As we enter the month of November, we enter a phase in our seasonal cycle. Days are shorter, we spend more time in the dark, and it can take a toll on us emotionally. Things feel like they are getting hard, and we require more energy to make it through the day or to push through our personal goals.
We may feel completely drained and overwhelmed, so we may put ourselves on the back burner, or rather our healing and our growth on the back burner.
Today, I want to talk about this common slump we find ourselves in this time of year and how you can continue to maintain your healing journey, without having to face the cost of what can happen if you let it go.
When your resources are low, it can feel like an impossible task. You’ve climbed this mountain before, you’ve climbed it every day since you started your healing journey, and now suddenly you find yourself at the bottom, looking up at the mountain with despair and burn out.
You may be telling yourself “I don’t want to do this anymore, I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, I need a break”.
This makes sense. Of course, you feel tired and unmotivated. Your journey to healing your relationship with food and your body requires a lot of work, and you are so strong and brave for doing this!
The easier response when you feel tired and overwhelmed is to take a break, right?
These feelings are super uncomfortable, so our brains naturally want to solve this issue with a short-term solution. So, we tend to be a little more reactive and think more about “what will take me out of this discomfort right now so that it’s more tolerable?”. It may tell you to put your continuous growth on the back burner because this it’s he sources of your stress, so why not just take a break?
With the face paced society, we currently live in, we are often looking for instant gratification. So naturally, we want things to be better ‘now’ and we don’t want to wait for things to get better because we’ve been working so hard and for so long already.
However, just because it’s a normal response, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a helpful one, because again, we want to acknowledge the long term effects of our decisions. These type of reactive and avoidant behaviours can cause significant distress later down the line.
The truth is, when you are feeling this way à
You want to lean into those emotions.
It’s not easy, I know.
I think it’s really simple to put things on hold, especially to put ourselves on hold and to not take care of ourselves. Humans nowadays tend to continue to deny themselves of their basic needs while trying to fulfil other social responsibilities, which can lead us down this path of contemplation!
But I invite you to explore why you are feeling the need the take a break from your healing journey.
Let me make this clear, I am not saying you shouldn’t take breaks and acknowledge what your body needs! YES, self-care is so important, and it’s important to reframe your healing journey as a form of self-care. Unlike diet culture which tries to reinforce the idea that self-care is about weight loss and your body size for “health”, but actually focusing on reconnecting with your body and with food the way we were born and created to do so.
Before you decide to hit the pause button on your healing journey, I want you to consider some of the costs of doing so. We already know what the pros would be, like being able to relax a bit more and maybe save some mental energy. But at what cost are these pros?
If we continue to say “okay, I do want to heal my relationship with food and my body, by right now, I am just going to diet for a little while until I feel ready to return to my journey”, you aren’t actually pressing pause, but pressing rewind.
Again, this decision may feel easier in the moment, right? It may be easier in the moment, but it makes it a lot harder to return to later. It’s not impossible, but we just returned to adopting the diet mentality and given more of our energy back to diet culture, which was so difficult to separate from in the first place.
The more I connect with the participants from The Balanced Program, the more I realize how so many people struggle with pushing past this difficult phase in their healing journey. I am telling you this because having support plays a huge role in continuing your progress to food freedom. You are not alone and so many others are going through similar hardships.
If you feel like extra support from likeminded people would be helpful for you, I encourage you to reach out and register for The Balanced Program: https://thebalancedpractice.com/program
There was a study done in the U.S that concluded that on average, a woman will spend 400,000$ on diets throughout her lifetime.
You can buy a house with that amount of money!! You can do many things, other than dieting, that bring you joy and value, with this type of money.
I want you to put this in perspective and ask yourself:
Now I don’t want to sound ableist. It’s not easy or simple for people in larger bodies to live their lives, day in and day out with marginalization and discrimination. Our world was not built for body diversity. And that needs to change, because we are understanding more and more that idealizing and prioritizing thinner bodies is harmful and unethical. Period.
When it feels like you can’t, the truth is that healing is what is going to support you and give you the most energy. Not healing will make you feel deprived and drained. It becomes a very hard place to live in. Consider what you are sacrificing by dropping out of your healing journey. There is a reason it’s called healing for a reason. It’s hard, but it’s ongoing and sustainable.
Letting go of diet culture and focusing on healing does not mean you let go of your health and your goals. On the contrary, putting time and energy in trusting your body and alleviating food stress, IS focusing on your health. Although we are entering a weird, tough time in our seasonal cycle, I want you to use November and December to continue your healing journey. This will propel you to continue into the new year and make sure that we are doing things differently this time and showing up for ourselves.
Check out my FREE Class to learn more about my Guilt Free Method so that you can find food freedom and feel good in your body.
Hear me explore this topic more in depth in this week’s podcast episode! Access it by clicking on any of the icons below!
The Balanced Practice is a team of professionals specialized in eating disorder outpatient treatment, disordered eating. Our mission is to help as many folks heal their relationship with food and their bodies so they can live happily outside of diet culture!
We strive to provide evidence based nutrition counselling to support you, or your loved one, in achieving full recovery. Schedule a connection call now.
Marie-Pier Pitre-D’Iorio, RD, B.Sc.Psychology
Lead Registered Dietitian and Founder of The Balanced Practice