For most of my adult life, I've felt highly intimidated by the idea of learning a new language. And while I've often romanticized the idea of being bi-lingual or even multi-lingual, the fear that I'm just not smart enough has always prevented me from even trying. The best way I can describe my experience of mandatory high school Spanish is "paralyzing" and I failed that class with flying colors.
Spanish wasn't the first class I'd failed, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. In my book, Raising Intuitive Eaters, I talk a lot about the critical messages I internalized as a child that really shaped my self talk and body image. One cruel message in particular that I consistently received from my teachers was, "You'll never make a difference in the world, because kids like you don't make it." (Let's just say, I was a lot to love, as a child.) That tape recorder still plays in my head, sometimes. And it definitely gets louder when when I fail at something, or push myself to try new things.
Fast forward 15 years.. I've decided to do this language-thing again. And not just try, but go all in. Along the way I have noticed some incredible parallels between learning a new language and Eating Disorder recovery: