Ready to Climb Out of Your Rabbit Hole of Unwanted Eating Habits?
Like Alice in Wonderland, we're about to take a potentially trippy journey into your internal landscape. If you haven’t started chatting with your inner guru extraordinaire from our last post, then I strongly encourage you start there before diving into this one. Why? It’s an easy way to rally your mind and body in your goal seeking endeavors. When you work with yourself, instead of against yourself, you are limitless.
Eating habits: wants vs. needs
I can tell you’re a smart and savvy woman, otherwise you wouldn’t want to improve your relationship food so you can get on with your dream life. Sometimes our smarty pants selves can overemphasize what we want instead of what we need. Like confusing Tweedledee and Tweedledum, or ignoring both altogether, our hyperfocus can lead to non-stop internal quarreling and an unbalanced healthstyle. Am I the only one singing 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'?
What was my #1 want? Easy: clean food. Partly because I craved the science behind my food choices and partly because I had a fair number of food sensitivities. Although well intentioned, my dietary wants created a blind spot for my need to maintain a balanced and predictable eating schedule. Left unchecked, the corporate culture of ‘there’s never time for lunch’ was the Mad Hatter that coaxed me down a rabbit hole of erratic eating and a whacked out menu. That nettlesome troublemaker even followed me home at night and held my belly hostage every morning. By ignoring my lunchtime need to eat, what I wanted to eat also suffered. Out of sheer starvation and hanger I ate foods that upset my stomach, lacked nutritional balance, and perpetuated a cycle of guilt-ridden eating habits both day and night for decades. I was falling deeper down my rabbit hole, failing both my wants and needs.
How could a single unurtured need cause everything to run amock? Our bodies are designed to find dietary balance. Even when no one else is looking, our body tracks each and every Eat Me cake and Drink Me potion. Over time, neglecting even a single need can easily lead to unwanted weight, poor eating habits and digestive dis-ease. Bottom line is our relationship with food, as with life, is a balancing act. This is exactly why our weight and wellness aren’t about mere willpower. Now let’s find out who or what your Mad Hatter influences are so we can get you out of your rabbit hole.
PSA (Public Service Announcement): Jenn's journaling tip
Since our blog posts tend to include an introspective exercise, it might be time to invest in a journal that inspires you. Similar to a photo album of images, think of your journal as garden to cultivate and nurture your most cherished thoughts, experiences and emotions. Using a journal that represents you as an individual is also a way for you to reframe uncomfortable entries into something beautiful that you look forward to visiting and revisiting along your journey.
Out of that rabbit hole of eating habits you go
For this Alice-inspired tea party exercise, call on your inner doodler or keep it simple. There are no rules, all I ask is that you try and be as specific as possible.
Step 1: Make Your Guest List of specific people or things that influence your eating habits (i.e., family, friends, emotions, stress, money, time, upcoming wedding day, your internal radio station of good vs. bad foods, etc.).
Check-in with yourself: any surprises?
Step 2: Draw Your Seating Chart starting with a single table. Seat yourself, then add each guest so the strongest influences sit closest to you.
Check-in with yourself: notice anything about your table setup, table shape or where you sat yourself (e.g., head of table, off to the side)?
Step 3: Add the Party Talk after all guests are seated. Write sounds bites next to each guest that affect your eating habits. Here are a few topics to get you started:
- Food choices and diet
- Eating style (i.e., nourishing, quick and dirty, distracted, slow and steady, etc.)
- How they make you feel about eating
Check-in with yourself: any themes?
3 simple steps to regain control of your eating habits
In life, you control how influencers impact your eating habits. Let's write your epic success story one change at a time. All it takes is cycling through these 3 simple steps:
1. Brainstorm: Identify your top influence. Decide if you want to stop, start, continue or change how you tune in. Brainstorm ways to drive your desired shift, some may be obvious, others drastic and some creative.
2. Define a Single Goal: Pick one idea from your list to create a goal that's specific, measurable and attainable. You might want to start small to gain momentum quickly. Chances are you’ll need time to experiment, adjust and celebrate. Be patient, we’re undoing and new-doing your eating experience for sustainable change. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
3. Calendar Checkpoints: Calendar and post reminders to boost your success. Give yourself permission to adjust your goals as needed. As you checkoff each goal, choose a new one. You may notice with each win your list naturally becomes shorter.
If you're up to it, I'd love you to email me your seating chart (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can create an inspirational gallery of images for our community. If not, feel free to Comment below or jump on a Clarity Call with me.
The phrase Mad as a Hatter originated in the 1800s and was used to describe how hat makers often got dementia from the mercury used in curing felt.
- Alice was a real girl, daughter of Carroll's boss
- Almost titled Alice in Elf Land
- Original movie debut in 1903
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Over time, ignoring a single dietary need can lead to unwanted weight, poor eating habits & digestive dis-ease.
Science of Journaling
Writing down goals tells your brain “this is important.” It revs up your reticular activating system (RAS) to start working on ways to make them happen. The more specific a goal, the more likely you are to achieve them.
Jenn's Mad Hatter Goal: Stable Workday Lunch
My initial goal was to take a full hour for lunch, away from my desk, at least twice a week. I immediately scheduled a recurring meeting on my Outlook calendar and enlisted reminders to think about what to eat 15 minutes ahead of time. Although I didn’t always take the full hour, and sometimes brought food back to my desk, I noticed the benefits both in the office and at home. I even felt empowered to push back and negotiate alternative meeting times when people tried to stomp on my calendar. After just two weeks, the positive impact of my new lunch routine inspired me to increase my goal to all workdays. Go me!