Picture by Olga O

Day Two

Food Rebel-friendly Meal Planning 

Having a structure to your eating is absolutely vital for recovering compulsives.

However, this can be a bit of a problem - because compulsion HATES structure.

Today's session is all about helping you have structure to your eating if that is a problem for you. If you have no problems in the week while you are working in lockdown, then think about the weekend. Can you structure your time off so you get to relax without it being a party that your Inner Food Rebel is gatecrashing, while compulsion is DJing? Is that a party you want to carry clearing up after week after week?

I love the image at the top of this page, because it has scaffolding and graffiitti together. The graffitti symbolises the Inner Food Rebel, and the scaffolding symbolises a new way to look at meal planning. It is not constraining you, but supporting you. This doesn't mean you have to love it, but it invites you to accept it in the way that you accept a seat belt when you travel by car.


How To Create Structure Without Starting The Metronome

#1 We understand that structure must follow the Goldilocks Principle as explained here.

#2 We get our test tubes out and EXPERIMENT. We say to our compulsive selves: No biggie, we can go back to the old ways tomorrow.

An Example

I had a great week-by-week meal planning structure to my eating gong before lockdown.

Then it collapsed.

Right now, I am using what I call Day After Tomorrow Planning

I plan my meals and exercise for the day after tomorrow.

I did this plan for Thursday on Tuesday: 

Comments on This Plan

Planning the day after tomorrow is helpful because you can create time to shop for anything you need and plan food prep (give each task a time in your diary). For example, some - but not all -  meals can be made the evening before.

It helps me to start each day's plan with notes as my working day changes all the time, which affects exercise, when I can cook etc

MMS = mid morning snack

This week I started off planning 3 days at a time like this, then shopping for those days. I should have repeated that yesterday, but I was too resistant. At the moment I can only manage doing 1 day's planning at a time, and I am accepting that. When I get access to grocery deliveries, this I am hoping will change.

I always hate opening this notebook and doing this planning. I always feel ultra proud of myself and bizarrely secure when I have done it. I keep misplacing the notebook and really have to bring myself to do the planning. I resent this notebook and at the same time love it...a bit like that cold demanding teacher at school who was nevertheless very fair AND were instrumental in getting you an A* in your exam.

This method is not a hard and fast rule for you. Use it as a springboard for yourself and your own planning. What works best for you?

Accepting the necessity of meal planning is choosing to accept that change = discomfort. With this, you are taking back your power by choosing the empowering type of discomfort over the disempowering kind (the metronome).


Action Steps Day Two

#1 First of all, be sure to read about Goldilocks Structure

#2 Decide what level of challenge you can deal with. How long can you plan ahead for?

The next 3 days?

The day after tomorrow?

Just one meal tomorrow?

Decide, and then go and actually do that planning before the session tonight if possible. It doesn't matter how far ahead youplan - it only matters that you do it. Feel free to post in the Slack group, or share in the group session. 

Heads Up For Tomorrow's Session

You will need to bring something to eat for the next session. Nothing addictive! Something like a piece of fruit or salad veg is perfect.