|From the MFA, Boston, MA|
I’m not your mother. But the mother in me wants to share some motherly thoughts. Won’t you indulge me in this on my annual holiday?
Yes, I yearn to do motherly things like feed you—knowing full well that moving past your eating issues and your eating disorders takes way more than my cooking. I fantasize that I can have you all over for a meal and you can eat it and enjoy it without compensation, without unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. That you can see how safe it is to eat. If only it were this simple.
So instead I’m sharing some nurturing guidance, whether you are 20-something or in your 50s.
|Indulging at a favorite cafe with my|
mom and my son.
Words from your non-mother (when not acting as the Tiger Mom)
- Give yourself permission.
- Be forgiving.
- Treat your body as you would expect your child or your sister should treat herself. Respect its limits—don’t exercise when your body isn’t up for it. And please fuel it.
- Be realistic. Setting the bar too high with unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disaster. You will never be able to healthily sustain such changes.
- Slip. Then pick yourself up. Yes, it’s unrealistic to believe that slips don’t happen, that they shouldn’t happen, that you should know and do better. So move on. The real test of a slip is your ability to stand back up and move forward. Real progress is having fewer slips that are less severe. Real progress is being able to learn from your slips and work on prevention for next time—without beating yourself up.
- Find a Mom. No, it doesn’t have to be your mom (don’t forget—I said be realistic!) Rather, explore your resources, your supports, and ask for help. Yes, you can do it.
- Hope, even if you don’t yet believe, that recovery is possible. Because this old Mom knows that it is.
- Trust that things can and will get better. Gotta love Ingrid Michaelson’s song Gonna Be OK for the inspiration.
- Appreciate what you do have—what’s in place in your life, as well as with your eating. Check out Noa’s Homemade Religion which truly moves me to appreciate.
Enjoy, dear readers! And please let me know you're reading!