Have you ever stopped to think about your relationship with food?

I don’t talk to my nutrition coaching clients about what to eat. Frankly, I don’t care about that, because it’s not about counting calories anymore. It’s about changing how we feel about food from the inside out. I care about why you eat, and how you feel about it when you do. We each have a food story operating behind our choices, and there are four simple steps to adjusting that food story to get better body acceptance and health.

 

What Is A Food Story?

Your food story is your relationship with food. It’s all your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and beliefs about food. There are two sources to this food story:

  1. Your own personal experience —how food has played into your own life
  2. What I call the Matrix of Food—what the culture tells us about the food we eat

Often times, we take full responsibility for our food story on ourselves and resort to guilt: I’m not motivated. I don’t have discipline. I’m not serious enough about making a change.  Meanwhile, there’s actually an entire cultural system at work that informs every feeling, action, and belief we have about food.

Our culture intersects with and informs our personal relationship with food. Decisions about what, where, or how we eat, what we’re willing to spend on eating, and how it make us feel about ourselves are all part of a system we are we’re being influenced by. It is one of the primary authors of your food story.

It is a huge step in the right direction to realize that a lot of the way you feel about food was programmed into you at an early age. Understanding it gives you power to fight and pursue both an acceptance of your body and an accessible path to better health.

The Four Steps To Body Acceptance and Health

Obsessing every day about eating, fitness, and body image is not the right path for anyone. You weren’t put on this earth to worry about everything that goes into your mouth or to struggle enjoying food. My number one goal is to unburden you from the amount of time, energy, and effort that you spend worrying about food, instead letting you direct that energy into something more productive.

Step #1: Awareness
Everyone has a food story. Once you’re aware that you have a food story, you have a chance to own it. And once you realize that much of your food story was written for you by cultural constructs, you can choose to rewrite it.

Step #2: Analysis
What kind of story is your food story? What would you like it to be instead? Once you are aware of your food story, you can start to read it with a more critical eye. Ask yourself: Where did it come from? Why do I do the things I do, and when? How do I feel about it? Why do certain foods satisfy certain needs in my life? What roles do different foods play in my food story?

Step #3: Acceptance
Stop feeling guilty! Sometimes it can be hard to face your food story, where it started and how it affects you today. have to accept your story and see it for what it is. Acceptance, however, doesn’t mean: “I like it.” Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. True acceptance allows you to accept your reality so you can fight it.

Step #4: Action
What are you going to do about it? The action phase begins once you start rewriting your food story and changing your relationship with food. You make the rules, so that you can enjoy eating, accept your body, and benefiting from the health and wellness that comes with better food choices.

 

How To Start The Journey To A Better Food Story

You don’t have to do this on your own. Eating is a social practice—talking about eating should be, too! Talking about food with other people who are struggling with similar challenges is a great way to get different perspectives and personal accountability.

I do most of my nutrition coaching in groups. Individuals in the group have the opportunity to work through different topics of interest, or modules, within the system at their own pace with feedback and coaching from me on an individual level as well as in the group setting.

 

Start rewriting your food story now!

 

Written by: Ian Rubin, MA CPT, CHC
Owner & Founder, Wellness Success Coach
Ian is passionate about helping people find their most well selves. After struggling with his own wellness, Ian jumped from jobs in supplement sales to diet consulting to personal training. He eventually decided to use his knowledge to help people to achieve their best self in a whole way. This meant going beneath the surface to find the source of his clients’ struggles and supporting them in reaching their wellness goals.

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