Toxic Parents: How do you know when it’s time to let go?



Toxic parents

Our parents are the ones who should love us the most.

So we think and so we believe and in an ideal world, it would be true.

In our hearts and in our minds, we WANT it to be true.

But sometimes it isn’t.

Sometimes for whatever reason, we as adults come to understand, maybe after years of guilt, frustration, hurt, emotional abuse and manipulation, financial burdens or relationship break ups and lots of disappointment that one or both of our parents are toxic people.

As much as we wish they were different. As much as we long to believe that they do really love us and care about us and will be there for us, when you have a toxic parent, there will come a day when you have to face the facts.

Our relationship with them is full of emotional, physical and spiritual poison and it feels like it’s killing us.

By definition, any toxic relationship is primarily characterized by actions and behaviours that are emotionally damaging. It is riddled with feelings of guilt, insecurity, self-centredness, control, manipulation, insult and threat.

A healthy relationship is one where there is mutual love, caring, respect and compassion, where there is care for the welfare and well-being of the other, where we feel loved and accepted for who we are and the relationship feels SAFE.

A toxic relationship does NOT feel safe.

It feels anxious and destructive and drains us emotionally, physically and spiritually.

It feels like a burden, an obligation and a trap and because it’s our parents, it’s not generally a relationship that we talk about or even consider ending.

It’s acceptable to divorce your partner, it’s acceptable and encouraged to leave any sort of toxic, abusive relationship in fact, it is actively encouraged, EXCEPT when the toxic person is your parent.

That’s where the guilt really kicks in!

This is the person who helped create you and shape you and gave you life.

This is the person who raised you and put a roof over your head and put you through school.

This is the person who is supposed to love you the most and always be there for you and love you no matter what.

But instead, your parent is the person who is constantly criticizing you, who is always putting you down and manipulating you with guilt.

This is the person who is telling lies about you and to you, sabotaging your relationships, attempting to control you and demanding all of your time and your energy.

This is the person who is spiteful, malicious, contemptuous or impossible to please.

This is the person who always lets you down, who breaks promises and is unreliable and tells you that you are never good enough.

This is the person who who will not be happy until your life is as miserable and unhappy as their own.

You cannot appeal to your toxic parent’s better nature and hope they will “get it”.

You cannot reason with them or depend on them.

They do not care how tired you are, how sick you are, how overwhelmed you are. They want what they want when they want it.

Loving your toxic parent will not protect you from who they are or how they behave.

Being the best daughter or son in the world will not change your toxic parent or make them finally approve of you.

A truly toxic parent has no concern about what his or her behavior does to you or those around you. They will have no hesitation in destroying your mood, your relationships, your finances, your goals or your physical or emotional health.

In my clinical practice, I have had many clients who are the victims of toxic parents.

  • Parents who pit one child against the other.
  • Parents who delight in planting seeds of malice and mistrust and doubt.
  • Parents who see their adult children as competition or who are jealous and resentful of their success or relationships or family or lifestyles.
  • Parents who want to keep dragging their child down into their own pit of misery and bitterness and addiction.

If you found a venomous snake in your house, you wouldn’t reason with it, analyze it, google it to see if perhaps you were doing something to attract it in the first place.

You would take action to get it out of your life!

A toxic relationship with your parent needs you to take action!
This doesn’t mean it will be easy because it won’t. It will be one of the most difficult things you have ever done.

  • It will involve dealing with masses of guilt and lots of soul searching and tears.
  • It will mean finally giving up the dream that you can have a close, loving relationship with your parent and giving up those dreams brings feelings of grief and loss.
  • It will mean risking the disapproval of extended family and friends and may cost you some relationships from people who cannot accept your choices.
  • It will mean making a decision on the action you will take that will make you feel as safe as you can be when dealing with your toxic parent.
  • It will mean deciding how much of a relationship you will have, setting strong boundaries and doing what you can to protect yourself and limit the toxic fallout.

The GOOD news is, it can be done but you WILL need support, understanding, clarity, good advice and lots and lots of self love!

Here are some tips to help you start the process:

Accept the fact that you cannot change your toxic parent.
You know this logically but you really need to get this emotionally. This is the way they are and it has NOTHING to do with you!

You may have been trying to figure them out for years, looking for the way to make things right, trying to find the right words to please them but what you need now is to just accept that this is who they are.

It is not your job or your task or your responsibility to change them into who you want them to be or who you think they should be. Accept your toxic parent exactly the way he or she is right now.

Don’t give in to guilt.
Toxic parents are experts at manipulation and their key weapon is guilt. They have spent years knowing exactly which button to push and when to get the result they want.

You may have been trained for years to put their feelings before your own or have given in to them to keep the peace. Ask yourself this question: “Am I making my parent’s feelings and needs more important than my own?”

Guilt is a method of controlling you and making you do what they want. Learn to recognize when you are being manipulated by guilt and refuse to take it on board. If you have trouble with this, get help.

Years of chronic guilt is difficult to overcome as you may not be able to see things clearly and guilt is often associated with strong anxiety, which is why when you give in to guilt, it initially feels better as the anxiety goes away. However, this is usually followed by resentment and anger and more anxiety.

Limit contact with your toxic parent wherever possible.
Decide how much contact you can handle with your parent and start setting boundaries.
Make or take less phone calls. Let it go to voice mail or set a time limit for the length of calls.

Make yourself less available. You need to honour your own time, relationships and limits.
Learn to say “no” by starting small and working up to bigger things.

Again and I can’t stress this enough: dealing with a toxic parent, taking actions steps is NOT EASY. But IT MUST BE DONE!

  • For your emotional and physical health.
  • For your happiness and well being.
  • For your relationships with your partner and your children and your life.
  • For your right to live the best possible life you can have, in safety and peace and love.

You are not responsible for your parents happiness.
You are not here to live the life they want you to live.
You are not here to live up to your parents expectations or dreams. You are here to live your own dreams.
You are not here to sacrifice yourself for them. They as adults have made their own choices and will continue to do so.

Here are some tough questions you have to ask yourself:

  • Am I willing to sacrifice my own health and happiness for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice my relationship with my partner for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice my job or my income or my finances for my toxic parent?
  • Am I willing to give up my dreams and my needs and my career for my toxic parent?

Ultimately, this IS your decision, it IS your choice even though at the moment it may feel that you have no choice at all.

If you need help to find your choices, to explore your options and get help and support in your relationship with your parents, I will help you find your way and do as much as I can to help you take the steps to freeing yourself from your toxic relationship. One little step at a time.

It will be challenging, it may be full of sadness and grief and fear but you can do it! I have seen relationships change in amazing ways and sometimes, in ways people never thought possible!

You can find a free, one hour webinar recording with my most valuable tips on how to deal with and begin to recover from Toxic parents, as well as many other free resources here:

Watch my free replay of my Toxic Parent Webinar Recording.

Ready to start dealing with your toxic parent and get your life back?

Book your free 20 minute Discovery Session with me on Skype.

Got a toxic parent or know someone who does? Share my blog and let them know they are not alone and I would love to hear your comments!

best wishes



Why Celebrity Death is so hard to deal with.

Like the rest of the world, I am still coming to terms with the sudden death of one of my own personal inspirations, the amazing Robin Williams.  From “Mork and Mindy” until his death just days ago, Robin has felt like a part of my life and my children’s lives for decades.

Any time I was ever asked who I would love to have dinner with out of any person, living or dead in the world, Robin Williams was top of my list.

I loved that he was afraid and vulnerable.

I loved that he found a way to laugh at himself and the world.

I loved how brightly he shone and how willing he was to take risks and put himself out there, way, way out there in his own unique way.

A constant source of laughter, talent, vulnerability and courage who struggled like the rest of us to make sense of the world and deal with pain, addiction, loneliness and depression.

I loved that he was brave enough to show the power of how deeply and profoundly you can change and touch peoples lives by having the courage to be yourself.

In fact, Robin’s performance as the wonderfully raw and real therapist in “Good Will Hunting”, was one of my major inspirations to become a therapist myself.

Celebrities seem to live in a different world than us.

A world that we think should keep them safe from being touched by the things that hurt the rest of us with more people and money and resources to help protect them and get them back on track if they do go astray.

A world where they are loved and celebrated and rich and famous so surely they MUST be happy.

Even though we have seen time and time again that being a celebrity does not protect you.

Even though we have seen time and time again that it brings enormous pressure, expectation, constant scrutiny and intrusion that many, many celebrities crack beneath its weight and fall victim to addiction, mental illness and suicide.

Every time a much loved celebrity like Robin Williams dies, especially if the death feels sudden or “preventable” the number of people needing support rises as mass grief, shock and the search for answers begins so that we can understand why.

When the death is by suicide, it feels so much harder to deal with and comprehend because the why can never truly be known.

We want there to be answers and explanations.

We want someone or something to blame.

We want to try to make sense of it all and deal with the shock and the feelings of abandonment and betrayal that can come when someone makes the decision to end their life.

We feel all of the natural reactions to that death including shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and the struggle for acceptance.

But a celebrity death is different because even though the person may have been so seemingly present in our lives through their art and media and performance, our relationship with them is totally one-sided.

We are not part of their inner circle of family, friends, workmates or acquaintances.

We loved them and idolized them and admired them from a distance and constructed our own ideas of who we believed them to be.

We feel like we know them, but the truth is, we don’t. Yet the loss still feels so real and personal.

Unlike the death of someone actually in our lives, we have no seemingly legitimate right to grieve them, no valid reason to feel so shocked, no excuse to feel so overwhelmed ,so deeply saddened by the death of someone who never even knew that we existed.

Which is why the death of a celebrity that you felt connected to feels so difficult to deal with because your pain, your sense of shock, of grief, of denial and anger though incredibly real and valid, is somehow seen as stupid, out of proportion or “silly. ”

Unlike the death of someone we actually know, there is no funeral to attend or ceremony to take part in, where you can share and acknowledge your pain and talk about the loss of the person and what they meant to you and share your memories with except to post on social media.

There is no formal acknowledgement, support or legitimizing of the level of grief you may feel by family, friends or colleagues who may just tell you to “get over it.”

You are not expected  or encouraged to take time off work to deal with your grief and adjust and allow yourself to mourn and heal.

You can even feel guilty or ashamed at how grief stricken you feel because unlike the death of someone you actually know, there is no personal sense that the grief that you feel is valid, real and justified to the rest of the world.

After all, they were “just a celebrity”.


So here are some things that you can do to help yourself.


  • Give yourself permission to grieve.

Feelings and emotions do not make “logical sense”. Telling yourself that you “shouldn’t feel something” is not helpful and is totally impossible. What you feel is real, regardless of what others may think.

Like any other loss, you will navigate your way through the stages of grief which include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance as categorized by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and you will find yourself swinging back and forth between them. There is no logical progression.

Cry if you need to and want to.

Tears are profoundly and deeply expressive and healing.

Grief is often like a wave, it comes, overwhelms and is gone only to rise up again. Do the best that you can to ride the waves and be gentle with yourself as you do so.


  • Give yourself time and space to grieve.

Take a personal day if you can.

Try to eliminate things from your schedule that you don’t have to do.

Be kind, gentle and supportive of yourself. Remember, your grief, your sense of loss is real to you.

Write or journal about how you feel. It will take time to feel “real”, for the impact of the loss to really sink in.

When a celebrity dies, that feeling of “unreality” or “it can’t be true” can be the most difficult one to deal with so give it time to truly sink in and process.

Remember: Shock is a normal and natural part of grief and bereavement.


  • Create your own ritual to honor the person that feels meaningful to you.

One of the key things that attending funerals does, is give us a sense of completion and finality.

A time to pay our last respects and share support, our grief and celebrate the memories and the life of the person who has died with others who knew and loved them.

When a celebrity we loved dies, it is up to us to provide a meaningful ritual of remembrance and celebration of our own.

Some of the ways that people do this is to organize a tribute with other fans or take part in a fan club based remembrance event.

Others ways that people find meaning and honor and respect the celebrity they admired are: getting a tattoo, creating art work, writing blog posts or poetry, planting a specific flower or garden or creating their own ceremony at home.

The beauty of creating your own remembrance or joining with others is that you are taking time to formally recognize and honor what the person meant to you, thanking them for their gifts and talents and saying a final goodbye.

This can be an incredibly healing part of moving forward with your feelings of grief and bereavement.


  • Finding Forgiveness.

When anyone that we love dies, we can’t help but play the “what if” game.

What if they had left home sooner?

What if they never got on the plane/in the car/on the trip?

What if they had reached out and called someone?

What if they had only quit smoking/drinking/drugging?

As difficult as it can seem, being angry with and feeling guilt about the person who died is all part of the grieving process and playing the “what if” game is just part of the Denial/Acceptance aspect of dealing with death.

In every death, there will be the need to find forgiveness, both to ourselves and to the person who died in our relationship with each other.

The things left undone, the words left unsaid, the arguments that were never resolved or the reconciliation that never happened.

When the death comes from suicide however, it adds so many more dimensions of “what if” and actively brings in judgement, blame, anger, shame and condemnation.

Suicide is considered one of our “taboo” subjects.

In religious communities, it can mean shame, judgement, not being able to be buried or have a funeral in the faith of that person or community.

It can add an extra layer of pain and grief to people who believe that their loved one is now suffering eternal hell or damnation and to families left behind who feel deprived or denied the love and support of their community and faith because of the “shame” or “sin” of suicide.

It can feel like a selfish, cowardly escape from the world, leaving a mess of guilt, pain, questioning and blame for those left behind as well as investigations, police involvement and legal issues as well as speculation, rumor and gossip.

Suicide can be an incredibly difficult death to accept, understand, process and ultimately to forgive.

Here is my view.

You can never, ever truly know or feel the depth of any other persons struggle, sorrow, challenges or pain.


You can theorize, empathize, sympathize or believe you know but you can’t.

When someone commits suicide we want there to be answers and often, we want someone or something to blame.

At these times, all you can do is accept that you really can’t know, understand that your questions can never be answered and just do your best to make peace with that and find forgiveness if you can.

If you can’t, you can choose to forgive yourself for not being able to forgive.


  • Reach out for help.


You don’t have to do this alone.

Having just one session with an empathic, experienced counsellor to talk through your feelings of grief, loss and pain with can make a MASSIVE difference to how you deal with celebrity death.

Organizations like our own lifeline here in Australia and around the world, have extra staff and shifts standing ready to help those who want to reach out.

Please, reach out.

The number for lifeline Australia is 13 11 14.

Don’t hesitate to seek out the assistance available to you in your home state or country.

Grief for a celebrity is real.

Honor any grief you are feeling. Talk about it. Be kind and gentle and supportive to yourself.

You don’t need to struggle alone.

Many therapists like myself have sessions available on Skype. If you feel that your grief is not subsiding, if you are struggling to make sense of it all, if you are feeling overwhelmed, feeling suicidal, feeling depressed, alone and in pain please – REACH OUT.

Make the call that could save or change your life.

Grief about the death of a celebrity is not shameful, stupid, silly or deserving of guilt.

It is a normal, natural response to losing someone whom you loved, respected, admired and will miss being physically present in the world.

There is absolutely no shame in that.

Kerry Jeffery

Here is my favorite memory of Robin Williams

Why your Stories are Sabotaging your Relationships.

accusation quote kerry

What most of us don’t realize is that we don’t really respond to people. We respond to our stories about people, based on our theory about life and who we are and what we deserve.

Here’s a common example of how this works: You have left your partner at home with the kids while you go off to do something. Hours later when you get home, the house is a mess.


The dishes are unwashed, toys and clothes are everywhere and your partner is watching TV.

You walk into the bathroom and there in the empty bath, is a towel that has been obviously used to clean up the floor after someone missed their aim at the toilet bowl and it is clear to you that it has been sitting there for hours.

So here are the facts. Partner at home, house is messy, partner is watching TV and stinky, pee smelling towel is sitting in the empty bath.

Here’s where our stories kick in. See if any of this sounds familiar:

“I can’t believe he hasn’t cleaned any of this up. Bloody typical! He just leaves this stuff for me to clean like he always does. He just takes me for granted and I am so sick of it. He just doesn’t give a damn about me and how I feel. I am so sick of working so hard and trying to do everything on my own.”

Your story about your partner and why you think they do what they do, takes over and you react to that story as if it is true and yet another argument is about to happen, perhaps the same old argument that has been going on for weeks or months or years.

We stop reacting to the facts. We stop reacting to the person. We start reacting to our stories about the person.

We do this because according to our stories, we think we already know.

The only way to truly know what someone is feeling or thinking or why they do what they do is to ask them.

The trouble is, that we don’t.

In that moment when we step into our stories, we lose the ability to ask questions and have a conversation about what is really happening.

Instead of owning our feelings, we accuse other people of “making” us feel something, do something or believe something.

The best way to have a conversation about an issue and step out of your stories, is to talk about the facts and issues and OWN your emotions.

So how does this look?

Instead of you saying something to your partner like:

“You make me so angry when you always leave the mess for me to clean up.”

You say something like:

“When I saw the stinky towel that was left in the bath, I felt like you left it there for me to pick up and I felt taken for granted.”

Notice the difference?

One is an accusation that will most likely get a hurt, defensive response.

The other is your reaction and interpretation of what you are experiencing that the other person can respond to, with what the situation is for them.

The more you step out of your stories, own your feelings and stick with the facts, the more open, honest and real your relationships and communication will be.

Are you stuck in your stories of what might happen or what other people may think? Then book yourself in today for a Complimentary Consult with me today and let’s talk about how to get you unstuck.

Kerry Jeffery

The Only Question You Need To Ask Yourself.

Stop BelievingWhat most of us don’t really realize is that to our subconscious mind, everything we think is real.

When you imagine an event, your subconscious mind cues your body to create the chemical reactions that create your emotions including anxiety, happiness and everything else in between.

Worrying is essentially telling ourselves a scary story that our bodies react to as if it were real and anyone who has ever been stuck in worry story, can testify as to the very real affect it has on our bodies and our emotions.

So many of the things that we react to are really nothing more than a story in our heads.

“I don’t think she really likes me.”

“Maybe he thinks that I’m rejecting him.”

“If I fail, it’s going to be a disaster.”

Get the picture?

All of these types of thoughts whether it’s worry about what someone thinks of us or labeling ourselves and our behaviours, is just a story about what we imagine may happen or may be real.

The more you play into the power of your story, the more you will believe it and you will react to your story as if it were real.

We can make ourselves absolutely miserable with of our stories; anxious, resentful, sad and stuck.

But there is a powerful way to break the spell of your story and get back to what is real by asking yourself this one question:

Is it true?
This story that I am creating in my mind that is causing me to feel this way, is it true?

Do I know for certain that what I am thinking is real or is it just a story that I am telling myself about what might happen or what might be real?

By challenging your story and asking is it true, you pull yourself back into the moment and all of the other possibilities.

The only real way to know what someone is thinking or feeling is to ask them.

If you are telling yourself a story about what someone else feels or thinks or may do, you are in the middle of your story and out of touch with what is real right now.

Here’s my challenge to you.

Start asking yourself the question “is this true?” next time you find yourself stuck in a story that is making you feel anxious or miserable.

If you are still not certain whether it’s true or not, follow up by asking yourself “am I absolutely certain under all conditions that this is true?”

The power of our stories always fades, when we get back to what is real, ask questions instead of imagining we know the answer and staying right here in the present moment.

By doing this, your life will become so much more enjoyable, peaceful and happy.

Are you stuck in your stories of what might happen or what other people may think? Then book yourself in today for a Complimentary Consult with me and talk about how to get you unstuck.

Kerry Jeffery

Love Transforms Life Coaching

Does acceptance really mean giving up?

AcceptanceAny time that I talk to clients about the concept of acceptance, I immediately see their resistance and barriers start going up!

Common reactions are usually angry; “How can I accept this? I hate it”

OR anxious;

“But that will mean that they won’t stop” OR defeated;

“But that will mean nothing will ever change.”

This is because most people confuse acceptance with resignation.
Here’s the difference:

Often comes before acceptance, but it feels powerless.

You hit the wall and resign yourself to the fact that things are the way they are but you feel that there is nothing that you can do to help yourself or change the situation. You may even believe that things can never, ever get better, that nothing ever works out for you and so you do the best you can to go on.

Resignation feels heavy, depressing, sad, guilty and you can feel trapped.

Understanding that YOU have choice. Acceptance feels powerful.

You hit the wall, but you understand that even though you can’t change the people around you or the situation, you can change your own attitude towards yourself and what you do in your situation.

Here’s an example:
You feel fat and frumpy. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to change your body. If you could just lose the weight, everything would be ok, but it just won’t budge.  You are constantly complaining to your partner about your body and your weight and how unattractive you feel. It feels like it’s ruining your life and your health.

Resignation Attitude:
You give up. You believe that there is nothing you can do to change the way you are. You stop taking care of yourself and sink into depression and apathy. You focus solely on how you look, not on how you feel, and you think you look fat and ugly. You have a litany of criticism constantly running through your head and it never seems to end.

You say that you accept that this is the way it is but you increasingly feel bitter, resentful, hate yourself and compare yourself constantly to others and you feel powerless.

Acceptance Attitude:
You accept that this is the way that your body is right now and you decide that even if you never lose another gram, you are going to look after you. You start making fresh, healthy food that you enjoy. You throw out all the clothes that don’t fit and find ones that suit your body shape in colors and fabrics that you love.

You take 100% responsibility for your health and make choices that decrease your stress and increase your happiness. You do more things that make you feel good. You accept that your body is really at your mercy, so you decide to do your best to make it’s job of keeping you strong and healthy, as easy as possible. You focus on how you want to feel instead of how you want to look.

Acceptance is saying to yourself; “Ok, right now THIS is how it is. What can I do right now and in the future, to make this as easy, comfortable or better for ME as I can?

How can I support myself more in this situation? What steps can I take to help myself? What resources can I use or call on? Who can I find to help me help myself?

See the difference?

Acceptance is such a powerful and amazingly freeing attitude!

If you need help with shifting from resignation and upgrading your acceptance skills, contact me.

Kerry Jeffery.

Why I Don’t Diet – An Ode to My Father

This brought tears to my eyes. Don’t diet. Love who you are.

More Cabaret

Tiffany Kell headshot My father died three weeks ago. He was in hospice, with all the pharmacological and technological assistance available to keep him comfortable and pain-free, but it was still, as deaths go, not a good one.

I had flown in hours after I’d heard about his fall. He was in late-stage heart and renal failure, and this fall was the beginning of the end. When I arrived, a nurse popped into the room to check on him. “Are you in pain?” she asked. “Just a little,” my dad said, joking through his wincing.

It didn’t have to end like this.

My father was born larger than life, to a family of larger than life people. DNA sequencing showed we are almost entirely Viking stock, no great surprise given the height and breadth of our bodies.

When my father turned 20, he was over 6’2 and 300lbs. His feats of athleticism echoed…

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Why my body doesn’t trust me and why I am ok with it.

My relationship with my body hasImage never been an easy one.

Quite frankly, I have spent most of my life hating it , feeling ashamed and disgusted by it, constantly criticizing it and seeing it as the enemy that was ruining my life.

For the past three years, I have been focused on learning to love and accept my body just as it is right now, and a large part of that process has been about rebuilding trust in my body.

Learning to trust that it will tell me what it needs to eat when it is hungry and that when I work with it, it will let me know when I have had enough.

Learning to listen when my body says it needs rest or exercise and what foods makes it feel better and which foods it wants to let go.

Learning to release my binge eating disorder and have a normal, healthy and guilt free relationship with food.

As part of this process, what I hoped was that now that I was treating my body better and loving it and feeding it when it was hungry and moving it ways that it makes it feel good, that my body would begin to let go of some weight.

But it hasn’t.

In fact, I may even have gained some.

I don’t weigh myself any more as there is nothing immediate I can do in this moment about my weight except continue to aim for my best possible health by eating what my body wants when it wants it, eating mainly fruits, vegetable and home cooked simple meals and enjoying my walks.

I do believe that given enough time, my body will achieve the weight that it feels good at, as long as I continue to listen to and respect it.

However, what I have recently realized is that even though I have decided to so magnanimously trust my body after all these years, that my body actually has no reason to trust me.

And why would it?

I have starved it with rigid diets starting from when I was 9 years old and my worried parents took me to the Doctors to see if there was something wrong with me because of the weight I was gaining.

For the next 40 plus years, I was either on a diet, off a diet or thinking about a diet, feeling fabulous if I lost weight and crushed when I didn’t, letting the number on the scales determine my self-worth and self-esteem.

I have ignored my body when it was hungry because I had already eaten my allotted calories for the day and I wasn’t allowed to have any more food.

I have pushed my body through all sorts of exercise classes and hated it when it couldn’t keep up or resented it when it got injured.

I have stuffed my body with food through binge after binge, as each strict diet resulted in an equal and opposite desire to eat everything I had been depriving myself of.

I felt virtuous and strong and worthy when I ate “good” food and guilty and weak and disgusted when I ate “bad” food.

I have used food to numb my emotions and totally ignored how my body felt about all the food I gave it to digest and process and deal with and then hated it even more when it added more fat to my frame in self-defense.

So even though I have decided to trust and honor my body, after decades of disordered eating, screwed up metabolism and years of weight loss and weigh gain, why should I even be surprised that to my body, this is probably just a lull in a series of eating and dieting wars?

After all, bodies are so easy to silence.

Bodies are so easy to ignore and objectify.

Bodies are so easy to blame for all that is not right in your world and your life and changing your weight gives you the illusion that it will fix everything that is wrong with your life.

It doesn’t. In fact, weight loss can give you new pressures and anxieties to deal with that you have never imagined you would have.

I have given my body absolutely no reason in the world to trust me.

I have betrayed my body time and time again and left it to deal with the consequences of my lack of self-love and self-worth and self-care.

So today, I am willing to accept and respect that my body has absolutely no reason to trust me and I am ok with that.

For my own happiness, for my ongoing health, for the continuing joy and relief of having a guilt free, normal relationship with food and eating, I accept that my body may never trust me. It may want or need to hold onto this weight despite all the fabulous fruits and veggies we enjoy, despite that my body no longer wants dairy or gluten and so I no longer desire it, despite walking and stretching and spending so many glorious hours not obsessed with food and weight and calories and size and all that goes with it.

My body has been under siege by me since I was a girl.

As much as I wish I could have made peace with it earlier, that I could have never gone on that first, soul destroying diet that set the pattern of my life for the next 4 decades, it’s done.

I hope one day my body will trust me but even if it never does, I promise both my body and myself to love it and me, just the way I am right now.

To continue to focus on my health and know without doubt that health and happiness is possible at any size and to make the rest of my life, the best of my life.

I trust my body and I am going to continue to listen to all the wisdom and knowledge it has without blame and without shame.

I’m going to continue to do my best to give my body my appreciation, gratitude and respect for all that it does for me.

More importantly, I’m going to ask my body to forgive me for everything I have done to it and for all the hatred and disgust I have given it over the years and see what happens.

I hope one day, it will understand that the days of diets and binging are done and we can truly have peace with each other, but that is totally up to my body to decide. Right in this moment, I am really good with that. It seems only fair after what I have put my body through.

How about you, do you trust your body and do you believe that your body trusts you?

Want to know more about my Diet Free Body Programs that focus on dissolving body shame, teaching mindful eating techniques and creating a normal, healthy and guilt free relationship with food and eating?

You can find out more at

Kerry Jeffery