I remember when I was younger, a friend would make a comment about my body and it would really throw me for a major loop.
That initial painful comment would stay on repeat in my mind until I found myself elbow deep in the chip bag, so far into a binge that I had lost my mind, full of shame and guilt. I have to tell you, it was a horrible place to be.
There is another way through. One of the wonderful teachings that I’ve learned over the years of studying and guiding folks towards food freedom is the distinction between that comment that my friend made to me, the suffering that I created for myself with my continued thought patterns, and then my subsequent binges.
One of my favorite quotes is by the Japanese author, Haruki Murakami: “The pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.”
That is what it all boils down to. That initial point of pain is inevitable. It is going to happen. People are going to make mean comments.
But what we do with that is where we have a choice, and that is what I want to offer you today.
Today’s tiny action: when someone makes a painful comment like that to you, instead of playing it over and over in your head and going straight down to the corner store, try this: Go to the bathroom, set a two minute timer on your phone, take a page out of Taylor Swift and shake it off.
I’m serious! I actually want you to shake.
I want you to go to the bathroom and I want you to vigorously shake your hands and then I want you to let your shoulders balance and your knees bounce and have your whole body shake for two whole minutes. Maybe even jump up and down a bit. Then stop and breathe. Feel your body.
Notice that you’re in a drastically different place than that moment when the initial pain occurred.
Notice that doing the Shake-Off is enough to keep you from going into the old tape of suffering, guilt and shame, and to do something new instead.
So my friend, today I hope that you go and shake it off!