Food and Self-Esteem Part 2

I promised I would do a follow-up to the first blog about food and self-esteem. Here’s the follow-up.  I noticed that those who come from a place of having to scrape, struggle and fight to put food on their tables tend to demonstrate some element of  a scarcity mentality where food is concerned once they are able to live with an abundant supply of food.  There might be the tendency to overeat, over grocery shop or over-feed their children, guests and themselves.

I realized  elements of this tendency in myself when I would insist that the pantry always carry an inventory of foods. In my early days I would feel a level of panic if I noticed there was only one packet of a particular type of pasta in the pantry and it’s a week to go before grocery shopping, yikes!  The three times I have grocery shopped in the more than 20 years of being married ( I know, my husband does the shopping and he does a great job!) I over-shopped! Blew the budget because I not only purchased what was on the list but what I believed would come in handy later!

I am grateful that my scarcity mentality where food is concerned was ( I no longer am plagued by this fear) to over-shop and over-feed my guests (thankfully I learned to allow my children’s appetites to guide them).  I learned my actions were driven by a need to impress others, to show just how much I can afford and how much I have. This was all my ego crying out for acknowledgement of what I am able to achieve! It’s great to have this in my past it humbles me. Now as I work with families who are going through the same challenges I not only am able to show them compassion and empathy, I can truly help them out of this ditch of misplaced self-esteem.

The other side of the coin are those who over-feed themselves, their children and others. I have seen this so many times  over the past 22 years of practice that I have written a  whole chapter in my book Solutions for health about it!  The same underlying belief is guiding these individuals as the other group mentioned earlier. They too are just suffering from misplaced self-esteem.

Know that food and self-esteem could also be titled, shopping and self-esteem, gambling and self-esteem, smoking and self-esteem. My point here is different people use different vices to feel good about themselves.  Once they are coached  from a place of compassion and empathy while teaching them how to create a healthier relationship with food, eating and self-care( and all the other vices) using powerful coaching tools often solves this ego-based need to identify itself in physical or external things such as food.

Phyllis Reid-Jarvis, Mph, RD, PCC

Life Coach Educator and Director of Ultimate Potentials

Because everybody is not the same we know that nutritional needs, food preferences and eating habits as well as overall health outcomes will be different. We also know from our more than 20 years’ experience working with families that if the family is healthy and has a solid foundation on which to operate, they will make better eating choices, they will experience better health outcomes and they will experience life in general in a more positive and healthy way.

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