If I punish myself enough, maybe I’ll get it right. Not the best strategy in my humble opinion.
Client: “I was bad,” “I ate the whole loaf of garlic bread, on the car ride home.” My first question was, “did you enjoy it?” She said she barely remembered it. My comment, “next time I invite you to slow down, pay attention and enjoy it.” She was surprised.
I’d rather my client be present and enjoy her carbs than numb out.
The following week she told me she was eating brownies and never tasted anything so delicious before. She ate less than she normally would have and felt satisfied. She tuned in, not out. Mindful eating goes a long way.
I will always encourage a healthy, whole foods based, balanced, nutritious diet (eating style) but it won’t be at the expense of a punishing attitude, fear based thinking or deprivation. Nope, not having it!
Aim for healthy choices that support your goals, you feel good about, and that give you some flexibility and freedom. Nutrition is only one piece of the pie, not the whole enchilada.
Client: “I was previously successful losing weight on XYZ program but hated counting calories. It was boring.” I asked her how it might be fun this time around, she said, “it never occurred to me this could be fun.” She mentioned her roommate made healthy, delicious meals and that she always wanted to learn to cook. The following week they were mixing it up in the kitchen. She felt inspired, by her own solution.
When making dietary changes set yourself up for success. Know what you want to achieve/how you want to feel, set specific goals, make a plan to carry them out, create a supportive environment, and anticipate and work through obstacles. You want to challenge yourself, be accountable, have a forgiving attitude with any setbacks and continue to move forward.
Negative self-talk and a punitive attitude doesn’t feel good and rarely leads to desired changes. Try on something else for size. We will be in relationship with food for the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were a healthy, enriching one?
Questions to ponder:
- What are my beliefs around eating/dieting?
- How do my beliefs shape my behaviors?
- What information, support, or resources will move me towards what I want?
- What first step (s) am I willing to take?
Exceptions: People with various health conditions or food sensitivities, or athletes, for example, benefit from and may even thrive on very specific diets. This is not directed at them.