On Relationship with Self, Body Image and Food

Mirror, mirror on the wall…Who’s the fairest one of all? 
How do we – as women – talk to ourselves?
What do we say to our mirrors? Mirror mirror on the wall…
Who’s the fattest one of all?
Who’s the one with the most cellulite?
Who’s the one with the greyest hair of all?
Who’s the one with the flabbiest arms?
And so on and so forth…

Because you would have to be a wicked horrible witch if you asked “Who’s the fairest one of all?” 
Where does all of that negative self-talk come from?

Well, some clever life coach came up with the idea of the gremlin or the saboteur or the inner critic. Whatever you like to call the vicious little monster inside your head. You might want to check out “Taming Your Gremlin” by Rick Carson for more information.

The monster is born out of all the bad experiences we’ve had, all the hurtful words we’ve heard, all the criticism, all the abuse, pretty much all the bad and hurtful things that happened to us in our lives that we have internalized and accepted as the truth about ourselves. Maybe because we were defenseless little children and we accepted everything that adults told us. Maybe because we didn’t have the support we needed or we grew up in a dysfunctional family. For whatever reason, we accepted these lies as the truth.

What do we do about this monster? 

  1. Give it a name.
  2. Give it a shape or a face, draw it.
  3. Brainstorm all the negative things it has to say, write them down.
  4. Now take a good look at this monster. What do you want to say to it?
  5. Know that it will keep coming back, but now you are equipped with some weapons to use against it.
  6. Get a good life coach who can facilitate a conversation with it using the third entity exercise in ORSC (Organization and Relationship systems coaching.)

ORSC is a relationship coaching model created by Faith Fuller and Marita Fridjhon, who both have vast knowledge and extensive experience in the field of relationship coaching and are the founders of CRR Global, more information can be found at crrglobal.com. I was trained and certified as an ORSC coach which in itself was a powerful and wonderful journey towards understanding my relationships including my relationship with food and body image.

 

Relationship coaching is based, among other things, on the premise that a relationship is a living organism that is naturally creative and intelligent. When I coach a relationship, this magical creature is my client, not the individuals themselves. I talk to the relationship and I listen to the voice of the relationship. This invisible creature has its own wisdom and wants to thrive just like any living being. It has a cell wall or membrane just like any living cell. It chooses who is allowed in and who isn’t. It is in constant flux, for ever regenerating and reinventing itself. Every relationship is unique and every voice or role that lives in a relationship system belongs to that relationship system not to the individual speaking it or playing the role. So if any individual leaves the system, someone else will pick up their role, the role belongs to the system. How crazy is that? That is a whole new perspective on life as we know it.

 

This relationship can be between people or between us and things in our lives such as money or food. That is a revolutionary idea that changes everything. Now I can listen to food and hear what it wants to say to me. Now I can tell food how I feel about it, but more importantly I can hear the voice of the relationship between me and food. This is called the third entity exercise in ORSC. The third entity being the relationship. So I asked a friend and fellow ORSCer to facilitate this conversation between me and food. It went something like this:

 

  • Me: You are so huge, food. There is so much of you everywhere. You are so huge you are controlling my life. I can’t stop myself from eating and eating every time you are around. You are my only friend and source of joy, but you are also destroying my health and my life. I am ashamed of the way I look because of you. I can hardly face people, because I know what they are thinking when they look at me. I know how they are laughing at me inside their heads. Judging me, thinking I am lazy or whatever it is that they are thinking. It is all your fault. I feel powerless over you. My life is out of control. All I know to do is eat and eat to numb the pain of whatever is going on in my life. I am powerless over you. I love you. I hate you. I am obsessed with you. I wish you would go away and leave me alone.
  • Food : Silence (Food is just standing there admiring herself. She is a very tall and beautiful woman but made up of all kinds of fruit, wearing large round earrings and a bandana, like someone from the Caribbean.)
  • Me: Why are you just standing there as if you didn’t care that I existed? I am suffering because of you. Don’t you care?
  • Food: She is just shaking her head and pointing her finger at me, shaking it from right to left. She is closing her eyes and pointing at me. She is not speaking, but I can hear her thoughts. “You are the cause of your own suffering.” She says. I can hear her thoughts in my head. Now she is getting louder and louder:

    • You are the cause of your own suffering
    • You are the cause of your own suffering
    • YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF YOUR OWN SUFFERING
    • YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF YOUR OWN SUFFERING
  • Me: What do you mean? How could I be the cause of my own suffering?
  • Food: You choose to live like this. (Her lips aren’t moving. I just hear her voice in my head.) 

She is coming over and hugging me. Still talking inside my head “I love you. I want you to survive and grow. I want you to thrive. I want only what is best for you.”

She steps back and goes back to where she was standing a few feet away from me. She goes back to admiring herself and her beauty. Dancing slowly, moving her hips from side to side, moving her arms slowly in a very seductive way.

Relationship between Me and Food is standing in the middle holding her arms out as if to hold both of us.

  • Coach : How do you feel (Relationship) standing in that position?
  • Relationship: I feel a very deep sadness. I want to cry. I feel a lot of compassion as well as pain.
  • Coach: What do you know about Bushra and food that they don’t know about themselves?
  • Relationship: There is a lot of love there, a lot of life and power. The power to create.
  • Coach: And what do you need from them?
  • Relationship: I need them to be aligned.
  • Coach: What did you learn from this exercise, Bushra?
  • Me: There is so much potential in the relationship between me and food. I feel the warmth, the heat even, the potential energy in the relationship. It can make so much happen for me.
  • Coach: What are some action steps that you can take from this place?
  • Me: Sh!#. You mean I actually have to do something to change my life!

Bushra Dudeen

ORSCC, ACC, CTI, MS ECE