"I'm only worthy when I achieve" - How this belief can impact your eating.

Today I'm grateful for the opportunity to let go the idea that my worth is tied in to what I achieve. It takes daily effort to remind myself that I don't need to do more to find my worth. The more I shift this belief the more I am able to connect to intuitive eating and have a healthy relationship with food. In this post, I'd like to show you how the two are linked.

"I'm worthy when I achieve" - where did this belief come from?

As with most beliefs, we'll need to step back in time to explore.

For me, the belief that I'm worthy only when I achieve was instilled by parents, school teachers and afterschool teachers when I was a young child in Greece.

As young children, while our brain is developing try to meet our human needs in the best way possible: our need to belong and fit in, to be safe, to feel significant and to be seen as worthy and good (so that I'm safe).

So some of the key messages I picked up were: "be a high achiever", "you need to be the best in your class", "sit quietly and do as you're told", "be thin", "be desirable", "do more for others than you do for yourself".

What about you?

Can you think back to your younger years?

What situations, conversations, opinions, thoughts gave you the idea that achievement (and often high achievement) was the only way to be good enough?

Taking a moment to write down your memories and how they shaped your current belief system can be useful cause we can't change what we are not aware of.

These beliefs are the path to perfectionism and a sense of worthiness "ONLY when busy" for many of us, AND it can have a significant impact on our eating and relationship to food.

Here are some examples:

  • Ever catch yourself "procrastin-EATING"? = procrastinating by eating food even though you're not hungry - cause you need a break but feel you SHOULDN'T take one?

  • Ever start controlling your food intake in an attempt to change your body and become so perfectionistic around it that even one "wrong" mouthful becomes a point of obsession and self-criticism?

  • Ever notice that when something stressful happens in your life, you fixate on your eating habits and attempt to be perfect in your eating and exercise plans?

The desire for perfection is a coping mechanism learnt in our younger years AND it can keep us trapped in disconnection from our body and in unhealthy eating cycles.

Can you see the link?

  • The little girl that was told to be "a high achiever", now struggles to take a break to truly rest, and instead uses food to keep herself busy.

  • The little girl that was told to "sit quietly and do as she's told", now struggles to listen to her own body wisdom and intuition.

  • The little girl that was taught to find her worth in doing, now struggles with simply being and feels that she always needs to be busy to be enough.

If we are always busy running around, it's impossible to give ourselves a moment to breathe, relax and enjoy a meal. This impacts our digestion, mood and overall wellbeing.

The mindset of only worthy when busy creates havoc in our eating, cause we ultimately ignore our needs and don't have our wellbeing as a priority:

  • We often eat on the go and mindlessly (while multitasking) which can leave us feeling stuffed full, unsatisfied and wanting more and more food - cause our brain hasn't registered that we have been eating.

  • We may ignore our body needs until we feel really unwell - perhaps neglecting to eat until we feel faint or extremely "hangry" (hungry and angry).

  • Our blood sugar level requires stability (which is what happens when you sit down to a meal frequently and calmly). Instead long gaps between meals cause we're busy, may lead to over eating, or a binge followed by negative feelings toward yourself.

Having the ability to take a breath, a moment of rest and calm is at the core of intuitive eating and a healthy relationship with food.

What's important is to recognize that these beliefs can be shifted! You can choose to change your mindset to create a sense of calm and peace around food. This will create a shift and positively impact the rest of your life.

Wish to heal your relationship with food and invest in yourself?

Enroll for one on one coaching or the Intuitive Eating Reclaimed Program.