If you are a compulsive eater, you have experienced enough self loathing to last a lifetime. My self hate grew with each compulsive bite. Every time I looked in the mirror, every time I tried on jeans and they were too tight, every time I compared myself to skinny girls, I hated myself more. I was so angry with myself for overeating after every firm resolve to stop. It’s crystal clear in retrospect that the anger did not control my eating or help me lose weight. I read books by Louise Hay, Judi Hollis and Sondra Ray that convinced me to flirt with forgiveness. I was so afraid that if I forgave myself for bingeing, then I would continue to binge, as if forgiveness was permission to continue harmful behavior. I confused forgiveness and self- acceptance with staying stuck. I was afraid that forgiving my self meant that I was just making peace with being overweight. I learned that forgiveness addresses past behavior, and was the invitation to stop hurtful behavior in the future.
For many years, forgiveness made me feel vulnerable, as if anger was emotional protection. The anger at others, and especially at myself, was like a brick wall I built around my heart, keeping me alone. When I began to forgive myself, the wall started to crumble. I began to feel warmth from the light shining through and it felt comforting and safe. The truth about forgiveness is that it enables the healing that melts away fat. If I could have stopped overeating years ago I would have. I tried every method with all the strength I could muster and bingeing was just inevitable at times. Forgiveness puts the brakes on the runaway train of compulsive eating. Forgiveness is power. Forgiveness is the salve that soothes your self inflicted wounds. When you practice forgiveness, you begin to release the weight of the past from your body.
I met Marianne Williamson last weekend at the Mystical Journey Bookstore in Venice, CA, and she explained that destructive behavior emerges from an inner wound. If you can’t forgive the adult you are today, identify the core inner wound when you first started compulsively eating. That is the wound that is crying for comfort each time you want to binge. Begin to comfort yourself with forgiveness instead of food. You CAN be free.