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Baby Yourself

It’s funny how disregulated eaters say they can’t plan meals ahead or find time to feed themselves when they’re hungry when they really can. This is not rocket science, folks. This is basic self-care and, let’s be honest, you can do it but choose not to.

If you were in charge of a baby, would you have the same laments about taking care of her or him? For example, would you say: Even though she’s wailing and obviously starving, I can’t feed her because I’m too busy; I can’t possibly take her to the playground ever because I have too much to do; I can’t pull together decent, healthy food for her because I’m too tired; I’ll just stuff her with food no matter that she’s crying and has eaten enough; I can’t be bothered bringing food for later if she gets hungry, so too bad for her.

Of course you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t dream of saying these things. To the contrary, you’d dote on that baby and make sure she was well fed and cared for magnificently. So what’s the story? What’s the difference between giving care to a baby and to yourself? If you can make healthy and attentive efforts on a baby’s behalf, why not for you?

The answer lies in how much you value that baby and yourself. I’ve had many clients who take not great care of themselves focus all their attention on making sure their kids are fabulously taken care of. Can you see that there’s something very wrong with that picture? Aside from the fact that this “do as I say, not as I do” attitude is totally confusing to children who model themselves after you, there’s something highly irrational in its underpinnings. Moreover, that you would do for a baby shows you’re capable of being attentive and nurturing, but are intentionally not being so to yourself. So, no more excuses about not being a good meal planner, not feeding yourself when you’re hungry, and especially not having the time for nourishment. Let’s get honest.

These contradictory efforts are due to how you value yourself and that hypothetical baby. If you valued both equally, you’d take care of yourself and the baby. If you only valued others and not yourself, you’d take care of them, not you. Which brings us to nub of the problem—somehow you learned in childhood that you’re not worth attention, effort, or care. But you are, you are! It’s time to switch off that old message and start playing a new one. Work on acknowledging and understanding why you don’t love and value yourself and turn that mindset around as fast as you can. It’s an absolute must for better eating—and a better life. Remember, we don’t take care of what we don’t value.