Ask The Right Questions

by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt on December 18, 2014

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The holidays can be tough for those of us who are prone to feeling body-shame and are deathly afraid of putting on those 6 pounds that 2 out of 3 American adults supposedly gain during this time. It can be horrifying to believe that all your hard work, all your denying, suffering and painful calorie counting will be undone in a few mere days.

It’s easy then to destroy your experience of the holidays with mini freakouts (and OK, if you’re like I used to be, those mini freakouts are more epic ones..) because the number on your damn scale just keeps climing up.

So, if you’re already thinking about your post-holiday-diet and just cannot wait to cut the carbs, count the calories, increase the protein shakes or whatever crazy rule you come up with, wait a minute.

If you’re asking yourself why you cannot stick to a script, why you are always overdoing it and cannot stop indulging in all the delish holiday foods, just breathe.

If you are blaming yourself, hating on yourself, beating yourself up over, really, nothing, try asking yourself some questions.

Questions that don’t solely focus on weight loss or you being bad; questions that don’t relate to fat grams or macronutrients; questions that don’t relate to cellulite and measurements. But questions that’ll help you to put it all – your life, your weight, your scale, your food, your body, your holidays – in perspective once and for all.

Chances are that if you change your foucs and inspire your brain to think a bit differently, something inside you might just “click”, you might lose the weight (or not), but you’ll surely change your attitude towards yourself and your fat – and how freaking cool would that be, right?

So, here are the questions that I would love you to ask yourself if you’re in “I-hate-my-f**king-ugly-butt-and-my-ever-growing-cheeks-right-now” mode.

Read through them, ask them and – most importantly – answer them. If you don’t, nothing is going change, my love. That’s a big fat Christmas promise from my heart to yours. <3

  1. Would I rather wear a size 0 or be happy? Kinda obvious, no? Still worth asking.
  2. What’s my legacy going to be if I continue like this? Again, don’t judge yourself for your answers here. This is just a glimpse into what’s happening in your mind and life right now. You can always turn everything around – so don’t despair.
  3. What do I want my legacy to be? Now that you know what’ll happen if you continue on the path you’re currently wandering on, shed a light on what it is you want your legacy to be. What do you want other people to learn from you? What do you want to be remembered for? What matters and should last?
  4.  What am I experiencing right now? Check in with yourself. What’s going on inside and outside right this very moment? Do this especially when you feel overcome with the urge to binge and/or diet.
  5. What would it be like to just trust my body? Have you ever even trusted your body or have you just always been naturally at war with it? It might be difficult to imagine what it’d be like to trust that your body isn’t evil and doesn’t want you to feel oh so uncomfortable after a big binge or oh so hungry because you’re starving yourself, but I know you’re smart and you can find that space within that lets you imagine what would change if you just trusted a tiny little bit.
  6. How does our culture influence the way I see myself? This question is more a reflection, but it’ll give you a better understanding of what you believe to be beautiful and hot. Think about it: is this actually really what you think?
  7. Who would I be if I were a size 0? How would you change? How would your life be different?
  8. What would be so bad about never reaching my goal weight? What would be the most horrible outcome of you never losing that 20 pounds or achieving the weight you’ve had when you were 13 years old?
  9. What am I hoping to get out of losing this weight? What’s the end goal here? You’ll have lost the weight and then what?
  10. How would I feel if I were to enjoy my food instead of worrying about it? Imagine for a minute that you had no fight with food, how would you behave during eating situations? What would you eat when going out on a date with a hot guy? How would you feel on a cellular level when you were to sit down to have lunch?
  11. What am I getting out of staying exactly where I am right now? Often times we stay in the place we’re at because it gives us something: safety, comfort, hope, excitement, something to worry about and feel bad about. What’s the reason in your case?
  12. Who am I secretely blaming for my distorted relationship with food and my body? We all have people in our lives that we blame for the way we look at our bodies and at food. I can name you a list that’s at least 3 pages long. Be petty and write them all down, then rant about these people and maybe fill out a Judge Your Neigbhor Worksheet here.
  13. How can I feel thin right now? We’re mostly not after the weight and the body shape, what we’re really after is the feeling of being thin – the lightness in our hearts. How could you achieve that lightness now?
  14. When you resolve to go on yet another diet, ask yourself: How have diets been working for me? What’s different now? Why am I willingly setting myself up for failure?
  15.  If my body was an animal, thing or place, what would it be? How would you treat it differently? What would it teach you and what purpose would it have?
  16. What would I do if I didn’t fight my body? I love, love, love this question because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. We are so narrow-minded when we fight our body and we forget that there’s an entirely different way. Think about what your life and your body would be like if you just stopped fighting already.
  17. Am I even ready and willing to try a different way? Be honest here, are you willing to change? Are you ready to try a road that you’ve never walked on before or do you just want to do the same old crazy strategies over and over again?
  18. What do I already know that isn’t working for me anymore? Sometimes we continue to commit to habits we already know have longed stopped working for us. They don’t give us the same high they used to. They don’t give us the satisfaction, the comfort we’re yearning for. They simply don’t work. So, why are you holding on to them?
  19. What’s a healthy attitude towards eating for me? Try to forget about all the advice you’ve been given throughout your life and instead ask yourself what you believe having a healthy attitude towards food means.
  20. Who would I be without the thought that I am powerless around food? How would you behave if you didn’t create that story of your behavior around food? How would you feel? What would or wouldn’t you do?
  21. When was I happiest in my life? Did it involve being thin? Did it involve stepping on the scale? Did it involve saying NO to food while everyone else was indulging in a piece of chocolate cake?
  22. How has my weight/ my relationship with food helped me in my life? Let’s be honest, we use food and our weight for a reason. It feels protective, helps us deal with feelings, numbs us, makes us survive – and we’re super smart for using food and our weight like that. Make a list of the events that food helped you through.
  23. Can you love the person inside the bodyEven if you insist on never ever being able to love your body, figure out if you can love the person that inhabits it. You, my love, are a worthy and lovable human being – no matter the fat tissue that houses your soul.
  24. Why do I believe that hating my body into being thin will make me eventually love my body? Why do you?
  25. Why am I creating self-imposed misery until I get rid of this weight? Why won’t I choose happiness and lose the weight? So, even if you feel like you can never accept the weight you have in this moment, stop insisting on wanting to feel f**king crappy until you get to the weight that’ll make you be at peace. Create a journey that’s full of life, adventure, love. Create a journey that’s actually fun. Your life won’t wait for you to lose the weight, so live it now. {Click to Tweet}

I’d love to hear which one of these questions resonated the most with you and what you’re going to do about it. Share it in the comments. <3

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Cracking Open Yet Again

by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt on December 16, 2014

183c0f97b13e2dd98985433bb10b0e6dThere are wounds we carry around for years.

Some of these come from our childhoods and are buried deep inside. Others develop over time and they slip into our consciousness without us really noticing.

My biggest wound – the one I’ve lived with forever – is my brother.

I’ve talked about our relationship before, then I let it be because I needed to heal. But now, now the wound’s cracked open again.

I haven’t spoken with my brother in years, have no contact, don’t want to know anything about him at all. It’s not easy – being that we belong to the same family and people just have this incredibly weird need to tell me about him.

Deleting him from my life has been necessary for me to regain my life. It’s given me the strength to find myself, build my confidence, reclaim my worthiness as a woman, a human being. Not seeing him, not having to be terrified of him has allowed me to finally breathe.

Now, however, he’s coming home for Christmas and every cell in my body is screaming for air again. Everything I’ve carefully built in the last years is beginning to collapse. I’ve lost balance, the anxieties of the 13-year old me are erupting, threatening to bury me in a sea of boiling pain and tears.

I’m standing motionless and the walls around me are crashing down, one buy one, hitting me, smashing into my skin, re-opening the wounds I thought were healed a long time.

All it took was one event, one decision that brought it all up, stirred my soul, hung my heart and turned me into a scared little nothing once again.

I never thought I’d revisit these feelings. Never thought I’d have to deal with them again.

But now the cracks have burst and I can’t ignore them any longer. I cannot push them deeper into the soil of my broken heart.

Why am I telling you this? Why this nostalgic, slightly victim-ish tale?

I’m saying it because we can all recognize these feelings, this voiceless scream of helplessness that’s accumulating inside.

I’m saying it because it has to be said for all of us to heal our communal wounds.

I’m saying it for you, so you won’t feel so alone in what you’re going through.

None of us walk through life unfazed. None of us make it through our days without being punched in the back or cut by swords. We all have our life-changing, ongoing fears and struggles. We all have our villains, our enemies, people who are here to crush our life force.

Many of us manage to continue living life despite of these pulsating wounds, pushing them down, deeper and deeper into the dungeons of our hearts until we believe they’ve disappeared. But, surprise, surprise, they never do. And one day in a tiny moment, they bump into you on the way to the supermarket or while you’re sitting at home watching TV.

One moment, one instant and your past is staring you right in the face. 

What do you do when this happens?

First and foremost, take care of yourself. Check in with yourself and do what is best for you to feel and stay safe. Do you need to stay at a friend’s home for a while, get therapy, up your self-care practices or simply be still, wrapping yourself in a blanket of love? Whatever your heart’s telling you, do it. Your safety and sanity matters.

Second, allow yourself to feel your fears, the anger, the pain, the disappointment, the frustrations. Stop being brave and instead open up to the emotions you’ve been burying for decades. Sob uncontrollably, scream like a madman, curse, fight, run. Whatever helps you release, do it.

Third, give yourself the time to heal what needs to heal, but don’t sweep it under the carpet again. That’s what you did before and it hasn’t really helped you, has it? Consult a therapist, a counselor, a coach. Write in your diary, go on a meditation retreat. Practice forgivness for the other person and for yourelf. You get to choose what helps you heal, don’t shy away from doing it.

I’m not going to lie, healing wounds, even if they’re old wounds that are surfacing again, sucks. It hurts like hell and running away from it all seems like the most genius idea you’ve ever had.

But if you love through your fears this time and do it for real, you can finally move on. You don’t have to be scared again. You don’t have to feel helpless and numb again, you don’t have to break open all over again.

If you can, if you feel ready and brave, walk into the direction you absolutely don’t want to go. Walk towards your enemies, towards your haunted past and you’ll soon stand on the other side looking into a bright, sunny sky.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping and praying for. At least, that’s what I am willing to believe.

As of now I know I cannot face my demons yet. So, I’ll prioritize my safety. But one day, even if it takes all my life, I’ll feel safe despite my demon being close. I’ll feel safe and free despite everything he reminds me of. I’ll feel as good around him as I feel when I’m a thousand miles away.

One day soon, I’ll too be free.

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What’s Your Intention For The Holidays?

December 14, 2014

“Buy this.” “Try this.” “Do this.” “Decorate this way.” “Gift that way.” “Cook this meal.” “Bake these cookies.” Are you as sick and tired of these holiday stressors as I am? Then, today’s edition of Love Your Body The Way It Is is just for you. In today’s video, I share a little secret to making […]

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A Case Against Restricting During the Holidays

December 8, 2014

I love this time of the year. I love decorating the house and listening to Christmas music. I love going to Church and singing Advent songs. I love the cozy evenings by the fire, wrapped in a blanket, drinking hot chocolate and simply enjoying my own company. And I love the smell of cookie dough […]

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When Fat Stops Being Fat – 222 Ways To Stop Your Obsession With Food And Your Body

November 14, 2014

Question: How much money have you spent on thigh creams, fitness equipment, tummy tuck belts, weight loss programs, slim belly systems, dieting advice, magic weight loss pills, gym memberships and personal trainers? How many nights have you lain in bed crying because you’ve sabotaged yet another diet? How many times have you resolved to lose those 20 pounds […]

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Finding The Widsom In Your Misfortunes

October 14, 2014

Today’s blog is part of Mary Sabo’s Blog Tour called Misfortune into Opportunity. Read ALL of the wonderful entries of Mary’s tour here and enter to win awesome prizes like an Amazon Gift Card, health/wellness consultations, signed books by the authors and more! All of us struggle at times. Some more, some less. But not a single person in this […]

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THIS is life

October 12, 2014

I just returned from a beautiful getaway trip to Finland with my sister. It was so cool, peaceful and lovely. Instead of telling you about the trip, I thought I’d share some pictures of our time up in the North. A few years ago, there was no way of traveling feeling so light and being so present. I […]

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How to manifest your dream life

October 3, 2014

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my brand-new apartment looking out the windows into the fall sun, the curtains are flowing in the mild breeze and I’m working away – blissfully, happily, at peace. I’ve been here before many, many times. I’ve worked on this desk. I’ve seen the sun shining through the […]

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Soundtrack Of My Life – Lyrics That Helped Me Through Tough & Happy Times

September 25, 2014

Music is like my daily dose of coffee: I couldn’t live without it. Or maybe I could, but I definitely don’t want to. Ever. Music has made the toughest, scariest and loneliest times of my life bearable and it’s elevated every happy moment I’ve experienced. Music has always been there: to hold me, to create […]

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Falling Into The Art of Doing Nothing (That Isn’t Fun!)

September 19, 2014

What will happen to my life when I start doing nothing? It will become blissful… Will it? For a few months now, I’ve been feeling the call to just do nothing for longer periods of time. It’s not that I’m unhappy. It’s not that I’m overwhelmed. It’s not that I don’t like my work. It’s […]

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