changes how you treat yourself.
‘Says who‘ is great if you find yourself making a judgment (‘good’ v. ‘bad’) or getting stuck on a ‘should’ or rule.
What rules or judgments or ‘shoulds’ do you have about food, exercise, or your body? Where you might typically internalize those as truths, this allows you to really dig into where that rule, should, or judgment even came from in the first place.
Example: You are getting ready to go to bed and you feel your stomach growl. It’s almost 10:30 PM and you think, ‘I shouldn’t eat this late… I’m not supposed to eat past 7 PM.’ Would you force yourself to go to bed hungry which makes self-trust more difficult and often triggers the restrict-binge cycle?
But, what if you felt that same hunger, heard that food rule, and then said… ‘says who?!‘ No person can know what your body needs more than you do. In that moment, you get to take back your power, practice self connection, and meet your body’s needs. You can go grab something to eat + go to sleep feeling better.
It instantly strips the power from the arbitrary rules and allows you to be your own expert.
Lastly, ‘how interesting‘ is great if you’re in a moment where you’re having an uncomfortable experience.
Have you ever eaten something that didn’t sit well in your stomach or practiced introducing a previously off limits food only to eat a lot of it or noticed your body changing in ways that felt uncomfortable for you? When we feel discomfort the default can be judgment. ‘How interesting’ allows us to shift into a more curious mindset. It allows the experience, the awareness, the sensation to exist and we are simply there to notice!
Example: You’re in a yoga class and you go to do a position that you used to do with ease but all of a sudden it feels really uncomfortable in your body. Would you start to judge yourself, which ultimately makes you feel not enough? Would your skin starts to crawl, would you feel distracted, or want to run out of the room?
But, what if when you did that same yoga pose, felt that same discomfort, and then you said… ‘how interesting!‘ You are allowed to be there, in the discomfort, simply noticing it. You don’t have to run or escape, you can be in the moment with yourself.
Curiosity is a great antidote for judgment, including (especially) with ourselves.