Learn to be Your Own Masterpiece

e7852f96-f563-4028-bd2a-43e9e7a2c206These phrases seem to be pertinent to Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016 (EDAW)….


‘Perfectly Imperfect’ – Know that we all have imperfections. But despite what we may consider to be our flaws, we are perfect and loved just the way we are.

‘You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.’ – Elizabeth Gilbert

These quotes are essentially the same idea. It’s necessary to embrace yourself in the mind and heart in terms of disordered eating, eating disorders, and everyday life in our striving-to-be-perfect-all-the-time-in-every-way-society!

With this in mind, here is a compilation of body positive organizations, messages, articles, and lessons learned.

National Organizations:

Article Links:

Tips for Loving your Body: 

Other Tips: 

  • I often encourage clients to keep an index card with positive intentions. On one side write a phrase to help encourage you or to enable a reset – keep this one short, to the point and specific. On the other side write a few sentences about your vision for a healthy relationship with food and your body (essentially what the phrase on the other side of the card looks like to you in short and long terms). I call these intention cards with specific focus on positive relationships with food, body, mind and hunger/belly.
  • Other clinicians I know suggest keeping gratitude journals. Here is a link to a colleague’s post on this topic and how to create your own.
  • A colleague from Concord, MA, Alice Rosen, is holding a No Diet Weekend Workshop this March.

Recommended Books:  

  • Anything by Carolyn Costin (founder of Monte Nido, eating disorder recovery center)
  • Geneen Roth’s books:
    • When Food Is Love 
    • When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair
    • Women, Food, and God
  • Jenni Schaefer’s book, Life Without Ed
  • Sunny Sea Gold’s food: the good girl’s drug
  • Robyn Cruze and Espra Andrus’s Making Peace with Your Plate 

Lastly, here are my top 6 tips to help you learn to be your own masterpiece and love your body: 

  1. Keep your own gratitude journal (referenced above). Start with once a week and graduate to every morning. Write down anything you are thankful for – people in your life, what you like about your body, etc.
  2. Break up with your scale. Yes, for good. To practice this put a post-it note on your scale with the phrase you wrote on your intention card. Break ups can happen using post it notes – been done before.
  3. Focus on food groups not calories. Aim to eat 2-3 different food groups at each meal to help you to balance your diet instead of focusing on numbers. Also, try to eat every 3-4 hours when the body is naturally hungry.
  4. Stop the trash talk. How would you feel if your mom, dad, sister, brother, husband, wife, child or best friend called themselves fat or said anything else negative about his or her body? You’d love them just the way they are and it would probably upset you to hear any phrase of that kind. Don’t say anything about your own body that you wouldn’t want a loved one to say to theirs.
  5. Think of food as fuel not something that makes you fat or skinny.
  6. Don’t body check. Not helpful, ever. Instead – go back to your intentions card.

Thank you for reading this month. Hope a big hug for yourself, your belly, heart, and soul is happening right about now.