Has this happened to you? You get honest with yourself about some aspect of your relationship with food.. you make a plan. You’re already a bit scared.. you’ve been here before, and not always kept your promises to yourself. There is fear and doubt here right from the start.. right? You’re hoping you can “handle” the family and social events while protecting the new choices, holding onto new boundaries.
And then someone says it.. often somebody very very close to you. Somebody who has watched you struggle with weight or eating or your not feeling so great in your body pretty closely over the years, right? Or maybe it’s a stranger who knows nothing about you.
Either way, this is extremely personal isn’t it? What we do and don’t choose to feed ourselves. What we decide we need for our health and emotional well being?
One bite won’t hurt you? Really? That sounds like anything but a loving message to me. I’ve had many clients over the years tell me about the times when they tried to take-back their bodies, their well being, their sense of ownership by creating new boundaries and care around food. And these decisions came with some fears.. it was not the first time they’d tried to make changes around eating, not the first time they’d tried eat in ways they felt better about.
Once when a very dear (literally lifelong friend) said something similar to me, one too many times, I said to her “Would you tell a heroin addict that just a little wouldn’t hurt them? Or an alcoholic that one drink was no big deal? Or somebody that quit smoking that having a cigarette wouldn’t hurt them?”. I was angry.
And isn’t it always amazing that when somebody sets a boundary, draws a line in the sand, that somebody close to them will inevitably utter those familiar words.. “oh come on, one bite won’t hurt you”. I have to admit.. when I hear these stories I feel my body chemistry change a bit..
It takes a lot of guts to set a new boundary, to give things up.. especially things that have had an addictive hold. For many of my clients, things like gluten or dairy create real food sensitivities that create unmanageable cravings, and doing without them creates real relief.. living craving and binge free for the first time ever.
From my perspective, when somebody says “one bite won’t hurt you”, it’s meant as a kind of challenge of one kind or another. It’s a test… it’s a setup. It’s an invitation to a power struggle.. almost always. You may disagree, and I accept that. But I have heard the stories for so long and have intuitively “read” the energy quickly and well.. and these are rarely innocent remarks. Sorry, I don’t buy it.
The people that make these remarks are often trying to preserve the status quo.. they want things to stay the same.. at least the balance of power. I have seen and heard stories of sabotage beyond just this kind of comment that I could tell you that would easily illustrate my point if I gave you more of the back story per my clients, or others that I know.
One bite can absolutely hurt you. It goes way beyond what you eat. It is about breaking your promise to yourself. Or about letting somebody take away your power by intruding on your emotional/psychological boundaries. It’s about giving in to emotional/energetic pressure because you don’t know how to hold your center yet. It’s about shame and the ways you will hurt yourself with that.. or tap into feelings of failure and not-good-enough.
Do I care what my clients eat? Not so much. Do I care how they feel about themselves? Passionately. This is about creating strategies and solutions to end the shame and find ways to protect yourself from the behaviors and the relationship dynamics (called boundaries but in ways that you may not have thought of), of holding your center, of living congruently with your values and beliefs..
Want to see what I mean? Schedule your Wise Woman Consultation with me and let’s dig in.. Start with whatever is on your mind.. I will listen and we will create a brand new approach that will work for you.. even as we are still talking! Powerful stuff..
With so much love…