A guide to using your Enneagram personality type to understand your approach to eating, dieting, and exercise
• Shows how the Enneagram system of personality types can explain your relationship to food, emotional triggers and childhood patterns around eating, food choices, best methods for weight loss or gain, possible addictions, love (or not) for entertaining, and the right exercise method to keep you motivated
• Includes an Enneagram food-personality test and explains how understanding your Enneagram type allows you to alter your subconscious programming and become not only physically, but emotionally healthier
• Provides examples of healthy and unhealthy expressions of each personality type’s relationship to food and exercise
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to adore food, while others find eating simply a need? Why some people just love to work out and others absolutely abhor anything to do with physical exercise? Why some love entertaining, while others would rather spend a quiet evening alone?
In The Enneagram of Eating, Ann Gadd reveals how the well-known Enneagram system of personality types can explain your relationship to food and exercise. Including an easy Enneagram food-personality test to find your type, she devotes a full chapter to each of the 9 personality types. She provides an understanding of each type’s emotional eating triggers, including the emotional wounds and childhood patterns that formed them, what exercise regime will keep you motivated, why you entertain the way you do (or don’t), and the best methods for weight loss or gain. The author examines how we view our bodies, how we deal with food and eating, our behaviors when dining out or hosting a dinner party, possible addictions, and where our enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for exercise originates. Stressing how our emotional health affects our physical selves, the author provides examples of healthy and unhealthy development within each type.
Gadd shows how knowing how each type reacts around food will make it easier for us to alter our subconscious programming and become not only physically, but emotionally healthier. Offering fascinating insight into our subconscious attitudes toward food, she aims to inspire you to become more aware of your approach to eating in general, so you can develop healthier and happier ways of being.
This fun test is designed as a rough guide to your Enneagram type. Our Wings, the numbers we move toward or away from, whether we are Social, Sexual, or Self-Preservation types, and most importantly, our level of integration, will all affect how we reply to the questions, meaning that the test should give us an idea of the Enneagram area we need to look in, but not always the actual type.
The best way to find your type is to feel what type resonates most with you. Ask friends, family, colleagues, or partners for their opinions. Sometimes others see things of which we are unaware. Read other books on the Enneagram, explore the many on-line resources available and do some of the more in depth tests until you really feel you can relate to your type. Sometimes we are the type we are least drawn to.
For each of the following sentences circle the statement that resonates most with you, a, b, or c. Each of these statements corresponds to one of the nine Enneagram types. If none of the statements in a sentence apply to you skip that sentence.
1. At a buffet, I… a. would prefer something made especially for me b. employ a disciplined approach to food selection c. think, Wow! So much choice!
2. My philosophy regarding food is… a. eat or be eaten b. it’s a reflection of my success to be seen eating the latest food trends c. cooking is love made visible
3. My ideal restaurant is… a. somewhere upmarket, new, and trendy b. romantic and unusual c. somewhere I’ve been before that’s a safe bet for a good meal
4. When it comes to leftovers, I… a. cater carefully so that there seldom is wastage b. am thrilled-it’ll save cooking again for days c. give them to the homeless
5. When I am given an unusual dish, I… a. am suspicious about its contents b. am excited to try something new c. can’t wait to photograph and blog about it on Instagram
6. When shopping, I look for… a. things I can buy in bulk and thereby avoid unnecessary shopping trips b. whatever looks great, I just buy c. artisanal items that excite my love of good food
7. When the food at a restaurant is disappointing, I… a. complain - it’s not acceptable b. say nothing - I don’t make a fuss c. go into the kitchen to tell the chef
8. Regarding conversation at the table with friends, I… a. mostly keep quiet b. love telling a good story c. ask others about themselves
9. I enjoy eating the same meal every lunchtime… a. never - variety is the spice of life b. absolutely - then I don’t have to think about it c. yes, it’s less work
10. When it comes to dishing up food, I… a. like to dish up for my partner b. choose what I want to eat c. enjoy my partner feeding me morsels
11. When it comes to ordering at a restaurant, I… a. choose what most people are having b. choose what will make me look good and sophisticated c. choose an expensive dish if I’m not paying
12. I enjoy the type of food that’s… a. comforting b. that’s ethically sourced - I enjoy doing what’s right c. anything I don’t have to prepare myself
13. Presentation of a dish is… a. not that important - I’m more concerned with the cleanliness of the cutlery b. unimportant to me, as long as there is lots of it and it tastes amazing c. very important to me - it’s got to look beautiful
14. I enjoy entertaining… a. absolutely, it’s a great way to make business contacts b. I don’t c. I do, if I can decide what to make
15. When it comes to dieting, I… a. can never decide which diet is best b. set definite goals or targets for myself c. look for a friend who needs help sticking to their diet and team up with them
16. I have to choose a restaurant to go to with visiting colleagues, I… a. plan a whole night’s entertainment at various venues b. somewhere that’s not too pricey - I don’t want the office to think I’m wasting money. c. try to find somewhere that will make everyone happy
17. When I shop, I… a. always come home with some special sweet treats for family and colleagues b. usually have my partner do the daily grocery shop, but I enjoy hitting the malls occasionally and blowing a bunch of cash c. make a list, so as not to be tempted to buy what we don’t really need
18. I do yoga or would take it up because… a. of its spiritual approach and focus on a deeper level of selfawareness b. the slow pace of Yin, Hatha, or Restorative Yoga c. I enjoy perfecting the poses
19. Competitive bodybuilding to me is… a. incomprehensible b. about making my body my art c. a visible way to show off my goal of getting amazing pecs
20. I prefer… a. teamsports b. individual sports c. sports where I can excel
21. I exercise because… a. hey, I’ll try anything, if it’s fun b. I’m worried about my long-term health c. I want to support my friend/partner/colleague
22. When it comes to winning, I… a. don’t know the meaning of “lose.” If it ever happens, then revenge is on the cards. b. will do whatever it takes to win and achieve my goal c. am afraid that by winning, I will upset the other competitors
23. In a team, I tend to focus more on… a. the team’s performance at the expense of my own b. my own achievement at the expense of the teams’ c. the fact that I don’t enjoy being part of a team
24. I participate in teamsports because… a. I enjoy leading my team to victory b. I love being one of the guys/gals c. it feels good to help my teammates improve
25. I prefer to exercise on my own because… a. I’m afraid that if I underperform I’ll upset the rest of the team b. people drain me, and I enjoy time alone to ponder c. it’s stressful if I perform badly to feel I’ve let the team down
26. When I set myself an exercise goal, I… a. normally achieve it - I’m a goal-oriented person b. mean to stick to it but get distracted and lazy c. find that there’s often someone who needs my help, so I can’t stick to it 27. I don’t exercise because… a. I’m too caught up in my latest project b. I’ve never understood the desire to get hot and sweaty c. it starts off fun but then becomes routine and boring
28. When I have an exercise plan, I… a. stick to it rigidly b. vacillate between sticking to it and then not doing so c. stick to it if it’s going to ensure I’m stronger and more likely to win
29. My home is… a. usually a mess - I never get round to tidying up b. warm and inviting c. a place with beautiful objects that I’ve selected carefully
30. In my appearance, I aim to look… a. cool and trendy b. flash -- I enjoy having some bling c. different -- maybe even a bit retro
Use the answer key above to see which type applies to you for that sentence. (E.g. Q1: If you answered “a” then the answer key shows that “a” corresponds to a type Four, “b” to a type One and “c” to a type Seven.) Tally your totals for each type in the boxes below to see which type/s score the highest. This will give you an indication of what type you might be or which areas of the Enneagram you might want to look into.
Ann Gadd is a writer, holistic practitioner, workshop facilitator, and journalist. An avid, long-term student of the Enneagram, she offers Enneagram workshops for beginners and advanced students. The author of several books, including The Girl Who Bites Her Nails, The A-Z of Common Habits, and Finding Your Feet, Ann lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Ann invites us to consider our day-to-day habits and what can support us in making realistic changes. This involves looking at the difficult aspects of our food and lifestyle choices. If you are new to the Enneagram, this book is a great start to helping you get orientated. For those who know about this ancient and modern-day teaching--it is food for thought.”
– Monika Adelfang, one of the principal founders and developers of the Nine Domains Approach
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