Kids love junk food. They want pizza, not a salad. They want a cookie, not broccoli. They are too young to realize that junk food is bad for them, and for the most part, too young for the more obvious consequences to affect them, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
As adults, not only do we know better but we are also seeing the harmful effects of junk food. Yet no matter how old we are many of us still maintain our childlike relationship with food. Until we understand what our inner child is needing through this food he/she will continue to make their demands, undermining our attempts to eat healthy.
Here are a few signs your inner child might be controlling what you eat:
- Eating unhealthy food is a rebellious act.
- Your inner dialogue goes something like, “I don’t care! I’m gonna eat what I want! Now!” (feet stomping is optional)
- You insist that you will never give something up, even when all logic demands that your body needs you to.
- Being told you can’t eat something makes you want to do exactly that.
- Being told you can’t eat something gives you a certain feeling that you remember from childhood — a time when somebody other than you tried to control what you ate.
Does this sound familiar? If so, then this inner struggle can make it really difficult to choose healthy options!
Now look. I’m not saying we need to go around eating tofu and spinach all the time, but it is in our best interest to eat healthy most of the time. After all, food is nourishment for our bodies and something to enjoy!
It is time to make peace with your inner child and take control of your adult relationship with food.
- Imagine having a conversation with your inner child. Ask them what they are needing from this food. Is it comfort? Is it love? Is it fun? Think of other ways you can get these right now other than food. Let them know you will take care of it.
- Acknowledge them if they felt like they weren’t able to control what they ate as a kid, but tell them that you are in full control of what you eat now as an adult, and you will be making adult choices from now on.
- Recognize that you are no longer a kid, you are a mature adult, and you can now see the big picture (how you feel when you eat healthy foods vs. long term affects of unhealthy foods).
- Ask your inner child if there is anything they are needing from you.
- Recognize if your inner child takes control again, and make the decision to be the adult.
Taking control of your adult relationship with food, while still making sure your inner child is getting what they need, will help you make healthy choices with more ease. Here is to feeling great in your body and showing up confidently in your life!
What does your inner child love to eat? Has this process worked for you? Share in the comments below!