Feature Article: Beautiful Olive Oyl, Beautiful Me, Part 3
by Susan D'Addario, LCSW, Certified Eating Psychology Coach, Licensed HeartMath Certified Coach
Welcome back to the story of my struggles with eating, food, my body, and self-esteem! Despite being The HealthShrink, I’ve had plenty of long-term challenges in my relationship with food over the years. Back and forth, losing weight, gaining weight, losing self-esteem, and, then gaining some esteem back. That was the problem though. My inner feelings with regard to whether I was a good person or not, a success vs. a failure, pretty vs. ugly, smart vs. stupid, valuable vs. insignificant, etc., were all tied up into a gigantic knot over my body size.
I know my experiences are not necessarily unique. So many of us have had this same difficult struggle supporting and believing in ourselves. It’s too easy to get off the ‘truth trail’ and led astray onto the ‘road of nonsense’. What’s the ‘road of nonsense’? Believing we’re not good enough exactly as we are today. Thinking we need to lose weight to increase our goodness and overall appeal. Looking for love and acceptance from others before we even grant it to ourselves.
We’ve all grown up in a society that puts enormous pressure on how things are supposed to be. And, that includes us and how we’re supposed to be. I was striving to fit in and wasn’t quite sure how to do so. I didn’t possess the correct body equipment – no long, blonde, straight hair, flat-chested, muscular, no blue eyes, not thin enough, etc. How could I ever be beautiful? I believed I might as well give up, accept my shortcomings, and feel miserable forever. In short, I was not enough of some things and too much of other things. I’m sure you can relate.