Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Valentines Month!

The month of LOVE. What a lot of people aren't realizing is that we need to first love ourselves and then loving others and accepting the love of others becomes much easier. I have noticed that a lot of people with eating disorders are very challenged in loving themselves. It's as if the eating disorder is this cruel best friend who says: you don't deserve love from anyone, not even from yourself! Yikes! How sad is that?

One trick to try and override this evil best friend can be to ask some people around you to give you some comments on what they think about you and even to ask: Please tell me how you love me because I'm not feeling very loveable right now. Then, and this is the trickiest part, ALLOW yourself to take in those loving comments. Even if you have to act "as if" you believe them. The people who are saying those wonderful things about you really mean them, it's just that the little evil friend doesn't want you to hear them because that will take away it's power.

Another trick in taking away some of that nasty eating disorder's power is to write a list of 10-30 things about yourself that are positive (get assistance if you need to) and then go look into a mirror and say all of those things to yourself. Yes, I'm serious. Daily even. Most people spend their days making negative comments to themselves, (noticing these is also a very effective tool) and if we can counter all the negative comments with the positive we will eventually start to feel better about ourselves.

During this month of love, even if you don't have a special someone, try loving yourself! Especially when you see all the crazy advertisements this time of the year for the New Years Resolution diets. Remember, diets don't work. Diets can contribute to eating disorders. So when you see those ads, remember to tell yourself you deserve better, you are an amazing person who deserves love.

Let me know if you try the exercises and if you find them helpful. Simple as they sound they could save your life. Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses and need to be taken seriously. Loving yourself can be one tool in your belt to help fight it.

To love and life!

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