I know all about eating disorders. I used to weigh 309 pounds.
Yesterday, I finished writing this “love letter” to myself and a small groups of friends who’ve shared similar challenges surrounding food. I thought I’d share it here with the hope that it might be helpful for someone here in this group, someone in this fantastic, life-changing course that’s helped me over the last few years evolve into the person I’ve always wanted to become.
Much love to all of you, Michelle
What Are You Hungry for?
We’re on a hero’s journey, you and I. We’re far from what we thought of as home. We’re exploring our relationship with food and what we truly hunger for. We have the focus, determination, and will to plan our trip accordingly, driven by a shared yearning to live in alignment with what we’ve learned is true: freedom from obsession comes from paying attention to our current-moment experience and investigating it with kindness and curiosity.
Make a Personal Pledge
We are committed to healing our most potent samskaras and vasanas so that we can go home again as masters of our domain, not slaves to old fear patterns that push us to numb and punish ourselves with food.
The Distracting Voice that Says, “You are Never Enough!”
We’re ambitious, you and I. We know our path is not easy. We know that our greatest obstacle is our own mind, our own tendency to focus on how we haven’t lost enough weight yet or made enough progress yet.
We also know that this kind of thinking is exactly what slows our momentum. Focusing on these types of thoughts leads to misalignment with our highest desires and intentions to listen to and inhabit our bodies in the here and now. It steers us away from experiencing ourselves in present time.
When You Get Lost, Make A U Turn Back to Witnessing
We’re perceptive, you and I. We understand what prompts such thinking. In one form or another, it’s the Voice of Fear or the Voice of Anger or the Voice of Sadness or the Voice of Joy. All of these emotions take us for a ride, a detour away from the direct route of Witnessing what we’ve mapped. All of these voices intoxicate us with false beliefs based on past or imagined future “failures” with food, each one causing its own type of pain and exhaustion, either because we act as though it’s chasing us, or we’re chasing it, or we are it.
That Still Small Voice Within
We’re wise, you and I.
We have enough experience in our meditation seats to remember that there’s another voice, the Voice of Stillness. The Voice of Stillness reminds us that Steady is the new Sexy. The Voice of Stillness reminds us that Balance, Equanimity, and Contentment hold the answers to our success and well-being. We remember that we are able to feel open and spacious again with a wide, clear perspective—not jacked up or buried by regurgitated thoughts provoked by the Voices of Emotion. We remember that we don’t have to be flung off course by them or manipulated by them: We don’t need to eat to encourage or stop them.
Have Faith in the Goddess Within
We’re trustful, you and I. We sit every day because we know that when we choose silence, we will ask and hear what the Voice of Stillness has to say. Every woman’s Stillness will speak in Her own voice, but She will deliver a similar message to all of us if we listen. She will nudge us to return to our true home: the still spot at the center of our own heart, where the ups and downs of the other voices can’t exist, where there’s calm, peace, and relief from the limiting, fear-based question underneath all these voices, “How is this going to affect me?”
Inhale Deep Acceptance
We’re free, you and I. We know that in the absence of this limiting question that shrinks and disempowers us on every level, Suffering cannot breathe here. The only thing left here at the center of our own Heart-Home is Acceptance of What Is. Acceptance walks hand in hand with Trust: Trust in our decision to use our relationship with food as a pathway to healing, a pathway to our dharma, and a pathway to knowing our highest Selves. In this space, we trust Divine Will, that all events are conspiring for us and our own expansion rather than against us. Only when we allow our Voice of Stillness to guide us back home regularly will we have the fortitude to complete our hero’s journey by learning how to feed our true hungers and thereby live in integrity with our highest Selves.
Guest Writer BIO
Michelle Frilot studies Yoga and Ayurveda with her teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait of the Himalayan Institute, and with Rod Stryker and Mary Bruce. She has participated in several rounds of Body Thrive and Yogidetox and completed the Living Ayurveda and Awake Living courses. Born and raised in southern California, she taught English composition and research at a local community college and public schools near her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she’s lived for the past several years after spending 15 years on the east coast. She is currently writing a memoir about recomposing her body and beliefs after losing over 170 pounds. Married for over 25 years, she has two daughters, one of whom was tragically killed while attending college. Michelle enjoys excursions to India, hiking, weight training, reading, connecting with like-minded people, and most of all, her yoga and meditation practice.