An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I absolutely love this tale because it is short, yet powerful…talk about thought-provoking! As you likely already know if you are reading this, I always talk about how we need to view the Eating Disorder as a separate entity from ourselves.
When we view it as a separate entity, we are more able to discern the difference between what’s a healthy voice speaking versus an unhealthy voice. Our Eating Disorder is the unhealthy voice that tells you that you need to earn your food, that you don’t deserve to eat or that everyone thinks you’re fat and repulsive.
Your healthy self, on the other hand, is the nurturing, compassionate and LOGICAL self! Your healthy self tells you that everyone deserves to eat, including you. It tells you that you are not repulsive. It’s the part of you that wants to read this post right now or the part that makes sure you make your therapy sessions.
What does this have to do with two wolves you may ask?
Here it is; your Eating Disorder and your healthy self are the two wolves. They will fight viciously until one becomes paralyzed. Although it seems impossible, YOU DO HAVE THE POWER OVER WHICH WOLF WINS!
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially not your Eating Disorder. Your Eating Disorder wolf will tell you that you can’t fight it, so don’t even bother trying. When you listen to that Eating Disorder voice, you feed that wolf. When you feed that wolf, it becomes stronger. When you feed that wolf, you starve your healthy wolf, making your healthy wolf weaker, and therefore more vulnerable.
How do you start feeding your healthy self and starving your Eating Disorder wolf? The first thing is to treat this story literally…feed yourself. Yes, this means that you need to eat. No matter what Eating Disorder you are struggling with and no matter what behaviors you use, there is not one instance where you do not have to eat. So feed and nourish your body.
Additionally, feed and nourish yourself mentally. Fight the Eating Disorder wolf. Know what statements and feelings are associated with your Eating Disorder. Be prepared to fight back with your healthy self. Have statements ready to use to respond to the Eating Disorder voice. Have coping skills ready to use when the Eating Disorder is trying to make you feel awful.
It is so important to be aware of when the Eating Disorder wolf is popping up. When you can call it out, it gives you so much power. I would encourage you to check out this blog post to learn more about that!
Another way to feed your healthy wolf is to consume positive, recovery-oriented content! Feel free to use my blogs, my Instagram and my Youtube channel for that!
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I need your help to spread that message and to help protect the future generations. I want to share your stories to help spread this message also! Please, if you feel comfortable, sharing your story, I would love to hear them. If you’d like, I would love to share them here also. No matter what part of your journey you’re in, your story can help others! Let’s build this recovery and prevention community!
How do you interpret this story of the Two Wolves and how do you think it could help you? You can send me your thoughts by commenting here, DM-ing me on Instagram or sending me an E-mail!
I wish you a strong healthy self wolf on your way to finding your State of Balance!
You can also check out my YouTube channel for more inspiration!
Here is the story and a wonderful interpretation of it, feel free to check it out!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder