Making Peace with Food: Finding Your Peace Point

Seeing how people were happier and healthier after shifting movement patterns to align with their natural structures, gave him the deepest sense of reward he’s felt professionally. Having built impactful and successful businesses in consumer health as well as clinical laboratory, his passion and mission have led him to founding Way. Check out his work and learn more here.

Making Peace with Food: Finding Your Peace Point

When we created Way, we wanted to make sure that the central theme within Way was clearly and genuinely aligned with our mission to impact health and happiness through mindful eating, while also helping each person who starts their journey with Way get closer to finding peace with food and their body.

From the very beginning, it was important that nothing in Way looked, sounded like, or even smelled like “Diet Culture“. Based on feedback we’ve collected from blind user testing, customer interviews, and the very strong, large network of credentialed dietitians we’re grateful to have, a diet culture-free tool to support health and happiness was sorely needed.

So having a goal to “lose weight”, or “reduce my calories”, or “get skinny”, never even entered our minds.

I’ve helped clients, friends, and family make sustainable changes in their lives through adopting new movement patterns (aka training) for years. Through this time, I’ve always found that having a clear picture of the “why” behind the desire to change was super important. Imho, it was the single most important element of actually making changes that last.

For example, if someone told me their goal was to “lose weight”, I would ask, “why do you want to lose weight?” Oftentimes the response was, “so I can be healthy”, or “so I can fit in the pants I used to wear”, or the classic, “so I can go to a pool party/tropical beach and wear a swimsuit and feel good/sexy.”

Behind Their Goal

I’d keep asking the proverbial “why” behind their “goal”, and find that what the person really wanted was something very different than what they described at first. Almost always, they eventually described an experience they wanted, a feeling they wanted, something that was deeply personal to them. A moment. An experience. A picture in their mind.

What they really wanted was for their spouse or significant other to notice them. To give them attention. They wanted to fit in with friends, and perceived that their body needed to look a certain way to fit in. Or, they really just wanted to have enough energy and stamina to do a new activity or play with their kids without having to stop from exhaustion.

I held this understanding of what people really want close to my heart and in my mind as I, along with our amazing team created Way.

And then, in back-to-back calls with our behavior science advisor from Columbia University and our behavior science advisor from Duke University, they both said the root of this “why” question was very similar to the “miracle” or “magic wand” question.

Behavior Change to Make Peace with Food

It’s a powerful behavioral technique that’s used in many behavior change, coaching, and mental health therapy modalities.. While both the miracle and the magic wand questions are sound, we lean into the “magic wand” concept more than the “miracle” question.

Basically, the classic question is this – if you could wave a magic wand and have exactly the relationship with food and your body that you want, what would that feel like? Then a series of clarifying questions may be asked to dive a bit deeper — What would that look like? What would you be eating? How would you feel about your body? How would your Body Image change?

intentional order

By asking these questions (in a very intentional order), we are sparking your imagination, making it easier to start the process of picturing what you truly want your relationships with food and your body to be, in your own words.

The reason why this is so effective is because once you have a clear picture in your mind of what you want, it’s much, much easier to get there.

Everything you do in your life – everything – starts with a picture in your mind, whether you realize it or not. From picking up your cup of coffee or tea, to opening your phone, to walking to a door.

Every invention that humans have invented, was first a picture in the imagination of the inventor.

I remember this most vividly from school when a teacher noted that the structure of the atom was actually something that humans conceived 2,500 years ago. Not 50 years ago, not 100 years ago, 2,500 years ago.

The discoveries in the centuries since have been the result of visionary scientists playing with that imaginary picture of an atom in their minds, and eventually, out in real life.

If you want to understand the simplicity of this concept more deeply or don’t believe it, consider a child who’s 2-5 years old (like you, and all of us, once were). They learn by watching what other people do, which allows them to picture doing the same thing. Then they do it themselves.

They get good at doing something, like opening a cupboard door, or putting Legos together, and forget that at first, that was a hard task for them to understand, to “see”, to imagine.

What is Your Peace Point?

Imagination is one of the few, core defining characteristics of being human, and it touches every single part of our lives. So, this is why we chose this question as the central theme in Way.

We call it your “Peace Point”, because the picture is really a point. A moment. A single point that you feel will provide deep peace, meaning, and fulfillment in your life. Because when you find fulfillment, other expectations or judgments matter a lot less.

You feel safe and untriggered by the false promises of diet culture or of people that tell you that you must look a certain way if you want to enjoy life or be fulfilled. You can enjoy life in a million different ways, but first, you must know what joy and fulfillment look like for you. In your own words.

This may sound right, you may be nodding your head and all of this appears to be correct from your personal experience. And yet, you may find that actually describing your Peace Point is actually quite difficult.

That’s what we’ve seen – you’re not alone and we got you covered.

Steps to Finding Peace with Food

First, in Way, we make sure that you have plenty of examples of what a Peace Point can look like, without being something that’s regurgitated from diet culture. And, because we have consistently seen that doing the self-exploration in the Way sessions creates more clarity of your Peace Point, we let you change your Peace Point after every 6 sessions.

This way, you don’t feel the pressure of being “locked” into a Peace Point, then later feeling like it’s not what you really want, not what you really connect to, or not really what will bring you joy or fulfillment.

However, we also have seen that giving Way members the ability to change their Peace Point too often creates too much back and forth. We found that by doing 6 sessions, you’ve probably been able to explore and feel some change in how you’re thinking, what you’re thinking about, and hopefully how you view your body, while also listening to what your body is telling you to eat. After six sessions, you’ve probably accumulated some meaningful insight and had a chance to see if your original Peace Point feels true to you.At this point, making a meaningful change to your Peace Point may make sense. And, you may find your Peace Point has staying power and remains unchanged – that’s great, too!

Regardless of how you get there, we want you to know that your Peace Point is achievable and attainable. But getting to your Peace Point is not going to be a straight line. You may have some great days – savor them, be grateful for them, learn what is “right” from them, so that you can repeat that as much as possible.

The Ability

But when you have hard days (not “if”, but “when” you have hard days), don’t turn your mind off and think nothing good will come of those days. Each day, each experience, whether you find joy or sadness, bliss or pain, will give you more life that you can pay attention to.

My fondest hope is that this process of imagining your Peace Point, truly exploring your relationship with food and your body, brings you a deeper sense of peace, fulfillment, and joy, every day. And by reading this background, you feel much clearer about why the Peace Point is the goal that will help you to make real, lasting change in your life. All else will come from this picture, belief you can get there and the ability to listen to and trust your body.

Wishing you peace, connection, and enjoyment in your journey.

Sincerely,

Bentley