I sometimes wonder if I talk enough about bravery when it’s one of the most significant qualities a person can have. I know that with clients, we discuss their anxiety and worry, fears and frustrations. But the other side of the coin is just as important: to recognize the acts of bravery that we engage in and even those we consider engaging in which someday may come to fruition. Why bravery? Because so many dysregulated eaters don’t realize they need to be brave to overcome their eating disorders.
Here are 20 large and small acts of bravery relating to food and your body to aspire to or pat yourself on the back for if you’ve already engaged in them:
- Stop dieting.
- Leave an abusive relationship.
- Quit weighing yourself.
- Seek therapy.
- Throw out food when you’ve eaten enough.
- End relationships in which you’re mistreated on a regular basis.
- Eat high-calorie/high-fat food in front of others.
- Refuse to purge after you’ve eaten something you wish you hadn’t.
- Confront someone about how he or she has hurt your feelings.
- Make a mistake and not say you’re sorry a million times.
- Look in the mirror if you’re at a high weight and value what you see.
- Tell your family members to cease and desist making comments about your eating or weight.
- Tell your doctors and health providers to stop focusing on your weight.
- Join a gym or start a physical activity like volleyball, yoga or dance though you fear how others might judge you for your weight.
- Stop engaging in diet or weight talk and tell others why you’re doing so.
- Be more self-compassionate.
- Bring a challenging food into the house and learn to eat it “normally.”
- Give up perfectionism.
- Quit telling yourself what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do.
- Make a health care appointment that you’ve been putting off.
To heal and grow, you need to have a brave rather than a fear mentality. Fear holds you back, while bravery propels you forward. For every one of your fears, there is an act of courage that will overcome come it. Set an intention to be brave and see what happens.