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Reveal the Relationship

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>> Hello, it's great to be with you again. The material in this lecture centers around very important truth of the emotional eating puzzle. The fact that your clients don't live in bubbles. Granted, some of them will be more social than others. Some will be introverts and some will be extroverts. Some will have a very busy social calendar, and some won't. Though you might see more clients who don't, especially if they're really struggling with emotional eating because as you might recall, emotional eating can fuel isolation. However, all clients will, at some point, eat with other people, and it will likely be a difficult area for them to navigate. Revealing the relationship takes confidence. By sharing with people that you're changing your way of eating, you're letting them in on the fact that you struggle with it. Many emotional eaters are secretive with their habits, so exposing this vulnerability can feel terrifying. Clients might want to change, but might still feel ambivalent about giving up certain foods or habits that they enjoy or that bring them familiarity and safety. Therefore, they might feel uneasy about announcing their commitment because declaring it out loud and revealing it means that they now really have to commit to it. This can create a sense of accountability that's motivated by fear or extrinsic motivation. For example, "Now everyone's going to be looking at what I eat. What if I fail? Now I'm failing publicly, and people are judging me." This type of thinking could motivate a person to keep quiet about what they're doing. How do clients move past these feelings? Luckily, our focus today is on how you can support them with this. In particular, how you can help them drop clear boundaries around food and reveal their shifting food relationships with others. Setting boundaries requires courage, but using them with others requires more courage. However, honoring and respecting personal boundaries around food with other people is an important part of healing food relationships. Not only does it empower your clients, it can also help them nourish their relationships. This is because it helps them respect other people's boundaries. Yet again, how we do one thing is how we do everything. Building boundaries goes beyond food and it can motivate a domino effect of positive change. To quote Brené Brown, "When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated." This is why we sometimes attack who they are which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice. We do this with others and with ourselves. When we don't have boundaries around our actions, we might judge ourselves because we feel like we aren't in control of our own lives. For example, we might think of ourselves as weak or pushovers. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can strategize with clients on how to reveal their new food relationships in social situations that might trigger emotional eating. In other words, you can help them navigate how to respect the revised relationships with food, the mindsets and habits they work on during the coaching process with you, when eating with family, friends, and others. This can take time and it can feel very vulnerable. Have you ever seen a magazine with photos of celebrities going out in public with transformed bodies for the first time? Many of them remain very private about life changes for a long time as it can feel vulnerable and can also make waves. Many of your clients might feel uncertain about how to navigate emotional eating triggers. They also might be afraid to make waves with new eating habits that they think draw attention to themselves. Have you ever made changes that you felt uncomfortable revealing to others? How did it make you feel? How did you navigate that? Grab your journal, pause the video, and think on that idea. Did you come up with anything that might help you coach clients around this? Relationships nourish us and they're an important part of not using food for a purpose, plus, practically speaking, we have to eat with others sometimes. However, your clients might eat with people who don't understand their goals or their new boundaries. Their family members or friends might not like the changes they see. Change can be hard, plus seeing the changes your client is making might highlight their own perceived shortcomings. They might feel affected by the changes. For example, if the family had a tradition of eating pizza on Friday nights, and now your client is choosing other food options. Clients might even receive hurtful comments. In other words, your clients might face many challenges to their new personal boundaries around food, challenges that you might very well have faced yourself. While we're sometimes quick to draw other boundaries, such as personal space, and topics of conversation that make us uncomfortable, when it comes to food, we're often much quicker to not honor our personal boundaries. We decide to give into celebration and overindulgence on sweets. We joined the late night snacking party or we order an unsatisfying salad for lunch just because everyone else is. As always, there are many factors at play, factors that often contradict one another. For example, eating with others can motivate positive food relationships, while social isolation can motivate emotional eating. And we often change our eating habits when we eat with others. But this also depends on the situation. Studies show that men might eat more when eating with women, but not with men. However, while women often don't eat more when eating with men, drinking more alcohol can increase the amount that they consume. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help clients navigate potential challenges and help them honor their personal boundaries around food. Now as with other areas of coaching, you might be looking forward to a laundry list of strategies and methods to better prepare you. But as you also know, we're not here to spoon feed you because you're all unique individuals with different approaches, and your clients are all unique individuals with different needs and challenges. For today, I want to highlight three broad guideposts for coaching around this. Have your journal handy as you'll be interacting with this material as we go. Maintain neutrality and non-judgment. As a coach, you want to model these with respect to your clients' mindsets and behaviors, as well as the boundaries they choose to build. You can help guide them and illuminate alternate perspectives, but it's ultimately up to them. Coaching with neutrality and non-judgment creates a safe space for clients to practice sharing vulnerable emotions that they haven't shared with others, as well as emotions that social eating brings up for them, which have likely perpetuated unhelpful coping strategies, like using food. Modeling neutrality and non-judgment helps foster these mindsets in your clients. These are helpful mindsets to return to when they feel challenged in social situations that trigger maladaptive eating habits. Can you think of some reasons why this is the case? Grab your journal, pause the video, and write down some ideas. What did you come up with? Here are a few ideas. Maintaining a neutral and nonjudgmental mindset can help clients explain their food boundaries to others using nonthreatening language. People will likely ask the reasons behind habit changes, and you can help clients practice possible responses. Practicing non-judgment with regard to their own eating habits serves as a form of self-nourishment, so that clients are less likely to cope with food when they feel stressed in social situations. And neutrality can take the focus away from the food itself so that clients focus more on social connection. I'm sure you came up with some valuable insights of your own, and I encourage you to share them in the Facebook group. Let's move on to the next coaching guidepost. Help clients cope ahead. Coping ahead is a very helpful component of coaching. After all, you want clients to feel confident knowing that they have the tools they need. You want to help them make the most of their particular circumstances based on their experiences. Coping ahead means considering possible triggers and social dynamics that cause discomfort and motivate mindless eating or using food to cope. Do you remember the Food Factors handout from earlier in the course? This handout explores possible triggers and stressors that motivate unhelpful eating mindsets and habits, and you can still access it in your Learning Center. In this module, we include a handout called Social Eating Strategies that provide suggestions, as well as space for clients to create their own strategies for coping ahead. Before you take a look at that, take a moment now to think for yourself. Our credibility as Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches lies in our own stories of personal change, doesn't it? We're living proof in the possibility of moving forward towards goals. Grab your journal, pause the video, and write down a few ways that you have used coping ahead around social eating in your own life. See that? You have so much to offer clients. Coping ahead decreases vulnerability to triggers and it relates to setting clear boundaries. Clients have a plan and they're clear and firm about that. They are in charge. This relates to the last guidepost for today. Empower, empower, empower. And here we are, one more time, empowerment. This is probably the most valuable piece. The more you can empower clients to nourish themselves by tuning in and respecting their personal boundaries around food, the more confident they'll feel sharing them with others or not if they don't feel ready yet. And the greater the possibility they'll receive nourishment beyond food. I know you have some ideas of your own, so let me first empower you by giving you a few minutes to write down your own ideas. Pause the video now, and write down some coaching strategies that can empower clients around social eating. Now let me ask you this, have you tried any of those strategies yourself? Again, your credibility stems from your experiences with change. Let me list a few more empowering ideas for your coaching toolkit. You can remind clients that they don't need approval or validation from others, and you can validate them to boost their confidence. You can encourage them to practice assertiveness and you can practice this with them. You can help them continually connect to the why behind their bio-individual boundaries, such as "I'm helping myself. I'm committing to myself. I'm connecting to my values. I'm focusing on myself, rather than always needing to please others. And I'm empowering myself around food, which will empower me in other areas." And you can continually remind them that they don't have to reveal anything if they're not comfortable with or ready to reveal. You can empower clients by helping them with clarity and you can empower them by helping them feel prepared to navigate possible challenges. Finally, you can remind them that they decide when and with whom to share their food boundaries. As someone once told me, there's no timeline for your life. Have I sold you on empowerment yet? Okay, let's review and put it all together. Throughout this course, we've talked a lot about connections between food and relationships. We've highlighted the importance of social connection and connecting with others through food in nourishing ways. However, while many people value the connecting quality of food, many people struggle to eat with others due to shame of personal eating habits, fear of judgment, fear of inability to stick to self-prescribed boundaries whether helpful or not, and difficulty focusing beyond the food itself. But we humans, like many animals thrive on connection. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help clients honor their personal boundaries around food in ways that help them focus beyond the food to the people they eat with. This feels self-empowerment and it nourishes relationships by helping them respect other people's boundaries and thus nourish their relationships. Just like revealing other personal changes, revealing new food relationships can feel vulnerable. Three broad guideposts you can use in coaching are to maintain neutrality and non-judgment, help clients cope ahead, and empower, empower, empower. We included several done-for-you handouts and your Learning Center for you to use with clients, so take a look at those. We're also asking you to send out this material by practicing high-mileage questions about food boundaries. And as always, keep sharing in the Facebook group. Thanks for joining me, and I'll see you back here again soon.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 40 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Reveal the Relationship

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