Written and posted by Jackie Olmstead, December 29, 2021 – I am now “following” my body, not just “listening” to my body. You know, as we move through humanity’s growth and expansion we come up with these really great catch phrases, motivational instructions that keep our attention for a bit. Do you notice that eventually they lose their potency? I do and I often get frustrated at hearing the phrases over and over again and not feeling what is intended from them. And so, as I myself evolve, I recreate what it is these original wonderful words were meant to do: Help us connect to our higher selves and get better and grow. 

To relate all this to how we eat and improve our health, I come to you today with a new way to approach how to understand why we eat. It’s an exercise that will leave you feeling such compassion and love for yourself and an understanding of how you got to where you are today. I implore you to at least ponder doing this exercise. 

Ideally it is best when you can share it with someone you trust and have them share theirs with you. It’s super effective! (As in my daughter’s game “Pokemon Swords and Shields” that tends to yell this out in battles.)

We all come from very different upbringing and backgrounds. Our parents or whoever raised us had their own issues happening with them and we just showed up for whatever they would teach us. So as adults, it’s time to unravel the story that we grew up with so that we can see how it was. Let’s do it purely without judgement too. That is very important to keep in mind. You got to be where you are, right? You are here and want to simply understand why perhaps you eat and have the rituals that you have.

Let’s start here: 

  1. Get out a clean piece of paper or your journal
  2. Write a title if you feel like it. (“Jackie’s food journey”)
  3. Think about the world and environment that you were born into. Write about that part. Get really specific. What situations were your parents or parent in? Were you breastfed? Did your mom try to breastfeed and need to resort to formula? Did your parent have options for feeding you? Were they really stressed out around eating or feeding you? You could even talk with your parent if they are still around to see if they remember. But only if it’s not going to cause any stress between you. (my parents were living in Washington, D.C. and my mom was working a lot as a nurse and I believe my father was going through medical school. Tough times, I’m sure for them both. My mother told me that she tried to breastfeed but it was too hard and she didn’t have anyone to help her so she reverted to formula.)
  4. What about times during your childhood in general? Did you have memories of “always having oatmeal, spaghetti, chicken, oatmeal, spaghetti, chicken” no matter how accurate it seems today. It’s the memories and how you remember eating back then. I remember my parents being very knowledgeable about growing sprouts, eating fruits and vegetables, occasional mac-n-cheese and yummy desserts (ice cream and cakes, but not often candies. My brother and I would often sneak that bad processed cereal from our cousin’s house because we were never allowed it at home.)
  5. Write now about your adult life’s journey with food and eating. Take your time.
  6. Now read through it all and give yourself a hug for having the courage to dive deep into your past. What would be your “grand vision or reflection” of your journey?
  7. What was the most important part?
  8. Now is the time to find a partner to share your journey with. Do you have a close friend to tell your story to or your life partner/spouse?
  9. Ask them to repeat back to you your story and tell them if they got it right. 
  10. I suggest that you now think about what you would like to do now that you have spent some time to reflect it? Perfect time to do this with the New Year approaching. What is your intent for the new year when it comes to how you eat or what you eat?

Great job! I’m so proud of you for even taking the time to read through this exercise and ponder if it’s what you might want to do. For real! If you would like a neutral party to go over your story with you, I’m inviting you to send me a message here or by email and we can work out a complementary time to do that. It’s personal and special and SO ARE YOU. God bless you and Happy New Year, momma!

(links below help to support me and my growing business when you click and purchase something from the search (a small percentage). It doesn’t cost you any more and you are always welcome to click on a different part of Amazon and it won’t apply to my affiliate link to them. Thank you! Image above is from www.pixabay.com, Lorri Lang)

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