Five years ago, I realized that I needed to go to counseling. I had been coping with stress and heartache through both undereating and overeating for almost ten years, and my negative thoughts about myself had become debilitating and all-consuming.
I sought treatment from an outpatient eating disorder clinic, and I fully expected my counselor to teach me how to control my eating; instead, my counselor went to the root of the problem and taught me how to control my thinking.
I learned that destructive behaviors (such as eating disorders) are part of a three-part cycle: we have a negative thought about ourselves, we then feel a negative emotion about ourselves, and we then cope with that feeling through a destructive behavior. In order to stop this cycle, we must have strategies to stop the negative self-talk that starts it all in the first place!
Whether or not you’ve ever struggled with an eating disorder, I think this episode will benefit you. I share three of the best tools that I learned in counseling:
1) Reject “filtered thinking” and embrace “big-picture thinking.”
2) Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend, sister, or daughter.
3) Use “coping statements” to help you re-center and stay calm in moments when you might spiral into despair.
I truly believe that almost no topic is more important for women and mothers–so I hope you will listen, and let me know what you think in the comments.
Listening to and Loving your Body through Intuitive Eating (podcast with Power of Moms): https://powerofmoms.com/intuitive-eating/
“The Surprising Way I Confronted my Eating Disorder” (full narrative therapy): https://powerofmoms.com/eating-disorder/
My experience was a little different than most mothers—I wasn’t the one in the hospital bed that night. I was standing beside my son’s brave birthmother as Noah came into the world.
After years of failed infertility treatments and adoption possibilities that didn’t go through, I was finally a mother.
Three years later, this time on a hot summer morning, we were blessed a second time. After going through Invitro Fertilization and an incredibly difficult pregnancy, my second little miracle was placed in my arms.
Sally Grace was bruised and battered from a posterior delivery, but she was here and she was ours.
And the focus of life just zooms in for a moment—for a day or two—and everything feels clear. There’s peace and perspective and happiness when a new baby joins your family.
But then the focus zooms back out, because it has to—because there are meals to make and families to support, and very complicated, very real adult challenges that come to us in life—
And even though you know that those babies in your arms are what you most treasure and what you want more than anything, there are moments when you wonder if you can really do this. There are times when you hardly recognize yourself in the midst of your discouragement or your yelling at your kids, and you mourn a little bit for the happy mother that you wanted to be—that still you want to be.
Motherhood is beautiful, magical, and good—but it is also very hard at times. We all have our own unique situations and struggles and heartaches.
The hard stuff will never go away completely, but what if we could minimize it? Manage it a little better? And what if there were simple things we could do as mothers to maximize the joy?
That is the premise and the goal of this podcast: to give moms like you and me practical, doable takeaways to try with our families each week—strategies that will help us create more meaning in motherhood.
Please listen to the entire introductory episode to learn more about being a part of the 3 in 30 Podcast community of moms!
Rachel’s writing on Power of Moms