Yesterday, I was walking downtown - listening to a podcast where Dax Shepard was interviewing Julia-Louis Dreyfus. It was one of those perfect fall afternoons when the air is a bit crisp but the sun is shining so strongly that you start to sweat. I pulled off my sweater and tied it around my waist, resting the cup of tea I'd just grabbed at Starbucks on a nearby cement parking-lot barrier. I felt so good. I was having a particularly productive day and it was an amazing mid-afternoon treat to escape my desk, even just for 20 minutes, to walk downtown stretch my legs and grab a warm drink.
As I rounded the corner toward home, I passed by a beautiful interior design shop and I glanced in the window to see what was on display. There are pillows and paint swatches and light fixtures - but what grabs my attention is the reflection of my own form. Short legs. Round belly. Messy sweater tied frumpily at the waist.
It caught me off guard and the negative thoughts about how I look and how my body IS started to stream...I felt myself being yanked harshly down the rabbit hole of self-loathing. I can't remember what the thoughts were exactly but I know the feeling in my body well. A feeling of unease, anxiety, and disappointment.
We have two experiences:
That of being IN our body
That of being in the thoughts and feelings we have ABOUT our body
The two often contrast each other so violently that it can feel like a punch to the gut. Worse than that, is when we conflate the two experiences - when we become so absorbed in the the thoughts and feelings we have ABOUT our body that we begin to think the uneasy, anxious, disappointing feelings born from the story we are telling about our body is actually how our body feels. The negative story about our body grows - not only do we not like the way our body looks but now we can't stand how it feels!
The work is to separate the two. The work is to spend increasing amounts of time tuned in to how you feel IN your body while softening the thoughts and feelings you have about your body - reducing the contrast.
A Brief Intro to my Work and What I Do
I'm Dr. Jillian Murphy, ND and my ultimate goal is to help women & children eat healthfully without any anxiety, confusion, restriction or food preoccupation. My work is to help everyone I work with become a COMPETENT EATER: a person who feeds themselves reliably, has great health outcomes, and lives a FUN, flexible and pleasurable life in their best body.
My work with ADULTS focuses on managing weight concerns while improving body image, eating behaviours, health, and overall sense of well-being.
My work with CHILDREN focuses on the family eating/feeding dynamic - helping parents feed their children with confidence, manage the weight/growth/nutritional worries they may for their children, and teaching them how to talk to their kids in an age appropriate way about food and bodies.