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Coach Change

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>> Hi. Today, we're focusing on coaching clients through change. Changing habits is like walking a tightrope. On the surface, the concept is pretty simple, just walk in a straight line or, in this case, just pay more attention to what you put on your plate. However, simple does not equal easy. Walking a tightrope requires complex challenges of motor control and perception. Not to mention knowing how to navigate environmental factors like wind. Likewise, there are million factors that can make the simplest of eating habit changes difficult. Most of us are pretty set in our ways. But here we are, how to coach habit change around emotional eating. Guiding chain is an important part of coaching, right? It's walking side by side with your client, listening actively, and figuring out what works for this particular person based on what's not working right now. Supporting clients through transformation in mindsets and behaviors because, yes, so much about change is about attention, not just action. It's like guiding them through a field, while at the same time, doing less than you might feel compelled to do. Coaching change around emotional eating habits is, you probably guessed it, complicated. Clients eat emotionally and compulsively for a reason. It serves as some form of self-protection and adaptation to internal and external stressors. Food has become a coping mechanism, emotional nourishment, and a symbol of something beyond food itself. Unpleasant emotions trigger unhelpful eating habits. And those habits are hard to change. They're the results of long and convoluted eating stories, biases, and limiting beliefs, and they're often ingrained patterns. Change requires feeling empowered over personal choices. And as a coach, that's a major aspect of your support. Habit change itself is a huge area of coaching. But today, we're going to explore six guideposts for coaching habit change and respecting the process of moving out of emotional eating loops and cycles. You might notice that these guideposts apply to coaching in general, not just emotional eating. But there's a reason for that, they're valuable. We have a lot to cover today. So let's dive in. Grab your journal to brainstorm as we go. Number one, take the long view. Changing emotional eating habits, like health coaching, isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. It requires pacing. It's about the journey, not just the destination. Marathon runners don't simply get up 1 day and decide to run 26.2 miles. They train for months. They have good days and bad days. But little by little, they build up endurance and prepare their bodies for the big event. Throughout that event, they have to pace themselves and tune into their bodies to avoid burning out. Likewise, habits don't change overnight, and coaching clients around changing emotional eating habits means explaining what the process will look like in the long run and helping them respect the process even when it's challenging. Again, there are many possible metaphors and analogies here. What other metaphors or analogies might be useful when coaching clients around this? Pause the video, and write down a few ideas. Taking the long view honors the bigger picture process of change. Changing food relationships is about more than the food itself. It's about changing self-relationships and ways of being. As Geneen Roth puts it, "It's not a matter of changing what you eat. It's a matter of changing how you live." Taking the long view means connecting with the process. This allows space to enjoy the process, which leads to better results because we're more likely to stick with it. Connecting with the process can also lead to vulnerability, but that's where you can provide support through the guideposts we're covering today. Finally, taking the long view supports sustainable habit changes. It's not about finding what works for you right now. It's about finding what will work for you, well, forever. Back to that marathon metaphor. It requires spending your energy strategically versus burning yourself out in a rapid change sprint that's extreme and that exhausts you quickly. This relates to the next point today. Number two, nix the straight fix. Coaching habit change is the anti quick fix approach, which might feel very unfamiliar to your clients. It's also a good check for you as a coach because it reminds you that your job isn't to fix your clients. Your job is to guide their self-facilitation. And the goal is sustainability. The road there is often far from linear or even consistent. It ebbs and flows. Clients spend lifetimes accumulating information about their bodies and about eating. And now they have to unlearn all of that and adopt new perspectives. As a coach, you can continue to remind them that it took them X amount of time to get where they are right now, and it won't go away overnight. For example, taste buds change, but it takes time. In her book Year of No Sugar, Eve Schaub jokes that it took her kids less time to adapt to and be okay with sugar substitutions than it took her. But this makes sense, right? She had a much longer "lifetime" of sugar than they did. Nixing the straight fix means not only helping clients take the long view but also reaffirms that lag time is normal, as is moving backward. It's not about perfection. Habit change requires consistency and ongoing practice or training, but that doesn't mean that every single day will be better than the one before. One last point, using the word fix implies that there's something wrong or negative or lacking. Many clients who struggle with food already judge themselves. It's so important to stay mindful of the language you use with them. There's nothing wrong with them, and everyone eats emotionally sometimes, it's normal. This relates to my next point. Number three, keep it positive. This is pretty straightforward. Keeping it positive means starting sessions by asking what's going well. It means focusing on achievable and positive goals that relate to larger values so that clients feel good about the why behind any struggles that come up along the way. It means focusing on self-nourishment by modeling neutral and nonjudgmental language rather than focusing on perfection. Keeping it positive is one great way to let clients lead by continually asking them, "So how's that working for you?" when they feel stuck in habits or when they're exploring new approaches. It's about using a strengths-based coaching approach. Increasing clients' awareness of their strengths and showing them that they have all they need to get where they want to go. Crowding out is another way of keeping it positive. You're helping clients add in more beneficial strategies and eating approaches so that they don't feel deprived with all that they have to give up. Finally, keeping it positive means bringing an air of lightness, playful curiosity, and humor. Maybe you say, "Well, it sounds like that's not working for you." Maybe you even have a buzzer for every time a client uses the word diet or should. Get creative, habit change is hard. And the more enjoyable you can make the process, the more you nudge clients to keep moving through the challenges and unstick unhelpful habits. How else might you keep the process of change positive for clients? Pause the video, and write down a few ideas. You have many tools in your tool belt, never forget that. Number four, mobilize mindful action. George Bernard Shaw once said, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." A consultant is paid to give advice, while an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach provides the safe space needed for clients to do their own work. Supporting clients with emotional eating is less about providing information and more about guiding transformation. As we've discussed, habit change requires changing mindsets, the thoughts and beliefs clients have about themselves. One question you can continually use around limiting beliefs is this, "What would you gain by challenging these beliefs?" Yet, ultimately, we are what we do. Mobilizing mindful action is important because actions can challenge beliefs that have kept clients stuck. Developing non-food coping strategies helps clients realize that they don't need food to comfort them. Focusing on developing nourishing relationships can challenge assumptions that they aren't good enough. Choosing to eat mindfully can move clients out of limiting beliefs like, "I'm weak because I have no self-control." When it comes to habit change, procrastination is common. This is part of why so many of us remain stuck for so long. We just don't want to do it because we're comfortable where we are, in the familiar, yet putting it off decreases the odds that we take action and make it happen. So many clients will wait for the perfect time to dive in, but the conditions will never be perfect. As a coach, you can provide support so that they feel more comfortable starting under imperfect conditions. Starting today increases the odds of success. Let's keep going. Number five, aim low. Okay, this one might not seem so straightforward. As a coach, isn't one of your jobs to motivate clients to aim high, reach for the moon, and achieve lasting transformation beyond their wildest dreams? Well, kind of. But when it comes to habit change, it's also important to keep it simple, stick with the basics, and move forward one step at a time. Taking the long view and nixing the fix often go hand in hand with aiming low in order to feel more successful. It's like how you learned in your Health Coach Training Program that when you underpromise and overdeliver, your clients walk away feeling like they gained more value from your work together than if you'd promised them more value than they received. If your client sets really lofty goals and then falls short, he or she might feel like a failure rather than appreciating successes. Many clients will have developed learned helplessness. They might feel less in control because they've experienced continual failure, for example, an inability to lose weight with chronic dieting. This is because there's no correspondence between their actions and their outcomes. They continually try to achieve a goal, and they're met with the same obstacles over and over again. So what do they do? They eventually stop trying because their subconscious brains attempts to protect them from repeated pain. As a result, clients might feel powerless to succeed even as you coach them through obstacles. In short, they're in a cycle of stuck, and it requires some creativity and aiming low to keep them moving. Underpromising doesn't mean that you're lazy. It just increases your chances of success. Underpromising means that clients have opportunities to hit their targets or even overdeliver. Metaphors and analogies are valuable coaching tools for framing the process of change. As Shawn Achor describes it in The Happiness Advantage, "Small successes can add up to major achievements. All it takes is drawing that first circle in the sand." Another metaphor, there's a movie with Bill Murray called What About Bob? One of the themes of the movie is taking baby steps. As one character says, "All I have to do is take one little step at a time, and I can do anything." When clients succeed, they feel empowered to keep moving forward because they believe more in personal potential. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help clients aim low by keeping it simple and making one small change at a time, perhaps one notch below where they want to aim. How else might you incorporate aiming low? Pause the video, and write down a few ideas. And finally, the last point today. Number six, honor ongoing change. Did you know that people with a fixed mindset, the belief that abilities are fixed, are less likely to flourish than those with the growth mindset, the belief that abilities can be developed? Changing habits takes time. Developing greater self-awareness is a process of unfolding, peeling back layer by layer, and playing the detective. Feel free to insert your own metaphors here. The point here is that there's really no end point, and that is a nugget of wisdom that you can help clients understand. Again, it's about taking the long view, but it's also about honoring the fact that clients continually change. Change is constant. We're all works in progress, even if we think we're finished and pretty much set for life. What do you think about this quote, "The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting, and as temporary as all the people you've ever been"? I'm going to leave you with that for now because it's time to wrap up. Emotional eating roots run deep. Habits are often very difficult to change, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. At the end of the day, it's bio-individual, and no one's perfect. That said, these six guideposts will be very useful for you. You might even want to write them down somewhere as a reminder of how much you can offer your clients when you feel stuck as a coach. Take the long view, nix the straight fix, keep it positive, mobilize mindful action, aim low, and honor ongoing change. This week, you will have plenty of opportunities to apply this material with exercises like Weighing the Odds and Simplifying Change, which you can find in your Learning Center. How do you feel about change? Use the Facebook group to share your thoughts around this challenging topic. That's all for today. See you back here soon.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 7
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Coach Change

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