Bad Eating Habits And Exercise


Look at the list of traits and choose two that fit you. List how the trait is a liability, how it gets in your way, and is a problem for you. Next list the ways the same trait has helped you and can be a positive factor in your life. It is important to go through all your traits like this at some point. You can add journaling about them on your Goals Sheet. (Tip: It may help to think of feedback you have received from others about these particular traits.)

Personal Reflection: CAROLYN

My trait as a liability: Controlling. Being controlling has worked against me many times. When I was younger I bossed kids around, telling them what to do. I would get upset when people didn’t act the way I thought they should. A story I tell all the time is one Halloween when I was five and in kindergarten. All the kids came dressed up like a fairy princess, ladybug, or Superman. I was beside myself because they just were not doing it right! They were supposed to be in scary costumes because it was Halloween! I was the only one who got it right by wearing a witch outfit. I tried to tell them that they were all wrong, and of course the other kids were mad at me and my day was ruined. As I grew up, I found it hard to do projects with people because I wanted everyone to do it like I did and became frustrated. I tend to want control of situations, and when I’m not in control I can get overly scared and avoidant. Being controlling has caused problems in my relationships when I want to get my point across to a fault. And of course when I started dieting, my need for control took over and I took things to an extreme and got an eating disorder.

The same trait as asset: Directive. I’m able to take charge in many situations and get things done. People look to me as a leader in various circumstances, which has helped me work with clients, train staff, lead workshops, and was important in creating the treatment centers I founded, Monte Nido. I could not have done any of this without this trait.

1. My trait as a liability:

The same trait as an asset:

The same trait as an asset:

Your traits usually play out similarly in various arenas. For example, the way you think about and act with food is likely to be similar to the way you think about and act with people. For instance, if you are fearful of eating new foods you are probably fearful of new people and relationships. It can be useful to be scrutinizing, but too much fear will cause rigidity and get in your way of having new and fun experiences. On the other hand, if you are impulsive, or as we like to say, spontaneous, you will probably experience yourself this way with food and with people. Being spontaneous is a benefit when situations change and you have to adjust quickly. Spontaneous people are fun to be with. However, acting impulsively can cause you to hurt yourself or others if you become reckless or irresponsible. A client with bulimia shared how her impulsivity affected her relationships when she exclaimed, I binge and purge men!


Write down the ways in which how you relate to food is similar to how you relate to people or to life. Even if you have already done this assignment in the 8 Keys secrets, you will continue to learn by doing it again.

Repeating this exercise periodically throughout your recovery can give you valuable information. It is important to note that improving your relationship with people can help improve your relationship with food, and the same is true that improving your relationship with food will most likely improve your relationship with people. This means that making changes in either area is most likely to benefit both.

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