Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Last week, I posted on facebook a personal and life-altering exchange I had with an amazing person, Gloria with Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) regarding challenging Eurocentric Standards of Beauty. If you missed it, I posted the video below. I learned quite a bit and continue to dig deep exploring more and recognized just how prevalent this is in the Latinx community particularly around adolescent girls and womyn. Below are a couple of tips and strategies to consider when addressing one's own healing experience.
Do not support media that does not support you
This was something Gloria shared that is a practice of hers and I strongly encourage it!
Ads and commercials are in business because they create a false sense of scarcity so like Romeo says "you NEED this in your life". For example, a beauty product saying an anti-age cream will reduce x years off your face! How about the fuck not! IG has more impact on self-esteem than any other other social media outlet, which leads me to
Action Step: Go onto your social media pages and unsubscribe and hide ads. Ask yourself, does it make you feel good about yourself? Hide, unsubscribe, bye.
W-T-F: What's the function ?
My clients love this acronym I use with them, I first learned of it during my facilitator training for Youth Mental Health First Aid. Behavior is a form of communication and there's much correlation between trauma n eating disorders. Here's an article on the issue.
Action Step: Take a deep breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth and ask yourself what's the function of this behavior. In other words "why am I doing ____?" Check-In with yourself, and ask, "what am I feeling? Am I feeling scared, sad, rejection? The inner child needs tending to and trauma creeps up in a way where you are trying to seek safety through control and often times, the brain has a false sense of perceived threat. This can help you when considering what/how you will enter foods into your body while giving the brain a break before jumping into flight or fight mode.
Theres many ways and this is not an overnight quick fix. One of the most powerful ways is to educate yourself and learn how everything is connected. Here are the books Gloria mentioned:
Find your tribe
This is through relationships, community support groups such as NPP's and seeking professional support. Working with a sound professional can help you peel back these layers understand yourself, your triggers sources resources and develop a plan to support your healing and recovery process.
The harsh reality is that this journey is not easy! You are renegotiating with yourself and food all while developing a sense of safety in the world. Holiday seasons, families, media and peers who are engaging in an unhealthy relationship with food may ask you to join because thats what you used to do (similarly with cutting)
Action Step:Set boundaries around your triggers. I remember once coming home during winter break from college and asked if I was pregnant. When i said no my mom asked me why was I gaining weight then and I responded "porque todo comemos con tortillas aqui". I'm salvadorean so carbs are very much part of the foods we eat which leads me to-balance. Too much of anything can be unhealthy so have no shame in enjoying foods that come with honoring your culture, but do critically examine how you relate to it. And lastly,
Let it roll off like mantequilla on a tortilla
More often than not, somebody is projecting their own stuff onto you, you don't have to accept it as your reality and way of thinking. It is not yours to hold.
Much Love & Healing
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