Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how rad Radical Acceptance can be and what an important tool it is in finding solution to our issues with food and weight.

Don’t know what Radical Acceptance is or how to integrate it?  Well, as we say at Beacon, that is a problem to be solved.  Here’s a little breakdown:

What is Radical Acceptance?

According to the Queen Mother of all things DBT, Marsha Linehan, it is: “The complete and total acceptance, from deep within, of the facts of reality.  It involves acknowledging facts that are true and letting go of a fight with reality.  Acceptance is often misunderstood as approval (it is not) or as being against change (it is not).”

Here’s a breakdown:

Denial of Reality:  Did you know that all human beings are magicians? Yep! We are! For better or worse (usually worse), we can alter any reality in a few seconds flat.  Why do we do this? We don’t like to experience things or events that conflict with our values, opinions, or sense of self.  So rather than take in the objective facts, we go ahead and make them fit our schema of things.  This might provide us with an immediate sense of comfort, but rarely does it endure.

How does this impact your issues with food and weight? We often fail to acknowledge and accept the presence of these issues and the depth of care it requires.  Making matters worse, this lack of acceptance and denial of reality leads us to repeatedly engage in behaviors that maintain your problem and chaos around it. Through denying reality and wishing things different, we make life more unmanageable AND recovery from sugar addiction next to impossible. #loselose #nobueno

Acceptance:  I know, I know, we just made a huge leap from denying our reality to accepting it. Promise you this, I am in no way suggesting that it happens this gracefully or linearly. That’s actually a myth of acceptance.  The truth is, we usually warm up to seeing things as they are after repeated suffering and through lots of trial and error.  Let’s also keep in mind that we don’t have to like, love or approve of reality. We only have to accept it.  #phew

So while many of us are not jumping for joy that we hit the lotto for food and weight issues, we can acknowledge that this is our reality. The very moment we do that, we can start the road of recovery and sustainable solutions. #yesplease

Repeat: Acceptance of difficult things most often comes in waves.  One moment you’re on board, and the next you are so over it.  Look, I get it, accepting your food and weight issues is definitely not the same as accepting a 100,000,000 dollar check (that’s a one and done deal, and I’ll take the check, thanks).  Radical Acceptance requires that we regularly and gently redirect ourselves back to reality (and try really hard to stay with it).  It’s a skill like any other – one that needs to be practiced and one that will reward you more than you can know.

Today, if you find yourself trying to figure out how to break sugar addiction’s vicious cycle, ask yourself, “am I denying or honoring my reality?” In answering that question, some freedom may come.