Our memories about food are the foundation for all our food issues, or non-issues (there are some folks who don’t have issues with food–there must be :). An affectionate, friendly curiosity uncovers the feelings than underlie choices. It isn’t necessary to return to childhood memories, and I have resisted it mightily during a long period of banning foods. Now I buy and keep food I like to eat and go out and get the foods I don’t want to eat everyday, like dark chocolate (this also makes the foods “special” which they are). I used to have a range of “special treats” but a diet of greens, in smoothies and soups, other veggies, nuts, seeds, and nut butters, fruits and a variety of proteins from eggs to yogurt and tofu, means I no longer crave donuts, cakes, muffins etc. Dark chocolate is great because it’s chocolate (!) and because it’s low in carbs and even boosts energy.
It can be cathartic to write about “forbidden foods” or foods we “shouldn’t” eat. Of course there are many foods I shouldn’t eat because they make me sick. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, or terrible, it just means I shouldn’t eat them because the consequences of eating them are harmful to this body. Attaching emotional attributes to food trips us up. Recognizing the attachment, then using the tools to let go–meditation, visualization, whatever works–make lasting change over time.
Compassion and kindness are key. How many things in your life have you effectively changed when someone berated you? It’s the same when you berate yourself! Be kind to yourself. Always.