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What’s Best for You

There’s a voice in you that knows what’s best for you all the time—all the time! You may not seek it out or it may get drowned out by negative or faulty thinking, but it’s there. In working with disregulated eaters for over 30 years, I’ve yet to find one who doesn’t have a sense of what’s best for her or him given a little time. If you listen—really listen—to this voice, you will do what’s in your best interest with food and in all of life.

Most of you are overly familiar with the wild child’s voice which wants what it wants when it wants it, rebels against rationality, and insists that you can live without consequences. You’re perhaps aware of, but are less well familiar with, the voice within who knows what’s best for you in the long run. Maybe it whispers so softly that you can barely hear it. Maybe it’s not quite loud and persistent enough to make an impact. Maybe it sounds like your mother or father, so you shrug it off as a “should.” Or you think it’s a party pooper with stupid, arbitrary rules who wants only to boss you around.

If so, you probably don’t pay your wise voice the heed that’s necessary to live a life based on self-knowledge and the wisdom of experience. The voice that knows what’s best for you makes decisions based on what’s happened to you in the past. It’s not the external voice that’s full of mandates and rigid rules, ie, “shoulds” and “musts,” but speaks from the accumulation of decades of knowing you inside and out and observing how the world functions. For, example, it knows that you’ll be upset with yourself in the morning if you binge on ice cream before bed. It knows that weighing yourself isn’t a helpful act whether you’ve lost or gained weight or stayed the same. Its wisdom comes from remembering what works for you and what doesn’t and wanting you to succeed.

I’m amazed that when I ask clients what the voice that knows best would do in a situation, they almost invariably answer with the response that would be healthiest for them. You know this stuff! You have this wisdom within reach and it’s time to put it in charge of your life. In time, it won’t need to battle with other inner voices to be heard because you won’t want any other voice but its wise one guiding your life. In time, it will be the only voice you hear and you’ll rejoice that it rings so loudly and clearly.

Every day when you awaken, ask this wise voice what challenges you might face during the day and how to manage them. Every night before you go to sleep, ask it how you did (no judgments) and if it has any feedback for you. Every day, seek its counsel on issues large and small. Welcome its voice and be grateful it’s in your corner.