Ep #99: Choosing Love

Love is the best feeling in the world. When we love ourselves and love other people it feels so good. But I often find that many of my clients and other people who binge that I talk to are lacking love in their lives for themselves, for their bodies, and for some people in their lives.

In this episode, I’m exploring what happens when we don’t feel love and how we can feel more of it. It may not always feel like you have the choice, it may feel like love is far away, so I’m going to share with you a tip for how you can bridge that gap. Listen in if you want to experience more love in your life.

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
  • Why you may not feel love for yourself and your body
  • What happens when you don’t choose love
  • How you can bridge the gap between negative emotions and love
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Hi. I hope you’re doing well.

Over the last few months there has been a lot of interesting things going on in the world. I gotta say, for me, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

What was rather smooth for me was how I handled all the COVID stuff. I was one of the fortunate ones who’s job situation didn’t change but also, it wasn’t that hard for me to manage my thinking and make changes when circumstances of mine did change. A lot of what I’ve learned in my years of coaching and from being coached was super helpful in handling all of that.

What I have been having a hard time with recently is all that’s going on with racism.

Because this is a binge eating podcast, and because I am not even close to being an expert on this topic, I’m not going to go into all things racism here. I do not feel like I am the person to be educating you because I myself have become a student of this topic recently. I’ve chosen to educate myself on what’s happening, why, and where people are coming from that’s creating their different points of view. But what I will say is that it all did spark this episode topic on choosing love.

It’s been on my mind a lot recently because of what I’ve been observing going on around me and in the work I’m doing on myself, so I want to relate this all to your eating and your relationship with yourself.

What I’m going to talk about is not a new concept, just one I haven’t done an episode on and because it’s so top of mind for me right now, now’s the time.

So let’s start with where this topic stemmed from for me recently.

I’m sure you know that I’m white, you can see my picture on the podcast art, and last week I was having a conversation about the Black Lives Matter Movement, racism, the police, and all that goes along with it with a really good friend of mine who is also white. We were not seeing eye to eye on pretty much anything and it way very frustrating. I was extremely disappointed to hear what my friend was saying.

What really got me though was what she was saying compared to a recent post she had made on Facebook. The post said, “If we could spread love as quickly as we spread hate and negativity, what an amazing world we would live in.”

It was a beautiful post. It warmed my heart to see it when she had posted it. I’m totally with her on that too. More love in this world and less hate would create so much more unity and peace.

But what she was saying to me on that day when we had our discussion, from my point of view, did not fall in line with that.

One day she was posting about spreading love yet when we had out discussion about the current circumstances of our country, she had some not so loving things to say about black people and people of color.

The thing is, I don’t think she realized what she was doing. I don’t think she saw what she was saying to be racist but, I did. She felt like she was just sharing statistics and speaking it like it is.

How I viewed it, was that she was choosing to love some people and tear down others.

You’re only hearing my side right now and if she explained what happened, you would hear a completely different perspective and argument.

These are completely our perspectives. These are all thoughts we’re thinking about the words she’s saying. Her thought is that she’s telling it like it is and my thought is that she’s choosing to be non-loving. She’s choosing to think negative thoughts about people.

So now, how does this all relate to binge eating?

Not everyone, but a lot of people who binge are lacking love. Maybe they’re lacking love for themselves, maybe they’re lacking love for their bodies. Maybe they’re lacking love for other people in their lives and that feeling they do feel drives them to eat.

It may not seem like this lacking of love is a choice. Like I said with my friend, you may think you’re sharing facts. You may think you’re just telling the truth about yourself, your body, the people. But what if it’s not the truth? Or what if it’s not the full truth?

An unloving self-thought I hear from people often is that they’re not good enough or they’re not worthy. It may be about something specific or may be about them in general as a person. They think this way about themselves, they then feel inadequate, less than, unworthy, and then they stop trying. They give up on themselves. They stop trying to manage their eating and just give in to their urges and desires because why not? They don’t believe they can do better, they don’t believe they deserve better, so they’re not going to try and be better.

When you’re not loving yourself, you’re not caring for yourself. When you’re not loving yourself, it’s because you’re not thinking lovingly about yourself. You’re tearing yourself down and thinking about all the things that are wrong with you.

If you’ve been in a relationship, or have been in one, think about the times when you’ve been fully, deeply in love with that person. What were you thinking about them? And what about the times when you didn’t like them very much. What were you thinking about them then? Your were probably thinking very different thoughts about them when you loved them and when you didn’t like them. There were loving thoughts and not liking thoughts.

How you choose to describe yourself and talk about yourself to yourself is going to affect how you feel and what you do for yourself.

You may not think this is an option, because again, you see these descriptions of yourself as true, but what they really are are choices.

Would someone else agree with you? Would everyone in the world agree that you’re not good enough and unworthy? I’m going to guess that they wouldn’t.

I know it may be hard to shift that mindset because of all your evidence to back it up, but I’d bet that somewhere, if you really took some time to look for it, that you could see good in yourself. You could find some evidence to prove that the opposite is true.

This is some really meaningful work to do and when my clients and I dig into this, it’s so awesome to see the shifts in their feelings and actions that come from it.

If there has ever been a time in your life, even for just a moment, that you did feel love for yourself, how were you behaving? Were you isolating and bingeing? Or were you out in the world just being you?

When we feel love, we act lovingly. Bingeing is not an act of love. If it were, you wouldn’t be here right now listening and trying to figure out how to stop doing it.

You’re not listening to podcasts that are titled, “How to love less and do less loving things.” That would be crazy!

We love feeling love. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. We all want it. And when we feel it, we behave in ways that are completely aligned with our authentic selves, our best selves, and who we want to be.

So why wouldn’t we choose it as often as we can?

I think one reason is because we think there’s some good that comes from not choosing love. Or we simply just don’t know how to choose love.

I will say, after that discussion I had with my friend, it was hard for me to choose love. I was choosing disliking her and feeling disappointment and frustration.

So I reached out for help. I’m part of an amazing community of certified coaches and what a couple of them were able to do was help me feel compassion first.

My friend thinks what she thinks, and educated herself the way she educated herself. She does what she wants to do and in doing that, she feels a lot of negativity towards people of color.

She’s creating negativity for herself and I think it’s unfortunate thats she’s doing that to herself.

From that compassionate place, I was able to move back into loving her again. I don’t have to love the things she says, but I can love her by thinking about what I do love about her.

Then from that place of love, if I do choose to continue the conversation, which there’s a good chance I will, it will be from a more loving place than when we initially discussed. That’s how I want to be, not defensive and frustrated.

For yourself, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what your body looks like, and no matter what the people around you do or have done, your can still choose to have compassion.

You can have compassion for yourself because all this time that you’ve been binge eating, you didn’t know how not to. You can’t blame yourself for not doing something you didn’t know how to do.

I had a client not long ago who felt so much anger toward herself for getting to the weight she got to. But I asked her if she knew how to not binge during all those years. She of course said no, she was just learning how to now, with me, and she didn’t know any of this stuff or have any of the tools before.

Let’s have some compassion for your past self who was lost, stuck, and uneducated. I don’t get upset with my past self who binged. She didn’t know what to do and it took her 10 years to find the resources that she needed. It wasn’t for lack of trying, she searched and she tried what she thought would work, but it didn’t. It took her awhile to find the right method. And when she found it, she went all in, put in the work to make it easier for her future self, and I continue that work much more effortlessly to this day.

Your body may look the way it does because of your binge eating, but hating your body isn’t doing you any good.

That’s the other part, thinking that hating, or choosing to not love, benefits you in some way.

It really doesn’t.

What it does is cause you to feel negatively.

What it doesn’t do, that we sometimes think it does, is cause the other person to feel bad too.

It doesn’t always.

Have you ever disliked someone who didn’t care if you liked them?

I actually remember a co-worker doing that with me for a little bit.

He was mad at me because of a comment I made. So he gave me the silent treatment for a few weeks.

And honestly, I wasn’t really affected by it. I stood by what I said and felt like I was just being honest. His dislike of me didn’t affect me.

But it affected him. We worked in an environment where teamwork was essential. He would have to go out of his way to not talk to me. It was more effort for him to not talk to me.

And the whole time, he was the one who was feeling the dislike, not me. I felt the feelings I created for myself and he felt the feelings he created for himself.

Eventually, he did come around. He just started talking to me again one day as if nothing had happened and I welcomed it because I had no hard feelings for him.

What I did have was compassion. He spent all that time thinking negatively about me and all it did was cause him to feel bad. I went along with my own life and let him be mad.

So choosing to not feel love affects you more than anybody else.

You have the option of how you want to feel about yourself, your body, and the people around you.

You might feel somewhere on the spectrum of anger and it’s okay, anger happens. Be angry.

But just know that around the corner, compassion may be a good next step.

If you feel angry about yourself for something you’ve done, whether it be bingeing, putting on weight, or something else in your life, it’s possible to be more understanding of yourself and I think that’s a big part of compassion. You can be more understanding of why you did what you did. Question why your past self may have done that. See her side of the story. See that she was hurting or just uneducated or confused or lost. You don’t have to tare her down for being in that space, you can be compassionate and try to understand.

From there, that’s when you can move into love. You can move into it simply because it feels so dang good and who you are when you’re feeling love is such a wonderful person.

When you’re ready, you can choose love for yourself, your body, and the people around you.

You can choose to love unconditionally, even the parts you don’t like.

Have you ever had a friend who you love even though…. and you can fill in the black with whatever flaw stood out to you, or a boyfriend, husband, or family member that you love even though….

I have because anyone you choose to love is going to have flaws. No one is a perfect person and that includes you and includes your body which is also not going to be perfect.

Be compassionate about where you are, where your body is at, and where other people are currently at. From there you can move toward improvement on your end. It will most likely be much easier for you to do good for yourself when you’re coming from a compassionate place than an angry place.

Then when you’re in a loving place, that’s the good stuff. Love isn’t all just lovey dovey mushy behavior, it can also be fierce. Think about when you love something so hard. You are all-in committed to that thing and put in a lot of effort to do what you can to make it the best it can be. You do things with full intention, care, and drive. You go for it because you love it so much and it can be extremely powerful with a lot of intensity, passion, and strength but not attacking or trying to hurt someone else.

Right now, you may be hurting. Other people are definitely hurting. Black people, people of color, and police offers are all hurting. Why not feel compassion for them or love if you can? Why tear them down and tell them they’re wrong for feeling how they feel? Would you want someone to tell you that you’re wrong for how you feel?

Let’s listen to their side instead. And when it comes to yourself, you’re entitled to feel how you feel too. Don’t beat yourself up for it, and also don’t take destructive action from that place either. Listen to yourself, hear what’s going on with you and understand why you feel how you do.

Compassion can lead to love. Work on getting there because it feels so good. Choose love and take action from that loving, caring place. Bye bye.

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