anorexia and body imageThe other night my husband told me I looked FAT! 

At least that was what I “heard”. 

You see, I was getting into my pajamas and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Unlike the old days when a weekend of indulgence only tightened my rings and my jeans, these days the infractions are almost instantly imprinted onto my hips, belly, and thighs. I kind of gasped at my reflection which caused my husband to turn around and look. He saw what I saw only worse because I was frozen in an awkward, highly unattractive pose that highlighted my altered state. “Put on a few?” he innocently asked. And of course, like any intelligent woman, I could read between the lines and know what he really meant was that I LOOKED FAT!!!

I panicked. How did this happen so FAST? What kind of Healthy Living Coach could gain so much weight over one weekend?  My inner critic, who had taken an extended leave, arrived on the scene and quickly yelled FRAUD!! She’s a FRAUD!! How can she help other people when she can’t even help herself!  Old feelings of fear and anxiety rushed through my body. Old strategies that never worked in the past seemed to make perfect sense then and there. Starvation. Harder work-outs. Self-flagellation!

And then, just like that, it all stopped. I took a breath and another one and then I gave myself an invisible hug and told my inner critic to take a hike. It’s OK I told myself. Just get back on track tomorrow and all will be fine. You ate too much. You drank too much. You are human and you are in no way a fraud. It’s not about perfection.  And so I, thankfully, did not spiral downward and I did not beat myself up. I just brushed my teeth and went to bed.

The next morning, even though I made the mistake of getting on the scale and seeing a number that I didn’t like, I literally got right back on track. As I ate my oatmeal with steamed kale and a poached egg, my adoring husband (clearly unaware of the effects of his comment the night before) stared into my eyes and told me that I looked beautiful even with green things in my teeth.  I exercised as usual and I ate how I normally eat and, within a couple of days, I was right back where I started the week before.

I share this with you because I want you to know that you are not alone. We ALL get off track but we CAN get back on again and again and again.  So, next time you are about to beat yourself for feeling fat, just take a deep breath, give yourself an invisible hug, and eat lots of green things that may or may not get stuck in your teeth 🙂  You will be just fine.

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