Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hello there.  The next couple of months I am going to intersperse my posts with exercises for you to do at home to deepen your work around healing your relationship with food.  Literal exercises my clients dive into, like we will do today in a formal way or in smaller steps.

Many of you may have read the book Intuitive Eating.  In it, Tribole and Resch describe several steps to making peace with food.  Today I think we will focus on re-learning the “What” to eat.  

It is very common when you give yourself full permission to eat that you don’t know what you actually truly like anymore.  After years of rules, restrictions and eating forbidden foods in a haze or with guilt, you don’t know preferences.

Our goal with this exercise is to get honest about what you like so you can get body feedback about how that food feels, if you truly enjoy it or had just made it special and how much of it satisfies you depending on different circumstances.  It is truly detective work and if we can come at this with curiosity and compassion, you will gain much wisdom about YOU.

Step 1)
Pay attention to foods that appeal to you and make a list of them.

Step 2)
Put a check by the foods you actually do eat, then circle the ones you restrict.

Step 3)
Give yourself permission to eat one “forbidden food” from your list, then go to the store and buy this food.  Permission involves no strings attached, such as ” I’ll eat this but exercise it off later” or ” skip breakfast tomorrow”.  Try not to make deals with the diet voice.

Step 4)
Check in with yourself to find if the food tastes as good as you imagined it would.  If you find you like it, give yourself permission to have access to it when you want.

Step 5)
Make sure you keep enough of the food in your kitchen so that you know it will be there.  If this step is feeling scary, get it in smaller amounts, go to the store each and every time you want or get it out at a restaurant.  You can also eat your forbidden food with a friend for support.

Continue to go through your list and continue the process until you have the evidence you need that there are no magical “good or bad ” foods.  Be on the look out for foods such as beverages, condiments, etc that get overlooked.

I know you will have an increase in diet talk or bad body thoughts as you do this.  Welcome it with acknowledgment but you are the wise, empowered women (or man) in charge who can support the part of yourself that is scared.  

There will be more to process as you take these risks.  Make note of the stories that come up around what it mean to eat with permission.  We will talk more about this in a coming post.  

I know becoming attuned is a challenging process and if you are struggling, feel free to contact me if you need more support.  

Also, please leave your comments about a piece of learning to trust your body that is challenging for you and we can address that in another post.

My mantra for you as we are bombarded this winter with diet propaganda is ” I am my own eating and food expert”.  No one else knows what you need with food but you.