It’s January, the time of New Year’s resolutions, joining the gym, eating more healthily, giving up alcohol or perhaps embarking on a 12 week program such as metabolic balance or Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living and beyond.
Whilst I am advising you on your diet, nutrition and lifestyle, I have to explore where your mind is, what are your core beliefs and philosophies. I need to understand your relationship with food and your attitude to exercise. Do you value yourself enough to make the changes that are needed? Can you sustain the changes and build them into who you are? Or do you see this as a 30 day or 12 week program, which once finished means you will go back to your old ways?
You might wonder what all that has to do with what I do? It has everything to do with it.
When we make a decision to change something in our lives it might come from a place of need or lacking or it may come from a desire to improve and enhance. For example, you might want to lose weight, to stop the pain in your joints, look great in a dress for a special occasion, lower your blood pressure, improve your energy or sleep. How strong is that desire and will it sustain you over 12 weeks? Will it sustain you for the rest of your life when you no longer have me as your coach?
Our relationship with food and alcohol is another factor I look at with prospective clients. Do you reward yourself with food? Do you punish yourself with food? Are you being ‘good’ and ‘naughty’ with food? What were the rules when you were growing up? Did you have to eat everything on the plate? Did you live on leftovers? Were you forced to eat foods you didn’t like? Did you have to leave something on the plate to show you had eaten enough? Were you threatened with starving children in Africa? Was fruit used as a punishment and dessert as a treat? Do you have to eat what your partner cooks for you? All these patterns emerge when changing your eating habits. What about alcohol? Do you drink every day? Can you go to a party and not drink? Can you have fun when sober? Do your friends push you to have ‘just one – that can’t hurt your program!’? Are you more dependent on alcohol than you realised? You actually can’t go a day without a drink.
What is your default reaction to stress? A cup of coffee, chocolate, sweets, cigarette? What about when you’re angry, nervous, sad, lonely or happy? What part does food play? Does eating fill a void, suppress anger or fear, stop the butterflies in your stomach? We really need to understand and be more aware of that relationship.
What about failure? If you do go off plan – and we all do – do you ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ or do you put it behind you, acknowledge it and get back on track immediately? Do you beat yourself up and say ‘I told you, you wouldn’t stick to it!!’
So what has all this got to do with healthy eating and mindset? When willpower runs out and we all know it only lasts a few weeks, mindset has to kick in to sustain us. When we work together, we will explore all of these questions and fine your triggers. I am here to keep you motivated. I am working on your mindset to shift your views on healthy eating to ‘this is how I eat’ versus ‘I am on a diet’.
Specific results are not guaranteed. Results of each nutrition programme may vary.