My whole life I’ve leaned toward all-or-nothing thinking. Black or white. Binge or restrict. Terrible day or terrific.
In my mind I was either the energizer bunny or a sloth. I was either beautiful or blah. And how could I be beautiful if I was only pretty sometimes?
If I ate too much, I’d think F that, my diet is ruined! and pile on the extra helpings. I didn’t ask myself if I really wanted more, if I genuinely wanted to enjoy extra bites. No. Instead, I was focused on the fact that tomorrow I’d need to be perfect.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
Tomorrow would be the day. The day I’d follow that diet flawlessly. And then in a week, a few weeks, when I lost some weight, I could finally start taking better care of myself. I could show my face at the gym. I could finally appreciate my body. I could feel better about myself.
But here’s the truth: We don’t need to wait ’til the next day. We don’t need to wait ’til we lose weight or follow some diet.
Each moment — minute, second — is an opportunity to reconnect with ourselves.
Each moment is an opportunity to push restart, not on restriction, criticism, punitive actions or judgment, but on self-care, safety, compassion.
Often we worry that we’ve blown it, even after we’ve decided to ditch dieting, be kinder to ourselves and take other nourishing steps.
That yearning for perfection still lingers, even when it’s about positive things.
Remember that each moment is a new moment to say it’s OK.
To forgive ourselves for eating too much or too little, and to listen and respond to our needs.
To forgive ourselves for making a mistake, to make amends and focus on fixing it.
Each moment is a new moment to stop judging ourselves.
To take a deeper breath.
To practice a meditation for body gratitude. For just a few minutes.
To reflect on a decision.
To reflect on how we’re doing.
To ask, what do I want?
To hug ourselves, or another.
To find a funny video and laugh big-bellied laughs.
To eat slowly and savor just one bite.
To drink some water.
To listen to a soothing song.
To remind ourselves that we are human and imperfect. Aren’t these synonyms after all?
To text a loved one.
To start dancing just because.
To massage our weary hands.
To thank our legs for their power.
To say, “I can handle this.”
To read an inspiring quote that reminds us of what’s important.
To focus on our feet as they ground us to this earth.
To cry, if we need to. And to let crying be absolutely OK.
Each moment is a fresh start, an opportunity to open ourselves up to support, gentleness and love, from ourselves, from others.