My name is Olga. I’m 40 years old and live in Moscow, Russia.
9 years ago I had a huge health problem. My doctor has recommended me to visit psychoanalyst. I had lots of visits to my psychoanalyst when we were trying to find the ways out from my shocks which I had. She has recommended me to read your books on that time. But I WAS READY to start reading your books 6 months ago only!!
It took me nearly 8 and a half years to get rid of all my fears so I was able to start a new life using your lessons!!
Now I also understand that my psychoanalyst was using your methods while we were trying to treat my soul.
I want to tell you MANY THANKS for all this kindness and happiness which you are trying to give us through your lessons! I do understand my life is changing now in a very good way!
Once again thank you very much for being in this world!!
I wish you lots of health and very good luck!!
With all my best wishes,
Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying so well everything that is going on with me, for writing it, for bringing light into these very dark places.
Thank you for helping me to understand myself, for encouraging me to love myself; by showing me especially that I’m not crazy, but simply suffering — I now realize just how much.
I realize, for example, that in theory I don’t need to justify myself; yet I want to write, « I am taking the liberty of using a personal, informal style to write you, the same style you use with your readers. » This principle of « respect » or rather, of conventions, so deeply rooted… So rooted that at first it actually bothered me that you wrote so informally. I resisted it strongly. I thought, « Who is she to take the liberty of addressing me like that, advising me how to live my life?
And then, you see, I kept on reading your book despite that. I even bought, from the book store’s huge Personal Development section, your book, Just Listen to your Body and Eat. Your other books had been lent or given to me by my mother. Still, I had the option… When I saw it, I said to myself, « It is there for me. » That same morning, I was in total despair. By the afternoon, I was once again able to believe that the Universe would come to my rescue...
Thank you, Lise. I started the log the day before yesterday. I am not surprised to note that I almost never eat out of hunger or need. I know the road ahead will be a long one for me. I have been anorexic for five years and for some time now my ability to keep control has been showing signs of reaching its limit. Sometimes I eat for emotional reasons — and, in keeping with the law of guilt, I eat out of compulsion.
I have just moved, am far away from my family, am in a new job and not in the best of health. As I said, when I discovered your book, I was, so to speak, at an all-time low, in confidence, openness, Love and self-esteem…
Reading it is therefore a somewhat delicate undertaking because it awakens many beliefs, memories, fears and wounds, sometimes very deep ones… But what a relief! Have I been that hard on myself? Could I do more good for this world if I started by treating myself better?
However, I have already read some of your books and others that explain the beneficial effects of Love and Acceptance but I think that when it comes to this area, my Ego (like so many other egos, unfortunately) is a true genius! What should just be a reminder is hitting me like the discovery of a new world.
I am very happy about it nevertheless.
You know, my mother took one of your training courses and she told us a few anecdotes. On reading this book, I could not help but think back to those stories, « But she did a survey on me or what? » Because it was exactly what I was thinking!!! Regarding the wound of humiliation, which however is far from being my primary wound, and the dietary behaviours associated with it, I saw my most personal and bizarre rationales written there in black and white. And then, how did you know I have a sweet tooth and also that I love really spicy food?
All of that, Lise, to say thank you and tell you how much your work, your experience, your Love has been precious to me. May all beings one day reach that degree of Love and benevolence.
Note: This reader was able to reach her healthy weight without going on a diet and without taking up sports.
I had not noticed that I was gaining weight. But one day, I made a horrible discovery: my scale said 63 kg and my clothes didn’t fit anymore.
What was I going to do about it?
I started doing sports and tried eating properly. After four months I lost 4 kg. But later, I couldn’t do sports anymore because I had to be at home with my little guy and I couldn’t work out at home because I lacked the self-discipline and organizational ability. I decided I would eat less. Over a six-month period, I lost another 5 kg. When I reached my normal weight, I gave up the control and my 5 kg all came back.
But finally I understood that it was not about what I was eating or whether I was doing sports. My problem was in my head: it was about how I respond to the situations in my life. I read Lise Bourbeau’s book, Just Listen to Your Body and Eat and I have now adopted several of the principles in this book.
1. I tried to love myself as I am (big) for now, with compassion for myself and with understanding, i.e., I eat like this because I do not know any other way of comforting myself.
2. When I want to eat, I ask myself, Do I really want to eat? If the answer is yes, I ask the question, What food do I really feel like eating?
3. When I eat for other reasons, I talk to my body with love and without feeling guilty, and without wanting to lose the extra weight as quickly as possible.
I listened to my body’s needs, accepting all my weaknesses regarding food, and I allowed myself to eat just whatever I wanted at any given moment without feeling guilty. And very soon, I understood that I had started to eat foods that were better for me and my weight started to drop. Now I weigh 53 kg, I eat everything I want and I have maintained this weight for more than 12 months.
(translated from French)
When I was 7, I believed that pleasing someone meant to love them. What I was not aware of at that age was that in the years to come I would always choose to please others instead of pleasing myself. I had decided that I would love myself after all my loved ones were pleased with me.
It was only much later, at 38, that I realized my race towards happiness was only an illusion. Whenever I checked to make sure I was advancing toward my goal, I realized the finish line kept getting pushed farther and farther away from me. I was running after the impossible. I was running after perfection so that I could receive affection, feel useful, recognized and appreciated.
To please, I chose to be responsible for the happiness of others.
To please, I chose to be a perfectionist and thereby assured myself of being able to rise to the challenge.
To please, I chose to no longer feel what was going on inside of me and thereby be effective and strong.
To please, I chose to destroy myself in order to reconstruct myself in a perfect body. To project an ideal image in order to forget the inner void it contained.
How far was I going on my path to self-destruction? Apart from thirty years of bulimia and the physical and emotional suffering that goes alongside it, I was, truth be told, prostituting my soul. All this so that I could be valued by everyone. I rejected my individuality, the only place where the perfection I was so desperately seeking was to be found. In my suffering, I was simply looking in the wrong place to find happiness, to find love. I had forgotten that the source was within me.
I can only be grateful to life for having led me to discover the teaching of Listen to Your Body. With the progress I've made following the workshops, I've taken back control of my health, of my well-being, of my life!
Everyday I find the child in me and I reassure her the best I can, so that she can cross the real finishing line one little step at a time. The one of true love! I listen to her, I encourage her, I forgive her, and I ask her for forgiveness, too. After all, we are only human beings...
I was able to overcome my eating disorder by accepting the part of myself that feared being rejected and abandoned. I am Melanie: A woman who wants to love herself through her weaknesses and fears, and who wants to be free to create her life according to her needs. I am no longer a bulimic. I am healing myself from an eating disorder. It's different. I accept myself with this weakness, with my limits, even if it's not what I prefer. I have finally understood that doing and having, have nothing to do with being. I passed this critical test with compassion for myself and with pride. I know that I chose this test so that I could learn to love myself and to have a taste of the happiness that has finally found me.
I am healing myself, day after day, with a tool that is accessible to all, that of true love. I have finally found a joie de vivre and inner peace. I feel calmer and more confident. I am filling my inner void with a growing self-esteem and with the love I am granting myself. The way I see myself and others is changing. I see in myself and others compassion, gentleness, and acceptance. I find my freedom when I let others manage their own responsibility and take back my own responsibility. That has had a direct influence on my family life and my social life.
I have chosen, after 14 years as a dental hygienist, to change my profession and help others love themselves. I want to help people find themselves, fulfil themselves, and remake themselves. I want to share with them everything that I have received with the Listen to Your Body teaching that has helped me succeed. For the love of myself I choose me now.
For the love of yourself, I encourage you to do the same!
Melanie (Laurentians, Quebec, Canada)
My name is Cristina and I have just finished reading "Heal Your Wounds and Be Your True Self". It was a real eye-opener, I had no idea I was carrying so much pain. I was surprised (and a little embarrassed ha ha) to find myself in so many situations you have described, but I am convinced I can begin healing now that I have read your book.
So I wanted to say thank you! Your book was very accurate and helpful, and I have enjoyed
reading it and also learned a lot.
Great work :)!
All the best!
Dear Mrs. Bourbeau:
When my sister gave me your book "Your body is telling you to love yourself" I was in a very sad, stressing and hard part of my life. At that time your book was always beside my bed as whenever I started to feel ill for all my problems, the book made me feel secure, made me feel that I was not alone, I had this treasure that helped me through some terrible nights.
Little by little my life began to change but the book is still very near me, in fact is always with me, even when I travel.
I do not have the life that I want, I have improved myself but I am all the time looking for answers.
I have tons of books, they have helped me a lot but recently I accepted that my outside world would not change if I do not change my inside. I remembered your book and started to look for other books in Mexico.
I just found two of your books, two books in the whole city and perhaps in Mexico? I live in Guadalajara a city of 4'400,000 people. Oh God I am lucky!
I really think that your books would be a great help to the third world, my country is going through a very rough time and we have a lot of health problems, obesity, diabetes, etc. I think that we are a country that has lost our identity.
My country is doing great things for kids with physical disabilities but the disability of the mind and soul is worse as no one can see it.
I think your books just need "promotion" here in Mexico. I found in your page that you have never been here.
Well, I think you could really help Latin America.
I hope that in the future we could have more books of you here in Mexico and perhaps you can come and visit us.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live our lives.
My name is Didier, I'm 54, and I had never been too concerned about myself up to recently. I had led a quiet life with the same sort of problems most people have, back aches, leg pains, etc. It wasn't until my wife who, had been interested in Listen to Your Body for a number of years, decided to take a workshop that things started to change.
For her birthday on April 13 she decided to go to Nantes to do a workshop with Françoise. I went with her and decided to sit in on the free Saturday morning session, figuring that I'd spend the rest of my time wandering around the city. But Françoise's words changed my mind. What a pleasure it is to have tools such as those to relieve your emotional wounds, anger, and beliefs. So I did the full two days and left Nantes Monday evening, very happy to have met such a wonderful person in Françoise, and to have acquired these tools that are going to change my life. At least that's what I hope after everything I learned during those two days, two days which really shook me, I must say. I was very tired at the end of the workshop, but I felt really good in my head. Those who haven't taken a workshop should, and those who have should do another without thinking twice.
A big thank you, Françoise,
My name is Elodie. I am 29 and I work as a teacher's assistant at a high school in France. I am writing to testify to the importance of your books and interviews and to the help they offer.
I read a number of your books when I started doing some work on myself in an attempt to discover, understand, accept, and love myself. Your books definitely helped me understand why I had the body that I did at the time.
I had never understood why I was obese, since nothing in my diet seemed to account for it. But I was obese. I weighed 115 kg already at age 27. You allowed me to understand why, and to overcome this "problem".
For a year and a half now, I feel more comfortable in my body and I've reconciled with it. Your books have been a tremendous support and a great help. I am not yet able to fully love my body, but I am already making great strides in this wonderful direction. I'll get to where I want to be, I'm sure of it.
I now believe I have achieved my ideal weight. You sometimes speak of magic, of miracles. Well, I have experienced a wonderful miracle. I lost more than 60 kilos in one year without going on a diet and I am in great shape. I've never been in such good health. I have "very simply" reconciled with my past, and, little by little, with my body, by understanding its wounds, by giving it more respect, and by making it my own. Without realizing it, my diet improved and I became more attentive to the needs of my body. I started eating what my body needed, when it needed it. These days, as often as I can, I eat only when I'm hungry. I have discovered chocolate, which I had banished from my diet since childhood under the pretext that I didn't like it! Nowadays I allow myself the pleasure of savouring a piece of chocolate from time to time.
It is amazing to see what our head gets away with when we believe it is acting for our own good. I now understand that it is more important to listen to one's heart than to one's head. The path towards understanding that was long and winding, as it is for everyone, but the result has really been worthwhile. Your books really helped me along my way, and it seems appropriate to share that with you. I've managed to forgive myself for not knowing how and not being able to listen to my body for more than 27 years. I've also forgiven those who, for me, at the time, were responsible for my mental and physical blocks. Thanks to your books, I am now more attuned to my body and thus more attuned to others, and, most importantly, I am a happier person. Compassion has also been a great help. Your books have helped me awaken and develop this capacity. When you talk about the magic of love, I now understand just how much truth there is in your words. I, too, believe that love can do anything, for I think it is the reason we have been put on this earth: to love, to love ourselves, to love others, to love what surrounds us, and, especially, to understand how we are all alike. I simply wanted to thank you for offering us the opportunity and the tools to feel better in our skin, better in our lives, better about our image. Each time you help in the betterment of a person like me, it is humanity as a whole that receives this wonderful gift. I have already been able to notice the beneficial effects of my personal growth on friends and family. To have helped me become better, to have helped me live in greater harmony with my body and with humanity, is to have participated in the betterment of those close to me.
For that I thank you. Your books and your work are important because they transmit messages of
love, peace, compassion, and, above all, joy and happiness. That is what humanity needs: to reconnect to a soul and heart united. Indeed, everything around us becomes more magnificent. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making happiness simple and accessible to each and all. I also want to thank you for your generosity, your love and your kindness toward humanity. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you one day. Please accept my warmest regards, from the bottom of my heart.
All the best, Élodie
Thank you for the words of appreciation you send our way each month. They always warm our heart. Here are a few that we would like to share with all of you.
Thank you for guiding my heart and my soul...
About a year ago, my companion asked me to marry him and I never managed to give him a firm, clear answer because I believed that marriage was a synonym for prison. In one of your workshops during an exercise Françoise invited us to do, I was able to get in touch with a sense of freedom while imagining myself marrying my companion. Yes! Suddenly there was no greater freedom than that of being free while at the same time being married!
Then, out of love for myself and to liberate myself mentally from this belief, I made a commitment to myself that I would marry him. As he had already proposed to me, I in turn proposed to him when I got back from the workshop. He said YES without hesitation!
As soon as I got back to the house, after the consultation I had with you, I summoned up all the energy I had gathered at the workshop and went to talk to my father, because I had truly decided to cut the cord that was causing me so much suffering.
When I arrived, my father started to complain: he said he didn’t feel well, that he had pain here and there. So, I asked myself whether this was the right time. When I asked where Mom was, he told me she was at mass. At mass on a Monday night? I told myself it was a sign that it was the right time.
He asked me how it had gone in Rome. I started telling him very briefly what I had learned at the workshop, that I wanted to break the chain of suffering in our family, stop it from repeating with every generation and causing us such great hardship. He looked straight at me and listened closely to what I said.
I told him exactly what had emerged during the workshop. When I told him that I thought if I allowed myself to succeed and earn a lot of money, he would let himself die because he would feel useless and abandoned. He told me this wasn’t true, that he was happy when things went well for me. He was very sure of himself when he said this. There was no doubt. Then, when I asked him if he had felt the same things about me that I had felt about him, he said yes, that he too was worried about the lack of money and work.
I cried when I expressed my fear to him, then I kissed him and told him I loved him very much. He allowed me to kiss him and then two tears rolled down his right cheek.
When I left, I had the impression he felt relieved.
Last night, Wednesday, my husband came and told me he was unhappy because he had been feeling for a long time that I accused him of not being able to satisfy me as far as work and money were concerned. He believed he was disappointing me in this regard. He wanted to know if that was really what I thought. I explained to him that it had to do with my own fears and I told him about the fears I was working on.
These days my 15-year-old son asks me for advice, kisses me when he leaves the house and talks to me about himself!
This morning, I called my mother and she told me that since Monday, my father has stopped complaining. They were invited to go out to a restaurant this Sunday with friends and Dad accepted immediately!
If all this could happen after just three days, I am ready to receive all the marvellous things about to take shape in my life.
THANK YOU Diane, THANK YOU to the Listen To Your Body school.
Baci e abbracci
Patrizia, Rome (Italy)
I want to thank you so much for the insights I received from the questions in your book, Your Body's telling you.....
Those questions were the exact right ones for me after my 20 years struggle with my body and self-hatred and insecurity.
I found out I created the same problem, gaining weight and wanting to lose weight, time after time to make sure I always had to work something out. Searching for answers I was never going to find, because subconsciously I never wanted to have the answers. That was really important for I was so scared to face reality. I was so scared to find out I could perhaps never have a wonderful man in my life and by staying a little and sometimes more overweight I always had the perfect excuse to accept a less better boyfriend or to keep telling myself there's never going to be a good guy for me.
The real thing here is that I felt so scared to live a life on my own, really on my own and being alone and making myself happy. What if no wonderful man is ever to notice me? What would that say about me? I was so scared people would think I less worthy, I thought I was, otherwise every man in the country must have been falling in love for me. That's just the way I was thinking. So being less worthy I could only have second best or nobody. This was to painful to really experience in life, so I had a perfect way out. Staying in trouble and always being a little bit overweight or not happy with myself gave me reason to work on myself and tell myself the same story every time, when I am perfect.....I will meet a perfect man........ and of course I never got perfect......how's this one....genius he?
But now I am ready to face it, to find out the truth and your questions were my wake up call. I cannot live my life the way I did anymore, I am ready to be my own FIRST CHOICE again and live my life accordingly. Making choices for me and live a high standard for myself. I don't need a man who doesn't really love me or who is only seeking casual sex.
I feel so excited and scared at the same time, but I know I can do this and I know I am strong and powerful.
I am going to end my relationship with my boyfriend for I experience him second best and I feel so relieved! It's not fair to him and I am hurting myself. And I am not going to keep him until there is a better one coming by. I understand now that I have to take this quantum leap, I have to dare myself being on my own for real, even with the extra weight I gained since we're together. Waiting until I lose it means I will never leave him. That is the way my genius plan works, I can see clearly now.
I do not want to accept second best ever again, not even for a small kiss. I do not want to hurt myself anymore by having all those candy bars and chocolate and other bad things and gaining weight every now and then.
I am worth living a wonderful and loving life and I am ready to accept insecurity and being alone sometimes. I know I may be on my own for a while, maybe even for a long time, but that's okay because I know how to make myself happy. I don't need a man to make me happy.
And yes I hope to meet my perfect guy one day and I choose to have faith. Making the choice to be my own first choice is the best I have ever done for myself and that is already making me very happy.
I don't need my returning weight problem anymore because I don't need to hide anymore and I am strong enough now to face the consequences of my actions and choices and to face my fears.
Thank you so much for those simple but really important questions. I was ready for those questions and the answers and the book came at a perfect time in my life. I am 38 years old now and I have my whole life ahead of me in being 'first choice' for ME. Don't you think this is the best present I could ever have?
Being able to see what I am really worth and having the guts to act like it feels like a miracle and I feel so thankful for this.
Have a wonderful weekend and I wish you all the love and happiness there is.
Thank you again!
Renate (The Netherlands)
I took your training program in France in 2000. Since then, my life has changed completely. I am so happy now, unconditional love now rules in my family, social and professional life, and happiness is felt more easily in all our lives, each and every day.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Since we last met, I've taken other workshops with other schools but I never found what I did with you and your teachers, which is love, intelligence and caring, even when you would ask me “Can it be that you're like your mother?” (I had just criticized her for 10 minutes...)
I felt your unconditional and sincere love right away and that opened up a door inside me that has continued to open since. Thank you for your love. Thank you for this journey, for your tenacity, your courage, your lucidity, your visions and your wealth of knowledge.
I recommend your books to each person I can and wish that the love that I discovered will also be discovered by them.
Thank you for being who you are. I send my gratitude to Elianne also.
I'm writing this so you can see how your actions and how your being can have repercussions that you cannot even imagine. Love,
Marlene (Vienne, France)
I just finished Phase 1 of the training. I can't tell you how much the nine workshops taught me about myself and helped me have a different vision of the person that I now see every day (me). I now live and I savour every second of my life. I feel peace and harmony in me. I still have fears, but I now know how they work and what to do with them.
Being a rigid person, the "Discover and trust your inner feelings" workshop was the most wonderful discovery. To be in contact with what we really feel inside helps us to know are real needs. That the only way we can do what's necessary to create the life we want.
The self-confidence I gained helped me have a very enriching conversation with my mother. I'm 42 years old and I never had such a discussion with my mother. It was long overdue. During the conversation, I felt compassion that I never believed possible (another discovery). I am also capable of listening my body and resolving all my aches and pains.
I want to thank all the other students that showed an extraordinary determination. With their life experience and their willingness to share, I was able to become aware of a number of fears and beliefs that allowed me to discover myself workshop after workshop.
Finally a warm thank you to Lise to have created such a school that I recommend to all without exception. Thank you to the whole Listen your Body team. A team and school in constant evolution.
Mario (Quebec, QC)