Is there any question harder to answer than the dreaded, “Tell me about yourself”? Trying to encompass a lifetime of, well, life into words is impossible. You are a complex, unexplainable being with experiences that have shaped the current version of you – an evolution of who you were yesterday and a template of who you will be tomorrow.
Diversity in personalities, preferences, talents, passions, and quirks is a beautiful part of our society. Just as this diversity adds colors to life, it explains why we all have different relationships with food. Some people eat freely with little thought about their choices while others can’t seem to stop thinking about food. Some people seek comfort and some seek fuel, and still, some others seek distance from food. This difference in behavior mirrors an infinite variety of personal beliefs.
By exploring the foundations upon which you’ve built your life, you can celebrate your uniqueness and better understand why you exhibit the behaviors you do. These foundations are our core beliefs. They are the subconscious programming that you’ve picked up throughout your entire life, from your time in the womb to this very moment. Understanding how your core beliefs shape your food choices is a key step in creating a relationship with the food you want and deserve.
Core beliefs result from a lifetime of interaction with your environment and the people in it. Your childhood experiences have shaped your beliefs about relationships, self-worth, romance, trust, and safety. Your experiences with money have shaped your mindset around what you deserve. Anything that you’ve exchanged energy with — be it friends, partners, work, or spirituality — has written on the slate of your life. This script shapes your relationship with food.
If you look closely at your plate, you’ll also find your emotions, desires, experiences, and priorities. How you feel about yourself, other people, and the environment you live in is personified in your food choices. In a world full of endless choices and free will, both your conscious and unconscious thoughts dictate what you feed yourself.
You may have decided some foods are unhealthy, some are toxic and others are fattening; here lies fear. You might only seek foods that are clean, organic, or “good” because you also seek perfection or achievement. If you take more than you need, perhaps you grew up without an abundance of food. If you take less than you need, perhaps you don’t trust your body to control your weight. Both what you believe you deserve and what you want from life will show up on your plate.
As Geneen Roth writes in her landmark book, Women, Food and God, exploring your relationship with food goes far deeper than deconstructing a diet. "You will quickly discover if you believe the world is a hostile place and that you need to be in control of the immediate universe for things to go smoothly," writes Roth.
"You will discover if you believe there is not enough to go around and that taking more than you need is necessary for survival. You will find out if you believe that being quiet is unbearable, and that being alone means being lonely. If feeling your feelings means being destroyed… And you will discover how you use food to express each one of these core beliefs.” – Geneen Roth
Just as these beliefs were programmed into you, you can replace them with beliefs that better serve you. There is power in choosing to only give yourself positive inputs.
Cultivating deep, honest compassion for yourself can begin to free you from core beliefs that shape behaviors you’d like to change. Do your core beliefs support your genuine happiness? What are you holding onto that you’d rather let go? Identify where you’d like to find freedom: from rigid portion sizes, black-and-white rules, frequency and timing of meals, diets, or from the constant mental chatter around nutrition. Try to recall the experiences or the people from which these beliefs originated, and question their accuracy. Ask yourself, “Where is the evidence that this is true?”
Savor provides a safe space for you to explore your core beliefs and to change those that aren’t serving you. Your core beliefs can become more positive and wellness-oriented when you choose to use tools designed to unconditionally uplift, love, and champion yourself.
What would you like to feel, and what would you like to believe in? How do you want to view the world, and thus, your food? How will your new beliefs shape your relationship with food?