Unpack the Shame from your Suitcase


imageIt’s summertime and for most of us that means long-awaited vacations, time on the beach, family reunions, summer gatherings etc. What this also means is that there are millions of people out there who are letting the joy of their events be eclipsed by the shame they feel about their body heading in to it.

In my years of weight cycling and constant dieting I can hardly remember a reunion, family wedding, or other such event where I was not wpreoccupied with my anticipation of how people would receive my body.

If my weight was down I would be excited about the possibility of the compliments and confidence.

If it was up, which was more often the case, I would completely dread that initial encounter. I would envision them taking one look at me, flashing a veiled look of surprise and noticing the absence of the comment “you look great”. I would then worry that they would be making internal judgments about what my weight reflected about the overall state of my life.

I constantly hear from the women in my coaching in therapy practice about the ways in which their upcoming vacations are causing them to be overwrought by the complications of their body image. It breaks my heart. I deeply connect with what that pain is about and I also know that through The Deeper Cravings Path™ it is possible to live a life largely free of the burden of weight worry.

We do live in a world of judgment, body obsession and fat shaming. Those are realities but the degree to which we participate in that reality is within our control. There may be a fleeting glance from someone you haven’t seen for a long time that’s accompanied by a negative thought. But that pales in comparison to the amount of negative thoughts surrounding the encounter that has been generated by your own mind.

You may have held a different vision for how you would look on this particular trip and you may be feeling disappointed about that. It’s hard to face disappointment. It’s hard to have a vision of how something is going to be and then have to adjust to a different reality. Sometimes life requires us to sit with the pain of disappointment. It is important to acknowledge that feeling within us and to be kind to ourselves in those moments.

But then, once you’ve fully acknowledged the reality of your feelings, you have a choice. You get to decide how it is going to play out. You can decide to allow yourself to be present on that beach or at that family gathering. You can remind yourself that the larger version of yourself deserves to enjoy the event just as much as a smaller version of yourself.

If you’re facing one such event unpack the shame from your suitcase. Let this be the one where you resolve to bathe yourself in love. Buy clothes that fit and you feel great in. Wake up each morning of the trip a bit early to take some time in meditation. Stand in the mirror and offer yourself affirmations of love.

In those initial moments of reunion bring love rather than putting up a wall of fear. Commit to experiencing the fullness of the joy available to you and attend to the shame as it comes up washing it from your beautiful blessed body.

 If you are ready to shed the unnecessary weight of body shame  and transform your relationship with food contact me for your free consultation.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/96323831@N06/10835813195″>People on Alexanderplatz Ⅲ</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;