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A Balancing Act

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>> Welcome back. Let's continue exploring how you can help clients move out of emotional eating cycles by respecting the process of change. Coaching habit change can seem simple in theory, but feel far from it in reality. For example, it's about setting smart goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. But it's more than that. It's about asking what this particular client wants to prioritize right now and aligning the process with that. But it's more than that. It's about recognizing that life is always changing and evolving. Needs change, habits change, and goals change. But it's more than that. It's about understanding the power of the domino effect. How taking action can build momentum and create positive change in multiple areas of life. But it's more than that. It's all of these things combined, and it's far from easy. Change requires trapezing from one point to the next, which means that you have to let go before you can move forward. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you kind of serve as both a gentle nudge that keeps clients moving and the safety net when they fall, kind of because ultimately clients can't rely on you. You want to empower them. How do you do this? By using basic guideposts such as taking the long view, keeping it positive, and mobilizing action. Coaching change includes promoting self-nourishment and self-empowerment, honoring bio-individuality, honoring imperfection, keeping it strengths-based, keeping it simple, and focusing on mindsets and behaviors. Today, we're going to briefly cover three areas of balance when coaching emotional eating. Systems versus intuition, values versus goals, and progress versus humanity. Are you intrigued? Keep your journal handy. Here we go. Number one, balance systems with intuition, this speaks to the bio- individuality of habit change. All habit change is fueled by mindfulness and self-connection. It's also fueled by intrinsic motivation, motivation that arises from inside the individual because it's naturally satisfying rather than motivation from external rewards. However, these might look different depending on the client. Some clients might have great success with more concrete systems for behavior change, while others might benefit from less structure. Therefore, coaching requires using different lenses and helping clients tune into habits differently depending on bio-individuality. In short, the process of habit change depends on what resonates with each client and what works on a sustainable level. For example, planning decreases the mental effort of decision-making. So a client who struggles to unstick compulsive eating habits might benefit from using a food journal and writing down everything they eat in order to stay accountable. That might ease the mental process of deciding whether or not to eat a specific food in the moment. Systems-based clients might appreciate strategies like tracking progress on a phone app, weighing themselves regularly, or having a clear rewards-based system to motivate both outcome and behavior-based changes. Clients who are not so systems-based or who have struggled with restrictive or other disordered eating habits in the past might not enjoy or might not benefit as much from such strategies. They might prefer checking in with an accountability partner twice a month to share frustrations, successes and how to manage obstacles, monitoring weight progress by non-scale victories, for example, like how they feel or how their pants fit depending on the client, or attending a workshop on mindful eating. How else might you balance more systematic approaches with more intuitive ones? Spend a few minutes thinking about the course material as well as your own experiences. Pause the video now. I'm willing to bet that you have tried a variety of approaches yourself. And that's a great place to start. Both systems-based and intuitive-based approaches have a place in the coaching process. Number two, balance values with goals. This is another way of paying attention differently through different but related lenses. In this case, it's important to strike this balance with all clients in order to help them prioritize sustainable food relationships. First, goals. Goals are where clients hope to arrive. Again, the process of getting there looks different depending on the client. One client might have a particular weight goal, while another client might value having more energy to chase after grandchildren. Some clients might prefer to try quitting cold turkey rather than starting with the mindset of more or less. On the one hand, you want to connect clients with their goals, and you want to support them in making those goals realities by communicating about health, exploring alternative ideas, and managing progress and accountability. You want to encourage challenging actions while keeping a comfortable pace. You want to brainstorm detailed actions that will lead to results while encouraging immediate action. Yet again, it's a balancing act. It's important to clarify goals. As we've discussed, clarity cements the why behind goals, motivates commitment, increases accountability, and empowers. Vaguer goals can perpetuate feelings of powerlessness or stuckness because clients aren't sure how to work toward them and what constitutes success. However, some clients might benefit from focusing less on outcome goals and more on behavioral goals, while some clients might benefit from setting either type of goal when they have none to guide them. Either way, you can support them in this. It's not your job to set goals for them. But it is your job to support them in the process. Okay, so that's a brief overview of goals. Let's move to values. While goals are more focused on a result or something that you check off the list, values are more of an ongoing process. They provide direction and a sort of checks and balances for goals because they help clients refocus on the bigger picture. You might consider values the mindset piece and goals the action piece. Values reflect why and how clients show up for the coaching process and for themselves, as a coach, their one key aspect of coaching beyond food. Connecting with personal values can curb eating patterns that are based on self-worth. And it prevents ignoring other areas of life like primary food because it refocuses clients to the larger why behind their goals. For example, I want to lose weight. Why? Because I want to feel more confident. Why? Because I want to date more and put myself out there. Why? Because I'm tired of feeling lonely and using food for comfort. Can you see the value in there? It sounds like it might be connection or a sense of belonging. Values redirect clients beyond food, in this case, to relationships. Can you see how this is more powerful than a vague emotional goal like happiness? You can use values to view extreme eating approaches from dieting and restriction, to eating mindlessly and compulsively, with curiosity by asking high-mileage questions like, "How do you deprive your values by not changing? And how do you deprive your values by changing?" As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, it's important to balance values and goals in order to help clients keep moving forward while connecting with the bigger picture. And the last point today, number three, balance progress with humanity. This basically means gently nudging clients forward while honoring the fact that, as humans, no one's perfect. Perfectionism breeds disappointment. And it can lead to that learned helplessness we discussed earlier. Giving up and staying stuck because you can't bear the thought of not succeeding one more time. We'll discuss more strategies for working with challenges later on. But I want to introduce this idea now so that you can start thinking about it. Grab your journal one last time, pause the video and brainstorm how you might help clients practice anti-perfectionism in order to keep moving forward with positive change. You probably came up with many ideas. Here are some more examples. Create healthy habits versus rules. Hit the refresh button when mistakes happen by analyzing, adjusting, and trying again to reach the goal set. Acknowledge achievements no matter how small. Honor mistakes as learning opportunities and encourage them. And ask high-mileage questions to explore what is and isn't working. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you might have specific approaches that have worked with previous clients but which might not apply for this specific client. Most theories of habit change apply to many people, and we included some additional resources in your Skill Building Activities. But coaching emotional eating is a balancing act. And coaching habit change is also a balancing act. It's not easy, but here are three ways you can help simplify it and build hope for clients. One, balanced systems with intuition. Two, balance values with goals. And three, balance progress with imperfect humanity. You might be thinking, "But wait, how do I help them deal with setbacks? And what about self-sabotage? What do I do with that?" Stay tuned. We'll explore that very soon. In the meantime, look at the handouts in your Learning Center and keep connecting with your course mates in the Facebook group. Bye for now.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 15 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

A Balancing Act

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