For some of us food has become a real drama-story, especially during the holidays. Both Donna and David have their own food-drama, so it’s a great pleasure to share this guest essay from McKenzie Zajonc, MS, CN, LMHCA an award-winning nutritionist, and lover of the TED* framework. (Oh, and Donna’s daughter.)


We are all eaters.  However, for many of us food is complicated.

Some of us eat when we are stressed and overwhelmed, or when we just want to let it all go at the end of the day. We eat when we are anxious, bored, lonely, and when we need a break—and when we aren’t even hungry.

If you can relate, you are most likely in the food drama.  You might be an emotional eater, a stress eater, or struggle to gain traction in your food plan. You might feel powerless around food or feel like you should have the food thing figured out by now.

We invite you to consider that it isn’t about your willpower; or that you haven’t found the right diet; or that you have a personal flaw when it comes to controlling your food.  Rather, it is likely that you haven’t fully understood your relationship to food.  Diets, program, and nutrition books often lack this vital inside-out approach.

A great way to begin cracking the code to your current food drama is to observe how you relate to food using the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ model with its characters of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.  Most of us fall into all three roles in a given day or even in a single eating experience!

Ask yourself:

  • Am I feeling hopeless about my food plan or my capability to make the changes I desire?  You might think:   “I’m never going to figure out this food thing.  I’ve tried everything.  There’s nothing out there that can help me.”  Victim role.
  • Am I using food to comfort and soothe myself?   You might think:  “I’ve had a hard day.  I deserve one more cookie.   I’ve been so good with food lately, it won’t matter if I eat what I want this weekend.”  Rescuer role.
  • Am I judging and criticizing myself around food?   You might think:  “I’ve been so bad lately, I better get myself under control now.”  (Then proceed to make unrealistic goals that backfire.) Persecutor role.

The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ framework provides an effective and simpler approach—inviting you to shift out of the drama into a more empowered relationship to food.   Each of the three TED* roles have a different message.

Creator:   Rather than playing the role of Victim to old food patterns and reliving them again and again, encourage the Creator in you to come forward by asking:

What is the most optimal way of relating to this food situation right now and how could I go about creating that for myself?

Coach:  Rather than relying on food to rescue you from stress and overwhelm, the Coach gets curious about how she can be more intentional about meeting her needs.  The Coach in you asks:

How am I emotionally, mentally, and physically nourishing myself so I can rely less on food to do that for me?

Challenger:  Rather than defaulting to persecuting thoughts, the Challenger recognizes that self-criticism, guilt, and shame are not effective motivators for anyone.   Instead, the Challenger in you offers self-compassion practices and asks:

If I were kind and gentle with myself, how would my eating change?   How would my body change?

May we all benefit from less food drama in our lives so we create more room for the bigger things in life!


Do you want to end your food drama?  In our new 5 week course you will create a whole new and empowering relationship with food!   The webinar class begins Nov. 10 and runs for 5 weeks, just in time to support you during the holidays.  All classes are recorded if you must miss one.  It’s just $199 if you sign up by Sunday evening and $249 afterwards.  This work is priceless, so sign up today!

You can read more and register here.  The class is co-facilitated by McKenzie Zajonc.  Learn more at her at website:  www.innernutritionist.com and Donna, often called TED* mom here.