Body Image

Being Loved in the Present

Being Loved in the Present | Libero Magazine
We need to allow ourselves to “feel the hurt fully," as Geneen Roth says, and release the pain so it no longer has a hold on us.

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Originally published at on September 27, 2011. Republished here with permission. Get your blog featured!

I came across this today while skimming through an old Geneen Roth book (“When Food is Love”):

Being loved in the present brings up all the ways in which we were not loved in the past. No amount of love in the present, not a single person, not ten thousand people loving us all at once, can make up for or take away the pain of the betrayals of the past, just as bingeing today for deprivation in the past or for deprivation to come does not make up for the many times we said to ourselves, “You can’t have that, you’re fat and you’re ugly.” The only insurance against repeating the pain in the past is to allow ourselves to feel fully and release it in the present.”

So many times I took part in the ‘pre-diet binge.’

I think my bingeing overall was partly a response to the years of deprivation I put myself through.

When I look back on it I realize that, as Geneen Roth says, none of those binges actually made up for the suffering I’d went through in the past from restricting, nor did they somehow lessen the suffering I was about to put myself through by giving in to the binge.

So why did I do it?

I think sometimes it’s hard to see through the foggy lenses of “in-the-moment.” However, if we are honest with ourselves, I think we know these binges aren’t helping anything, and by allowing our past to dictate how we treat ourselves in the present we are stealing ourselves of today.

Similarly, if we allow the pain and hurt of yesterday impact how much joy and contentment we experience today, we are, again, allowing our past to steal from our present.

I am not suggesting we should “suck it up” and keep our scars buried deep inside of us (such behavior, as I’m sure you know, only contributes to our poor relationship with food). Instead, we need to allow ourselves to “feel the hurt fully,” as Geneen Roth says, and release the pain so it no longer has a hold on us. Then, and only then, can we fully enjoy the beauty of today.

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Roth, Geneen. Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 2004.


Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

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