Today and over the next month, I’m creating a series of four weekly blogs to serve you in ten-times-ing the amount of awareness, self-care, and readiness for positive change you can experience in just one month around food and eating. Follow whichever suggestions I make that feel delicious and inspiring to you: the more you practice integrating these tools into your life with curiosity and consistency, the more your experience with food will truly open up to you, and you will begin to find the positive shifts occurring you’ve been wishing for.
Creating a Loving Food Feedback Loop
In order to know where we want to go in our food-and-eating lives, it is important to first know where we are. Some of us may have minds that tell us all sorts of stories about where we are at and how we are doing in this area of food and weight. It can be important to turn down the volume of these often loud and conflicting opinions and creating a fresh feed-back loop for ourselves, based on our day-to-day actual experience of what and how we eat.
Facing the truth can feel scary at times, so it’s important to make this new practice feel safe and tenderly loving, like the self-care practice it is. I recommend buying a beautiful journal just for this, and setting aside the same amount of time each day when we know we won’t be disturbed – ten minutes twice a day should be fine.
The feedback loop consists of two parts: the Food Plan, to be written in the morning before the first bite of the day, and the Food Review, to be written in the evening after the last bite of food has been eaten.
A simple plan for what, when, how, and where you will eat today.
We can’t read the future, and we don’t wish our lives to be without spontaneity or fun surprises. However, if we are someone who struggles around food, there are likely parts of you that feel quite unsafe unless they know that there is enough, and that we won’t put other life events before taking time out to enjoy our three healthy, generous, moderate meals.
A food plan may include an awareness of time: how much time do we need to prepare our meals, and therefore when do we need to start cooking and eating such that we are not overly hungry by the time we begin?
When we look at the day ahead and plan our food in advance, there may be an awareness that our day includes long gaps where we will likely get hungry and may make choices in our hunger that won’t feel good to us later, unless we take care to provide for ourselves with love ahead of time. In these instances, we can create for ourselves a healthy and abundant packed lunch – creating it when we are not hungry. In this way, we are supporting ourselves to make choices that align with our true wishes for ourselves.
We may also become aware of the need to carve out enough time in our day for eating our meals, and see ahead of time the need to adjust our appointments and commitments in order to prioritise our own vital food needs.
Whether we stick to our Food Plan or not, it is a very valuable practice to create an ideal Plan for ourselves, that aligns with our true desire to be nourished and cared for, and to feel safe throughout our day. Our Food Review will give us the opportunity to reveal for ourselves how and how come we decided not to go along with our Food Plan if this was the case. This then becomes very rich information for us as we explore our thinking and emotions around food in our daily lives.
After the last bite of the day, reflect on the day’s eating:
What food did you choose to eat?
How did you eat it and how did you feel preparing and eating food today?
What about your food and eating sparked you awareness today? Include thoughts, feelings and emotions you experienced connected to your food.
What appreciation do you feel for yourself and the way you eat and/or how your prioritised your food today?
The most important thing about this review is that it feels fun to write; thus please ensure that it does not become a written way for you to list your perceived faults, failings, mistakes and misdemeanours around food. If you didn’t stick to the plan you created for any or all of meals, I invite you to use this as an opportunity to bring your curiosity, self-patience and self-gentleness to bare as you investigate the choice-points you encountered that led to changes being made, and what you can learn about yourself from this. If you are both dedicated and gentle with yourself as you-practice this feedback loop ongoingly, your learnings will be highly valuable to you in your journey of healing around food and eating in your life.
Enjoy this process for Week 1. I look forward to connecting with you again in Week 2 to add the next layer to your self-care practice for this Month of Improving Your Relationship with Food Tenfold.