How to Forgive Your Food Influencers

How to forgive.  This is hard for many of us.  I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where forgiveness was taught.  My parents modelled how to forgive and forget and it came fairly easily to me too.  But how do you forgive someone you didn’t even realize you were angry with? forgive

If you read my last week’s post, 5 Questions That Get to the Root of Your Relationship with Food, you may have uncovered some of the reasons you feel the way you do about food.  Some of those feelings may not be positive feelings and if you’re like me, you might have been harbouring some resentment or anger towards the person who initially instilled that feeling.

I’ll give you an example.  As a young girl, my mom often voiced out loud the differences she saw between my body and my younger sister’s, who was somewhat thinner than I. At least my memory of it now is that it happened often.  And without ever really thinking about that, I felt very guilty for my entire adult life whenever I ate in front of my sister.  It didn’t really matter what I was eating, if it was healthy food or not.  I felt guilty for even feeling hungry.  Isn’t that crazy?  I didn’t even realize until recently that I felt this way.  Once I uncovered that feeling, I realized I was also angry with my mom for sparking that feeling inside me.  How could I start the process of forgiveness for this anger I’d been hiding for so long?  Here’s what I did.

Three things you can do to forgive your food influencers

  1. Honour your feelings first.  Allow yourself to feel the pain inside you.  You need to forgive yourself first for holding on to that pain for all these years.  Be grateful for the experience knowing that it has somehow shaped your life and brought you to the lesson that you needed to learn.
  2. Tell them what you’ve uncovered. In my situation, I found it easier to talk to my sister first. I  told her about the guilt I felt and her reaction was fear that I was blaming her.  I reassured her that I was not.  There was no way she could have known that I was perceiving my mother’s comments in that way nor could she have done anything about it.  It’s the same for my mom.  What she said when I was young was not intended to be mean, in fact it was said with much light on her part.  She loved me and my body as much as my sisters. I was the one to perceive it in a negative way.
  3. Meditate. If you can’t imagine actually talking to the person or people who triggered your beliefs and feelings about food, forgive them in meditation.  Sit quietly and take a few deep breaths. Imagine yourself in a place where you feel safe and comfortable.  Take as much time as you need to do this until you feel very relaxed.  Then begin to envision your food influencer coming towards you, smiling, arms outstretched.  Smile at that person in your vision, take him or her into your arms and lovingly tell them that you forgive them.  Do this for each person who has somehow caused you pain or has negatively influenced how you feel about food.

This exercise can be quite profound and very impactful.  You may even start to notice shifts in your eating patterns and the way you feel about food.  Stay tuned for next week’s tips on how to take this another step further.



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