An idea passing by: The time has come to quit smoking…
My body: This feels right. Let’s do this.
My uneasy mind: Wait, What?! NOW? But what if you go back to binge eating and gain weight?!
Quiet voice from I-dunno-where: Whatever is behind compulsive eating or smoking, it’s the same. You can face it. You have the whole Mind Body Eating Coaching Training to figure out what it’s about and to prepare yourself to transform it after the last cigarette.
That inner dialogue took place as I was starting to train with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and reading The Gift of our Compulsions. In a chapter of her book, Mary O’Malley explains how her mentor set a quitting date and gave herself that time and space to say goodbye to and thank the part of her who needed to smoke and got her through life one cigarette after another.
That story inspired me to make an agreement with myself – that I would quit smoking the day after I took the final test and graduated.
Since nearly three months, I’m a certified Mind Body Eating Coach… and smoke-free.
Did I binge eat or overeat on multiple occasions during the first and a half month? Did I feel wretched afterwards and continued kicking myself when I was already on the ground? Did I beat myself up for gaining weight? Did I berate myself for compensating with more caffeine, more alcohol, and more social media scrolling than usual? Did I think how effing ironic all of this was for a Mind Body Eating Coach?
Yup, I did all of that.
What I also did is allow myself to feel the rawness of it all. One recent day it dawned on me that I’ve been learning things that younger versions of me had no clue about. They’re with me as I write now – the teenage girl who binge ate, the young woman who replaced compulsive eating with smoking, the human I was at the start of my training a little less than a year ago.
What I’m (re)learning is to regulate my feelings other than with smoking or compulsive eating. To hold my own hand in the midst of emotional chaos and not abandon myself into unconscious behaviors. To relax more and more into discomfort.
Life is calling me to embody more. To listen more deeply to my body, spirit, and soul. To turn compassion inward, so that I can better extend it outward. Really, what Life is gifting me is the chance to grow through what I go through around my own eating and body image challenges, so that I can better get the experience of my clients and best serve them in their own work in progress.
Like any practice, it ain’t easy everyday. We do get better at it over time. And as Eating Psychology visionary and teacher Marc David would often repeat throughout the course, it’s a practice, not a perfect.
ABOUT PHIBEL VERBRUGGEN
I’m a woman, daughter, sister, friend, and partner. I’m a Student of Life, Traveler of roads not taken, Cheerleader, Coach, Hermit, Late Princess, Caregiver, Singer, Dancer, Maiden, Mother, Enchantress, Crone, Hunter, Warrior, Destroyer, Creator, Sustainer, Writer, Storyteller, Perfectionist in recovery.
After a decade of translating texts, I now help people translate their challenges around food, body image, and weight into body wisdom.
My mission as a Mind Body Eating Coach is to support my clients in that transformational journey. I want to encourage them to listen to and deepen their relationship with their body, spirit, and soul, so they can live their best life feeling nourished and empowered.