I was brought up with the belief that my brain should be the primary source of my knowledge, wisdom, and trust. I followed cognition over intuition and my thoughts became my beliefs, truth, and reality.
This translated directly to a mistrust of my own body. I listened to dietary “expert” advice, followed every fad diet promoted on commercials and tv, and believed that the only “right” type of body was the one that I saw in magazines. I believed that if I didn’t control and ridicule my body that it would “misbehave,” pack on pounds and become (another) something for me to be ashamed of.
As I used my brain and gathered external information about how I should look and what I should eat – I began to lose myself over time. My body began to shut down, I became numb to my emotions and feelings, my relationships suffered, and my personality faded. I was skinny, miserable, and far from feeling “good enough.”
I began my process of “coming back to life” when a doctor diagnosed me with an eating disorder and I began therapy. At the same time, I found the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, read every book they recommended, and eventually, signed up for training.
The idea that I could trust my body to send me signals and cues for what it needed was foreign to me but I had gathered enough evidence that what I was doing wasn’t working, so I was motivated enough to at least entertain the idea.
Learning to listen – to my body – not just my mind – was the most important and complex part of my journey towards healing. The work that I had to do to “unlearn” and the beliefs that I had to “unbelieve” were significant. But all of the evidence that I needed lived right there in my body. When I began to listen to the wisdom of my body, it allowed me to unpack the (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal that had controlled my life up until then.
Now, as a therapist, Eating Psychology Coach, and Movement Psychology Coach my work is centered around helping people reconnect to their bodies and their whole-selves so that they can learn to trust themselves first and be receptive to external feedback second. Reconnecting to the mind/body as an integrated system and source of wisdom allows people to develop a relationship with their own inner guidance that we’re not often taught to listen to.
When we listen, we learn. This learning allows us to become the experts of ourselves while cultivating trust of our inner wisdom. Trust allows us to shed the weight of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” that our bodies have learned to carry our whole lives. Energetic weight can create physical weight and when we learn to listen, we no longer have to carry the weight of thoughts, beliefs, or advice that never served us to begin with.
I work with children, adolescents, and adults as a therapist, movement, and eating psychology coach. I am passionate about the intersection of nutrition and mental health and the role that quality nutrition has on our overall well-being. You can find my offerings at www.youniversallywell.com