I have the best-est friends. As a 7-year-old boy told me a few days ago there is no such word as best-est. I beg to differ. Best-est is way better than the best. It is cream of the crop best. And in this difficult journey of life having friends who are the best-est is truly a gift. They remind me when I am down on myself to see things differently.
I have been struggling with self-love for a long while. You see I rarely attained it since I had the idea that it was related to the outside of myself, to my achievements, to being nice, or being helpful. When I looked for self-love inside myself it was a struggle. What is it? Where do I find it? Will it show up when I am a great Mom? Will it be there when I find success at my job or am the perfect room mother? Maybe I need to be super nice to everyone and then it will show up. But since I find myself struggling and “failing” most days to reach any of my goals I would give up and feel bad about myself.
I was looking for it on the outside when you don’t have to look for it at all. Self-love just IS.
Self-love is inside. You don’t earn it. You don’t have to do anything for it. You come into this life with it.
To have self-love just because I am is new for me. On this journey of self-healing I am aware of self-love. I know it is there. I have experienced it. But it is easy for me to forget it in this perfectionist, re-touching photo, face-book, A+ grades, bigger house, expensive car world that is around me.
That is why having friends is awesome. THEY know me for all my failings and struggles and issues and still can look at me and see a loveable person. They don’t try to change me or make me better. They help remind me to see the loveable person I am- just because I am.
That is the best-est.
written by Sarah Gold, MS, RD, LDN
Parenting is SO HARD. Feeding a kid can be SO HARD! My own children were quite honestly often a mystery to me. I struggled with breastfeeding my first and my second one fed quite naturally. My first ate all foods well and my second was more interested in play than eating. Just when I thought I had it figured out they started to go through puberty. The first barely had a growth spurt and turned out shorter than the rest of the family and my second decided to delay puberty beyond the norm, stop growing for a couple years, and then shoot up past me and my other daughter when I had finally given up hope on anything happening. Who knew? Meanwhile their bodies took on shapes all their own. They both had times when they were rounder and times when they were thinner. What worked for feeding one had no effect on the other and vice versa. I spend a great deal of time worrying about both. I did my best to feed them well; although sometimes that meant frozen dinners or take out.
To make it worse our society has decided that we can control the size of our children. What? If you think about it: it is quite laughable. Did I order one daughter to be 5’3” and the other 5”7”: of course not. So do you think I could control either one to weigh their so called “ideal” weights: of course not. I did everything I could to help them with healthy eating but that is no guarantee. Yet society continues this craziness. Who says I am a better mother (or father) if my child is the “right” size. Who says they are a better person if they are the “right” size? I’m here to tell you it is B* S#$!
I have worked with many parents of children who are trying very hard to get information and support their child in healthy eating and this is what I want to say:
You are awesome
You are doing your best
Take a deep breath – what size your child is says nothing about how awesome they are as a person or how successful you are as a parent
People come in all shapes and sizes
If you find yourself overwhelmed with fear and anxiety about how your child is eating and don’t know what to do I think talking to a dietitian is great. But I want you to also add self-love. How can you support yourself? How can you accept yourself and your child just as you are – right now? Do you need to search for body positive messages and pictures? Do you need to talk with a supportive friend? Do you need to journal or take a walk to get some quiet alone time to process your thoughts and work through some stress? Working on eating and food can be difficult – very difficult – and quite emotional. Any positive changes you make will take time and patience and there is no guaranteed result. Working on healthy eating and healthy living is an wonderful goal and I support you.
But please remember how awesome you and your child are while you do this very hard work.
Sending you love.
Sarah Gold, MS, RD, LDN
Dietitian and intuitive eating counselor
I am done with the Intuitive Eating process. I have reached my “goal”. This is strange since I also believe that Intuitive Eating is a life long habit. How do I know I am done? My perspective has changed. I no longer use food and eating as a weapon against myself.
The end goal feels like:
Does this mean I don’t continue to struggle some days: of course not. But mostly I feel awesome about food. It feels really great and is worth the struggle I went through to get there. Absolutely.
What is even better is that this whole intuitive eating process opened up my world to intuitive living…
If you learn to listen to your body in regards to hunger and fullness you can also now take it one step further to listen to happy and sad. When you can chose foods that you enjoy (and meet your food needs) you could now take that a next step further to meeting your life needs as well. When you learn to stop judging yourself on your food choices you can now take it one step further to stop judging yourself on life choices as well. When you learn to give yourself love without using food you can now take it one step further to learn how to give yourself love that is supportive and healing.
I may be done with Intuitive Eating – the struggle and learning and persistence it took. But I am thrilled to say I am stepping into intuitive living!
I wish you well on your journey.
Written by Sarah Gold, MS, RD, LDN, and intuitive eating counselor
Intuitive Eating is a book written by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD. Learn more at intuitiveeating.org
Sarah Gold is an intuitive eater, dietitian, chocolate lover, and dog lover,