Several years ago a good friend confronted me about my dirty little secret: I had an eating disorder, one I had been in denial about for over 2 decades. After a week of arguing with him, I finally admitted that I had a problem. It was time to face the facts: not only did I not love the woman in the mirror, I flat out loathed her. I felt betrayed by my body after decades of battling endometriosis and osteopenia (a side effect of one of the treatments for the endometriosis), and four failed rounds of fertility treatments. I had desperately wanted the “American dream” – 2 kids, a dog, a beautiful home with a white picket fence – but my infertility had put a severe damper on my plans. So I had been subconsciously punishing my body for her perceived betrayal by exercising too much and eating too little.
After finally admitting I had an eating disorder, I threw myself into healing with a fervent passion. I was determined to “beat” my eating disorder. And I did. But it wasn't easy and it didn't happen overnight. Why? I kept self-sabotaging. At some level, my inner mean girl (aka inner critic) didn't want me to get better. It served her to believe that I would never be good enough. After all, if you set your expectations really low, and you fail, you haven't lost much…
Yet, I was torn because I wanted to heal so I could help other women heal their relationships with food, their bodies, and themselves. I wanted to be a beacon of hope, not a beacon of failure. That meant I had to confront my inner mean girl and get to the bottom of why she: 1) didn't want to heal, and 2) believed I wasn't good enough to be worthy of my dreams. But I had no idea where to start.
One day as I was journaling, I had an epiphany: what if, instead of buying into her nonsense, I confronted her? What if I actually dialogued with her and tried to get to the bottom of her meanness? So I did. What I found surprised me:
In fact, the exact opposite was true: she wanted me to succeed. But she was so afraid of failure, she built walls “of protection” around herself – so many walls that success was highly unlikely. Furthermore, she didn't mean to self-sabotage; she just didn't want to get hurt … again. As the layers of memories and pain were revealed, she began to soften, to hope, to let go. I had to go through this process several times to really get it to stick, but the good news is that I rarely am confronted by my inner mean girl these days. Yes, I still get scared, but I allow myself to ask for help when I need it and have opened myself up enough to receive it that I rarely let fear of failure (or success or having what I want) stop me these days.
In today's podcast, I walk you through this process. I hope it serves you:
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And if you are ready to dive a little deeper with your inner mean girl and would like some support, I just re-opened enrollment for my 7-week group coaching program, The Nourished Temple. You can learn more about it here.