By Joyce Marter
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
Journaling can be a powerful activity to promote insight and self-awareness. If you would like to improve your relationship with food, set aside 30 minutes in quiet solitude to write out your responses to the following prompts. You can do this on paper, a tablet or your computer. There are no right or wrong answers, and this exercise is just for you.
- What does “food” mean to you? With what do you associate food and eating?
- How would you describe your relationship with food? Is it positive? Negative? Do you go through any noticeable cycles?
- Think of the last three times you ate. Describe your emotional state and list what you ate.
- Describe the last time you made an unhealthy food choice. How did you feel before, during and after?
- Describe the last time you made a healthy food choice. How did you feel before, during and after?
- Describe some of your early life experiences with food. How do they connect with how you relate to food today?
- Write down what you ate yesterday. Would you feed this to your child, best friend or somebody you love very much? Why or why not?
- Name somebody who you believe has a healthy relationship with food. What do you notice about them? How is your relationship with food different? What is between you and having a healthy relationship with food?
- Describe what a healthy relationship with food would look like for you and how that would impact the rest of your life (health, work, relationships, etc.)
- What do you need to have that healthy relationship with food? What kind of support do you need?
If this exercise triggered any negative feelings, remember we are all works in progress. Practice some self-compassion and self-care and seek support. Consider sharing your journaling responses with a trusted counselor or therapist to support you along the road to recovery and health!