I’m driving to work, listening to my first Marc David podcast about a woman who had struggled with an eating disorder for years. In just 40 minutes, Marc is identifying the root causes of this woman’s struggles and breaking through years of confusion. Before I can stop the show and save my carefully-made-morning-face, the tears are streaming down leaving streaks all over. But I don’t want to stop it, I am completely hooked. Finally, someone who can cut through all the bull and get to what’s real. I had to learn how to do that!
You see, I also had my years of struggle with food and body. I was a feeler. Very sensitive and the world got to me. Around age 15 I shut down, first with food, then with dieting and disordered eating. For 14 years it was like I was underwater. Life and emotions were happening up there on the surface, but I hid out underneath it all. Watching and observing, but never feeling.
Like too many others, I decided the best way to control myself and learn how to eat properly, was to go to school for it. I became a Registered Dietitian and learned all about food and the body. But I was still deep underwater. I lived in my head and never felt fulfilled in my career. I had forgotten what true joy was. When you shut off to painful emotions, you also shut off all positive emotions.
Years of neglecting my body and self-attack took on a physical shape in a brilliant metaphor for what I’ve been through. I had had IBS symptoms for a few years, but no doctors I went to thought much of my complaints. It was while I was taking the IPE coaching course that I finally found out it was celiac disease. I had developed an autoimmune disease that could only be cured with a special diet. How fitting! And I only got to know the solution to heal myself when I was ready to come back to the surface of life and feel all those emotions again.
That day I heard Marc’s podcast was my turning point. Throughout his course I got back in touch with the sensitive, emotional, spiritual, joyful side of me for the first time in over a decade! I’ve had to grieve for all I missed out on because I my self-induced numbness. I’ve had to forgive myself, too.
My words of advice to anyone who may be going through something similar – don’t be afraid to feel. Feelings can be scary, dark, and unpleasant. But they are just feelings without any power to hurt you on their own. Like waves, they will pass if you let them. But if you do what I did and numb them, they take on a life of their own and often do hurt you. If you don’t know how to start, reach out for coaching help. Come to the surface where life is!
Meghan is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. She has worked as a Health Coach since 2012. She currently lives in Norway and offers video coaching all over the world. Her specialty is in weight concern, body image, celiac disease and disordered eating. She has a free Facebook group called ChallengeMe that is building a community of support that takes on personal growth and health challenges each month. You can find her at www.meghanhelbick.com or join the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/challengeme2018/