I’m a survivor!
Many people who experience skin issues discover that certain foods serve them better than others and this often leads to a period of elimination to allow the gut and body to heal.
Eliminating foods from your diet can be tricky, time consuming, energy sapping, boring and can seem to take all the fun out of life.
remember it is a choice you have made to help your body to heal and feel good.
It’s easy to get into a pattern of complaining about it or feeling hard done by. Which we could call wearing our ‘victim T-shirt’. This is a term coined by Paul McGee author of SUMO. (Shut Up, Move On). There are many t shirts we wear in life- I’m grumpy, I’m hard work, I don’t like people, I don’t trust people, I am confident, I like myself- it is up to us to choose which one to wear.
It is important that we don’t wear our ‘victim T-shirt’ all the time. Some people have a whole wardrobe with an array of colours and styles- one for every situation! Here’s how to spot if you’re wearing your T-shirt: complaining rather than taking responsibility, blaming others and refusing to see how previous decisions, actions or attitudes could have landed us in our current situation.
There a few reasons why we wear our ‘victim’ T-shirt:
– we feel like there is no other choice- this is my life I have to grin and bear it.
– Low self esteem or poor self image- I’m not very lucky/capable/successful
– It’s become a habit- I cannot really change my situation
– We actually enjoy wearing it!
The final point about enjoying wearing it seems crazy! Why would anyone enjoy being a victim?
Well we often get more attention and it can increase your own feeling of self importance. It’s a good excuse for not being able to achieve other things and means we can basically blame others rather than taking full responsibility of our lives.
This final point can be a reason why people don’t stick to changes they want to make in their lives- a fear of not being a victim anymore! If I don’t have skin issues anymore what will I get attention for. What will I have to talk about if I don’t have all these complaints?
Here’s how it can play out…
You may have discovered that a particular food is a trigger for you and when we are playing the victim, situations such as eating out with friends can lead to us feeling hard done by and making poor choices around the foods that serve us. ‘Everyone was ordering dessert so I had to get something. I know sugar sets off my skin issues but I had no choice because I would have had to have watched everyone eat their delicious desserts. They should know I can’t eat sugar and not tempted me by ordering desserts. Now my skin has flared up- I knew I shouldn’t have gone out for a meal. I can’t even have just one dessert without this happening’
So how do you remove your ‘victim T shirt’?
It can be a rather uncomfortable process as first you have to admit that you are wearing it! Then you have to want to remove it. To take back control of your life and get off auto pilot. I am a survivor not a victim!
Without your T shirt on rather than caving in when everyone orders dessert and blaming them later for tempting you, you can change how we think and speak about our choices. We can choose to focus on the benefits for our bodies rather than what we think we are missing out on.
‘Everyone was ordering dessert but I know that eating low sugar foods serves my body best. I am choosing to heal my body with foods that serve it. I will feel good after this meal. I can enjoy my meal knowing that I am choosing the best foods for my body.’ Here we get to focus on turning this feeling around and accepting and feeling good about the choices we’ve made.
There are clues in the language we use to talk about ourselves and it highlights how we are really feeling about a situation. For example you may use words like struggle, suffer, can’t eat, not allowed etc We get to upgrade our language to focus on the choices we have made in a positive way.
I’m not allowed gluten.
I am choosing to be gluten free.
I suffer from eczema.
I experience eczema.
I struggle with eating dairy.
I feel good when I eat dairy alternatives.
I have to eat a strict diet.
I am healing my body with foods that serve me.
The words we say become the stories we believe so make sure you are telling yourself the stories you desire and not speaking on autopilot with no awareness of the power of your words. Using poor language choices and wearing your victim T shirt is a sure fire way to struggle with your elimination of trigger foods. Use journaling to notice when you are playing the victim and reflect on the reasons for this. It requires getting really honest with yourself. Remember the first step is awareness and then you get to focus on turning your thoughts, feelings and language around. Use the language upgrades to create positive mantras that you use when you start ironing your victim t shirt and this should help to put it back in your wardrobe rather than putting it on!
To summarise: eliminating foods is tricky, time consuming, boring and can seem to take all the fun out of life BUT it is made harder by wearing a victim t shirt!
You have made a choice to heal and make your body feel at its best with the foods you eat, so celebrate this exciting step towards your goal of ultimate wellness.
You’ve got this!