If you are familiar with the incredibly popular podcast "Food Psych" you will recognize this question. The fabulous host, Christy Harrison, asks that exact question to every guest at the top of every show.
Neither she, nor the listener, can predict how each guest will answer but inevitably their reply leads to insight, honest reflection, and juicy conversations.
Let's play pretend: Let's pretend that YOU have been asked to be a guest on the Food Psych podcast… How would YOU answer that same opening question?
Below are some prompts to jog the ole memory. Hopefully this exercise will help you gain some valuable insight into your formative years with food, and how this history may be impacting you today (consciously or UN-consciously).
Do happy emotions and fond memories come to mind when you hear that question?
What about anxieties or fears?
Were there any times of food insecurity?
Did you often go hungry or desire food that wasn't in the budget or accessible? Did your family use food pantries, school lunch assistance programs, or government assistance to supplement?
What role did food play on holidays or special occasions?
Was meal time stressful? Was there an obligation to clean your plate?
Did you love to eat and play with food?
Did you have food prepared and provided from a loving care giver? How did that care giver use food to express love and comfort?
Did you ever feel you needed to sneak, steal, or hide food?
How did your family, parents, and care givers discuss food?
Were the health impacts of food a common discussion? Were certain foods elevated and others demonized?
Did any of your family or caregivers restrict their own food choices?
Did you understand why? Did they express how it made them feel to go hungry or to be deprived/restricted?
Was your own body size discussed in relation to food choices? What about other people's body sizes?
Did you have any ethnic or religious connections to food?
How was food used as a reward, or maybe even a punishment?
How do your memories change as you age?
How are you memories around food in elementary school different from your memories around food in middle and high school?
Our relationship with food is just that, a RELATIONSHIP! It's a constant and necessary part of our every day life and it is inextricably linked to our emotions, friendships, families, traditions, self-care, energy, money, time, and celebrations.
Prioritizing our relationship with food as opposed to the food itself will create a firm foundation for increased holistic health and overall well-being.