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Making peace with food, not war, is so difficult for many. Where does it go wrong? What’s really going on? How can I become free again with food, and innocent as a child?
How can I LOVE this relationship, making it joyful, exciting, relaxing and easy?
I’m Grace Bell and my journey was intense and a full-out war. But that’s been over for several decades now. From truly crazy with food, to totally free…..where I never think about it, never weigh myself, and eat without fear, and with great pleasure, in every situation.
You can feel this too, it’s available to anyone, no matter how bad it’s gotten for you, how nuts you’ve been, and how hopeless you’ve felt.
Healing the Love/Hate Relationship with Eating, Food, and Our Bodies
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Video #2, Next Step: Write It Down (And There’s Hope For You!)
Watch this Video here on why I found ultimate peace by NOT having any food plan…and this is what I really, really wanted.
My story was extreme with food and eating. Violent, yo-yo, all or nothing, too much or not enough. Never just right. The range of discord around food can be mild to extreme. It can be a small problem or a really big one.
If eating is a small problem, the relationship you have with food may be like a pesky mosquito: a minor irritation, it’s not going to kill you, but it appears to require attention, and is never comfortable. Your body is not the best you feel it could be, you want to loose weight, you’re not supposed to eat certain foods and you feel deprived, you wish it would go away.
OR, if eating is a BIG problem, the relationship you have with food may be like hell: your weight has gone up and down, you hate your body, you’re angry that you can’t control yourself, you have no peace, you hate eating, you hate NOT eating, you may binge-eat and then vomit or exercise frantically, you feel depressed, discouraged or suicidal.
Whether you have a small or big problem, your relationship with food is uncomfortable and stressful. Food doesn’t appear to be a friend, nor does your body.
Food and eating may seem dull, basic, mundane or superficial….but I found that understanding my relationship with food and eating was my doorway to truth, my doorway to awakening to what I believed about life.
You may find that you cannot, for the life of you, stay on a diet. You can’t stop feeling self-critical, hating parts of your body like your thighs, your belly, or your rear end. Maybe you don’t like your arms either, or your neck.
You may feel you can’t control yourself, that you need more willpower! If only you could find that extra will to refuse certain foods, or resist them, you would feel more powerful.
You may feel like all you really want is to eat with peace, eat for joy, eat when hungry and stop when full.
But something seems to be in the way of this!
My discovery was that I had a violent relationship with food, the very thing that I needed to stay alive, because of my own fearful, close-minded, torturous, critical, judgmental thinking.
I have discovered that it is possible to throw away all the dieting or planning….and LOVE myself into having a wonderful body, a fabulous relationship with food, a kind relationship with hunger, and a peaceful relationship with fullness.
If you’re ready to explore a new and different approach to your eating, through investigation and inquiry, you’re in the right place. Instead of making a new plan or structure, we work through identifying what we are actually believing that is creating angst and struggle.
And dissolve it all, so that the true you is left standing….free and fresh.
The endless cycle of ups and downs, the constant, painful, repetitive thoughts about food, eating, weight, and diet can feel relentless, exhausting, merciless, and never-ending.
What is more, we usually then criticize ourselves for even having such constant thoughts about ourselves, our bodies and what we’re eating. We judge this experience of eating as ridiculous and that we should be able to get over it.
Maybe you’ve tried some of the following, even if your experience of food and eating has not been as crazy as mine was:
- You decide to buy and read the latest new diet book, even though you already have read and owned MANY others
- You make plans, write down food and quantities, research your diet and then mark your calendar with the day you will begin
- You decide not to eat after 6:00 pm, to eat sitting down, to meditate before eating, to eat five meals a day, or to drink extra water or coffee to curb your appetite
- You follow a diet rigidly, maybe allowing yourself a few things off the diet, but basically you stick with a diet plan for an extended period of time and you lose weight, feel better about your body, and feel in control
- You find that no matter what, after a period of controlled eating, you fight with the urge to eat and eventually give in
- You give up, feel hopeless and tired, and throw out your diet books, your scale, and eat whatever the hell you want to eat, but you aren’t happy about your body and you wear over-sized clothing and cover-ups
- You decide your problem is YOU and you sign up for every self-improvement or self-help seminar you can find, go to therapy, or go to Overeaters Anonymous
- You try to stop thinking about your ugly body, to distract yourself with novels, movies, children, volunteer activities, work, and general busy-ness, criticizing yourself for being so selfish as to focus on yourself and your eating habits
I found that building plans, strategies and goals was often like pouring vinegar into a wound. It hurt, I failed. Something was truly missing. There had to be a way to live with food and eating naturally, with total freedom, without thinking about it all the time!
As my plans never lasted for long, and I determined not to make goals again or go on diets, I gave up the traditional ways to solve this problem. I connected with others, read, and learned. I became a student of addiction, compulsive behavior and recovery.
Even before I ever encountered the four questions known as The Work, I was on my way into dissolving what I thought I knew about food, eating and the body (really what I thought I knew about life and love) and finding out the deepest truth about this experience of being in a body and eating food.
The best way I have found to end suffering around food, craving, weight gain, weight loss, eating too much, eating too little, or hating the body was to begin to question everything I ever believed to be true about what I feared.
My belief system was long and terrible about what I was supposed to look like and how I was supposed to behave. I cared deeply what other people thought of me. I wanted appreciation, care and approval from others. I believed I was not good enough, not thin enough, not powerful enough.
I started to question all of it, and be open to new answers.
To begin the inquiry process, the first thing to do is to identify what you actually believe that is most painful. Once you identify the thoughts that are creating stress, then you can work with them.
When you question your painful experiences, you can experience freedom, love and the mystery of life. The most simple way to do this is, I have found, is with self-inquiry. I love using the questions known as The Work of Byron Katie, as well as the work of Scott Kiloby, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron.
Here are some of the thoughts I used to think repeatedly, and I really believed them:
- My thighs are too jiggly and they shouldn’t have any cellulite!
- I need a brand new, perfect diet that I can follow
- If I could just stick to my eating program, I’d be happy for sure
- People dislike fat bodies
- Anyone who is too fat or too thin is ugly
- There’s something really desperately wrong with me
- I’m never going to get over this terrible relationship with food
- I’ll never stop wanting too much, always too much
- I’m a pig
- My mother, father, grandparents, the fashion industry, and society taught me to think this way, and now I can’t stop
- My butt is ugly, I need a harder body, I should have more defined muscles
- I have to sweat, breathe hard, and push myself hard exercising six days a week
- I’m a member of a gym but I don’t even go (so I’m a loser)
- I’ve been to hours of therapy to find out why I eat, but I still don’t stop
Get started in breaking up all these beliefs now by writing down one belief you repeatedly think about food and eating that makes you feel stress, sadness, or frustration.
Take this belief and look at it and then ask yourself the four questions known as The Work: Is this concept true? Can I absolutely know that it is true? How do I react when I think this thought? Who would I be without this thought? What is the opposite of my thought?
If you want support to walk through this un-doing together, with others, consider joining the six week Eating Peace Core Teleclass, or the Advanced Eating Peace Process Online, an live webinar and telesession 3 month program of healing and recovery, coming to an Eating Peace in-person retreat for 3 days, OR joining the Eating Peace FREE weekly news and videos (get on the list by entering your email above and downloading the special ebook).
I give you ideas, insights and transformational support I needed to enter joy and freedom, and childlike innocence again, when it comes to food. It took me ten years to collect these elements together, and another ten to incorporate them clearly into my life. Now, I share them with those who also want this healing.
You don’t have to look any longer for new solutions to this problem. I’ll tell you what I found, show you what happened, and tell you how I did it, week by week.
Here is what is included in the official Eating Peace Process Online Program:
- Online 4 module program to follow at your own pace, with a new lesson ready to go through personally every week. Each module addresses a very important core element necessary to experience freedom, and how to develop and practice it so it becomes natural to you (again–you were born with the natural ability to eat, live, feel, be).
- Two live calls per week for self-inquiry: questioning our thinking, changing our experience with eating, food, the body
- Access to my support, my email, and my personal cell phone for texting (or calling) any time in case of cravings, binge-urges, self-critical attacks, and other unloving emergencies.
No matter how far you’ve gone down the path of overweight or underweight, or food obsession and crazy behavior, you are not alone. You can move through your pain, addiction, and self-defeating thinking and find peace within now, right in this present moment, without losing a pound.
And when you find out that you can sit with pain, inquire into it and question your thoughts, and not die….watch the weight and obsession vanish.
Comforted, Empowered and On The Path Now:
I have nothing but good to say about your class, thank you so much. As I told you at the beginning when I was just thinking about taking the class, I didn’t even know what the stressful concepts WERE, let alone questioning them. Your “homework” assignments totally cleared that up for me. I’m still amazed at how your questions cut through the illusions and got me to begin to see what the thinking is that’s causing my suffering. I feel like I’m “on the path” so to speak. The journaling was exceptionally helpful. I especially liked the facilitations amongst us participants, that was so powerful. Plus knowing you’ve been exactly where I’ve been has been very comforting and powerful.—Becky, teleclass participant, midwest USA
I now eat whatever and whenever I want to eat, almost never weigh myself, love exercising every day, enjoy buying clothes, have moments of assessing my body in a negative way, but mostly accept it and follows its direction—eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, stop when full. If I can do it, so can you. I once felt completely insane around food and eating and now feel entirely “normal”. –Grace
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