But if I “accept myself”, will I stay fat?

We’re so used to beating ourselves up for our appearance, what we did/didn’t accomplish for the day, whether we ate “well” for the day or not, and so on.

You’ve probably heard a hundred times: “First you must learn to love and accept yourself before you can move forward.”

When I first heard that, my thoughts were, “Accept myself? Accept my body as it is? Are you kidding?! That will just KEEP ME STUCK because it means I’ll give up fighting to change it!”

However, once I understood this in a different way, it made sense–and it was empowering, rather than weakening.

The self-acceptance that will transform your body (and you life) is very different from resigning yourself to being fat forever. Yet, it doesn’t reject the current state or the behaviors that led to it.

True self-acceptance is to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “My body is the perfect adaptation to everything I have experienced.”

At one time in your life, when you were a young child, your body was perfect. You ran around without thinking about it, and at what you felt like. Who knows what led you to now be in a place in your life where you’re not happy with your body and/or eating habits? Maybe you already know, or maybe you’ve heard many different psychological theories but haven’t found anything that’s really felt true for you yet.

It may be “armoring”: adding on layer after layer of body weight as if shielding against a cold, cruel world or shielding from unwanted attention.

It may be overeating is a comfort to reassure yourself of a connection to pleasure in a lonely, boring or stressful life.

It may even be that you’re actually malnourished and unable to absorb nutrients properly, so therefore eating as much food as possible to feed yourself.

Or it may just be that you developed a habit for whatever reason and you can’t seem to break it.

You may not really know what it is (I didn’t), and it doesn’t really matter if you know the cause.

What’s important is an acceptance of what’s present now.

The state that your body is in is not a mistake. It didn’t just “happen”. It’s a response to all that you’ve experienced. You came into this world as an innocent baby, and you did the best you could. You didn’t know how to cope with pain, upset or frustration. Your parents did the best they could to love you given their resources and ability to express it from their own set of circumstances.

This isn’t about blaming your parents, your childhood or you. This is just explaining that everything you did up until now, and who you are today, is a response to the experiences you’ve had in your life.

This is the self-acceptance I am describing–it’s a form of forgiveness. A compassionate understanding. You forgive yourself for being the way you are, given that you understand it as a response to doing the best you could given your experiences.

By accepting/forgiving yourself in this way, you can release attachment to your past and all the emotions tied up in it.

You can choose to surrender to these emotions, allow them to be part of how you came to be who you are today…and then let them go. You can free yourself. You can free yourself to allow a future that is new and different to be created.

So, self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you give up trying and just get fatter.

Self-acceptance, the way I’ve described, is an exercise in freedom. Self-acceptance frees you to no longer be in a body that you don’t love, or eating in a way that you’re not happy with. Acceptance allows you to free your mind to focus on creating what you want going forward.

 

If you want to learn how to break through your habit of overeating or binge eating, my Binge Eating Breakthrough ebook is for you. You'll learn powerful tools and distinctions to be able to understand and overcome your urges to eat more than you want. You'll also learn step-by-step strategies for managing your cravings and feeling control with food.

You can also check out my Amazon Kindle book,"What Are You Hungry For? How to Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Become Free From a Life Lived in Calories" for a deeper explanation of steps to take to transform the way you think about and experience food once you begin feeling in control again.

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