Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the hardest thing we will ever do ~Brené Brown
For me, this has proven to be absolutely true. For over a decade I kept my struggles with food a deeply guarded secret.
Overwhelming feelings of shame caused me to burry this secret away where no one would find it. I put up walls, keeping everyone just far enough away so that my secret would remain safe.
The energy that I expended each and every day guarding this part of myself and pretending that everything was okay was exhausting.
I was afraid that if anyone were to discover my battle with food that they would never look at me the same. I would be forever judged. Every time I ate I would be scrutinized. Was I eating too much? Too little? Being too picky?
I didn’t want to be seen as weak and broken. Or worse crazy.
Hiding this part of myself only reinforced my anxiety and shame around my thoughts and feelings concerning food and my body.
I often thought I would be crushed beneath the weight of my secret, but the fear of being stamped with a scarlet C for crazy kept me from opening up and admitting my struggles.
Writing my story has been the hardest thing I have done.
How do you find the right words to describe how it feels to be totally consumed by a battle with yourself?
Preparing myself to tell my story is something that I have been working on for months. And before that years.
I have known for years that I was being called to help other women who struggled with food and body image. I ignored this for so long because I was not willing to admit to the world that for over a decade my battle with food and my body ran my life (or more appropriately kept me from truly living my life).
So I kept quiet and pretended that I was okay. That I had it together. That I knew what I wanted and where I was going. But truly I was lost.
As I started working in my nutrition practice, I quickly saw that I was not alone. Women came to me looking for holistic solutions to their health problems, but once we started to dig deep, I uncovered some very common themes of emotional eating, body shame, anxiety and depression.
I felt deep sympathy for these women because I knew what it felt like to struggle with all of these issues. I felt inspired to tell them that they were not alone, that I understood, and no they were not crazy.
And I knew that I would have to share my own story if I really wanted to help these women. Slowly, I started to open up.
I discovered that the more I talked about my own experiences, the freer I felt. The weight I had been carrying for so long got lighter and lighter.
I was amazed by the appreciation that I received in my willingness to be vulnerable and tell my story.
Now that I have nothing to hide, I am free to build connections with people that are open and authentic.
It is in sharing our weaknesses and our battles that true connections are born.
When you start to open up about your challenges, those around you will be inspired to do the same.
Instead of always pretending like everything is okay, lets be honest and open so that we can support one another instead of struggling alone.
We are not meant to suffer alone and figure everything out on our own. We are all in this together and can benefit greatly from the wisdom and support of those who have shared our battles.
So as I launched my website, I truly set my secret free. It no longer holds any power over me.
I invite you to join me in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in our imperfections and knowing that when we own our imperfections, that is where we find our greatest strength.
Lots of love