Two Styles of Making Peace with Food and Eating

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lcbToday’s post is by Lisa Claudia Briggs, psycho-spiritual therapist, an intuitive wise woman, and devoted mentor who helps others release all sorts of things that weigh them down. Stay tuned tomorrow for a Q&A with Lisa.

The women I work with around losing weight, changing the way they eat and learning to honor and love their bodies in reliable daily ways (The Daily Essentials) tend to fall in one of two categories when it comes to making peace with food eating.

Regardless of what their style of eating was prior to our work together, when women make peace with food and eating and learn to eat in ways that support them, it seems to happen in one of these two ways.

1. The first style of eating and making peace with the process tends to favor simplicity. They are drawn to eating within a smallish range of foods, and keeping meals simple, easy to prepare and love not having to give any of it much thought. Food becomes fuel, basic sustenance, and they enjoy it, but don’t want to spend lots of time thinking about it.

They may even have been “foodies” in the past, watching the Food network (what I lovingly call “Food-Porn”), creating gourmet meals, loving food-centered events whether it be entertaining or food-shopping, or eating out. But now they want to put food in a place where it’s not the main event and put more energy into other ways of nourishing themselves.

Now they like more automated ways of eating..having rituals for meals that are tried-and-true and finding security and comfort with sticking to those without too much variation. They have found that bringing in too many new or “sexy” foods can trigger overeating or binges and so they keep it simple and somewhat predictable. They may even stick with the same breakfast or lunch for some period of time..finding it comforting to limit choices and not have to think about what to eat at each and every meal. Simplicity becomes a comforting foundation.

2. The second group does things a bit differently. They embrace food, fall back in love with food and cooking and shopping and creating, from the new perspective of feeding themselves as beautifully as they can within new guidelines. It may be gluten-free or some other new iteration of what best works for their chemistry and keeping old cravings and binge-triggering patterns at bay but the relationship with food… even if it wasn’t before… becomes very sensual.

I have clients that send me gorgeous photographs of their plates at certain meals… colorful, artful, beautifully highlighting rainbow hued selections of fresh food. This group is determined to love food in a new way… one that supports their individual make up and ensures there is no sense of deprivation.

In my description of these groups you may have an opinion of one being “better” than the other but I would disagree. For one thing, the women I know often switch between groups at various times depending on how much energy or availability they have to devote to creating meals and attention to how they feed themselves. For another, the “best” way is what works… is what is going to be healing for each person and minimize former patterns of pain around eating, binge-eating, purges or just feeling obsessive around what they ate/didn’t eat and all of the feelings that got stirred up.

Personally, I move between these two styles depending on the season, how busy I am, what feels good to me in the day… and other deciding factors. Some years I am more “foodie” and creative than others.. other years I am devoting more creative energies to other projects and am happier keeping my food and style of eating very simple. I keep judgment out of it.

Do you fall into one of these two eating styles?

You can read more from Lisa Claudia Briggs at Intuitive Body.

11 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Carrie says:

    Interesting article. I orginally and naturally fit into the first category, the simple one. I tend to not want to focus on food, not because overeating has been particularly challenging for me, but because it was never interesting to me. However, since being with a foodie partner, my eyes have been opened to a whole new way of looking at and appreciating food. Just as wine can be used to get a buzz at a party or to slowly taste the complexities at a wine tasting, I think there is a time and place for both styles of eating.

    • Hi Carrie..Coming into your senses in these ways that allow food or something else to bring you more pleasure and awareness can change lead to interesting shifts. Making both styles work for and support you gives you more power. Thanks for reading.. Many blessings.. Lisa

  • Great post. I’m trying to be the second type right now!

    • Hi Kammie..Anything specific you’re doing to move into the second style?
      I am a big believer in small steps guided by what feels intuitively best..
      All my best.. Lisa

  • Dane says:

    I personally favor simplicity. It seems to me that the second style of eating can and does so easily degenerate into “faddiness”, which often seems to lead to preventable health issues. What do you think?

    • Hi Dane..I also like simplicity much of the time but find that at other times, I am moved to experiment or shake it up a bit. I’m not sure about the “fads” part.. I believe people can enjoy getting creative with food via new recipes, or trying new foods or ingredients without going to extremes or following fads. Is there a certain type of fad or health issue that you’re speaking to? Also, what represents “simplicity” for some eaters and cooks is really different than to others. If what you’re eating and the way you nourish yourself with food, and in life is truly satisfying.. then you’ve found something that works for you.
      All my best.. Lisa

  • […] week, we reposted an article about women who make peace with eating and food by Lisa Claudia Briggs. In Lisa’s practice, she sees two eating styles that women take on […]

  • Max Sebring says:

    Hi Lisa! When I started to force myself to diet, I hated food most of the time and there were times I didn’t eat at all for two straight meals. I have no peace with food! What shall I do? I am scared that in the long run it will become a kind of disorder. I’m just totally motivated to lose weight but I am punishing myself too much and I can’t help it.

    • Hi Max..I think like many people seeking more peace with food, there is a lot of fear driving the search for answers. And fear usually colors things in ways that make it the most difficult to find them. When we are fearful, or in a place of hating our bodies or in any of those “contracted” energies, we begin to separate and disconnect from what our more intuitive and knowing selves know.. the guidance that can and is showing us the small gentler ways we can begin.
      When you are “forcing” yourself to do anything, in my experience it can’t go well. Force and punishment and deprivation can’t feel good and perpetuate a cycle of fearful beliefs about yourself that make it hard to take steps that can help.
      First.. I would suggest that you ask yourself.. What is the simplest, least harsh thing you could do today and for the next few days to move into health? It might NOT begin with food or eating.. that just might be too loaded a beginning. But it might start with wearing something that you love, or spending time with a friend, taking time to relax and do something pleasurable during the day, or maybe do some writing in a journal.
      The focus on weight loss often kicks-up so much fear and panic, that we can’t start there.. it helps to start with finding other ways of taking steps toward health, well-being, pleasure, connection.. you have to feel filled up in the ways that feel right for you to begin to change your eating. I believe that comes first.
      If I can help support you please feel free to contact me at Lisa at IntuitiveBody dot com.
      Many blessings,

  • Josie says:

    Great post.

    Its a shame that most people use food as weapon against themselves.

    I found peace with food by simply taking the time to enjoy it. Most people eat while on the go, they treat food as a pit stop to refuel.

    One of the best things you can do is acquire the habit of chewing your food instead of wolfing it down. There are so many advantages that include better digestive health and nutrient absorption and you also eat less. Taking the time to chew also allows you to appreciate the different flavours of food.

    • Hi Josie.. I agree that reconnecting to our senses.. in as many ways as possible, including slowing down and connecting with all of the pleasure of eating is often a missing piece. And often times, eating is the only sense many of my clients are using. When we ask “what’s missing” in terms of sensual pleasures and finding ways to slow it all down and find more beauty through all of the senses, food/eating can become one of many pleasurable events and find a more balanced place in our life.
      Love and blesssings.. Lisa

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