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Build Clarity

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>> Hi again. In this lecture, we're continuing our discussion of boundaries by honing in on one key characteristic. It's true that boundaries have many benefits, but they're much more beneficial if there's a second factor at play. Before I divulge in what that is, let me start with some examples to illustrate. Here are a few comparisons of possible food boundaries. A, I cook dinner three nights a week versus, B, I cook a few times a week. A, I order dessert or a drink at restaurants versus, B, I don't order as many desserts. A, I minimize sugar except special occasions versus, B, I try to eat less sugar most of the time. A, I drink water first thing every morning versus, B, I drink water every morning. What differences do you notice between these boundaries? Grab your journal, and spend a few minutes comparing them. What did you come up with? Here's a quote by Napoleon Hill that might help. "There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." Definiteness of purpose, you might be familiar with goal setting strategies, which include setting specific and measurable goals. Boundaries are related to goals in that they are built in order to help clients develop more healthful eating habits and food relationships. Therefore, like goals, they are much more helpful if they are specific and measurable, in other words, clear, which brings me to the focus of today's material. The benefits of clarity with regard to creating food boundaries and finding your bio-individual sweet spot. Going back to some of the statements you just journaled on, which statement is more clear? A, I cook dinner three nights a week or, B, I cook a few times a week. The first one, right? A few can mean two, three, or four. But three means three. Plus, the first statement specifies dinner, which makes it clear. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can empower clients to build clarity around their food sweet spots. This helps them recognize when they might veer into rigidity or perhaps lack healthful structure. Clarity helps clients develop more healthful and enjoyable food relationships, and it strengthens the coaching process. Here are four coaching strategies around clarity. Have a plan. Having a plan helps clients commit to themselves. It's their personal plan that they created based on their goals, values, and priorities. Having a plan strengthens the coaching process because it promotes client-led coaching. It shows clients that they have the tools to find their own solutions with your support. It also reinforces the importance of designing action steps that helps clients reach their goals. Some examples. Keep a food journal or a log of everything you eat without exception. Stay accountable to a partner or group with daily or weekly check-ins. Have a food-free zone at home and/or at work to redirect attention away from eating. And commit to trying alternate self-care methods when cravings or strong emotions hit. I want to quickly bring up an interesting parallel to emotional eating. When people are in recovery for drugs or alcohol, they are taught to avoid people, places, and things that trigger cravings. This mirrors why many people find food boundaries helpful. Exposure to anything symbolic of old, maladaptive patterns can trigger cravings. Over time, mindsets, associations, and habits shift enough that clients might be able to reintroduce certain habits with greater mindfulness. But having clarity provides them with a plan so that they feel better equipped with strategies to curb emotional eating habits. Know that you can change the plan but only with mindfulness. Again, the beauty of self-created boundaries, you created them, so you can change them. This is an important concept to share with clients. Their boundaries don't have to last forever. People change, and your clients will change. Their needs and preferences will change. When what they thought might work doesn't end up working, they probably need to adjust and adapt. In terms of the coaching process, giving clients the power to change their plans helps them create awareness and is a great opportunity for asking high-mileage questions that encourage clients to challenge the boundaries they set. As we've discussed, trying boundaries requires adaptability as needs and goals change. Therefore, mindfully changing plans is a way of helping clients manage progress. The key here is mindfulness. Staying mindful of why they are changing the plan. Are they changing it because it's just too hard? If so, why is it too hard? Is it actually too hard on a practical level or is there some internal resistance? One helpful rule of thumb is to ask clients to give themselves one full day before changing the boundary. For example, if they decide to change the plan on Monday, they can do so until Tuesday. This helps curb that need for instant gratification by helping them take time to connect with why they set that boundary in the first place, which brings me to the next strategy. Connect with the bigger picture. Coaching goes beyond food. Focusing on clarity brings clients back to their bigger picture values and goals. It helps them navigate common emotional eating cycle patterns such as falling down the proverbial rabbit hole and having just one and suddenly eating the entire package and judging themselves. Having one too many treats and feeling guilty, thus, overriding the short-term pleasure they seek. And depriving themselves in order to lose weight but compulsively eating when they can't take it anymore, thus, sabotaging any attempts at mindful eating. Connecting with the bigger picture helps clients take a step back and observe their habits objectively. One question that can help clients gain clarity is this. Do you deprive yourself more by not having it or by having it? In fact, grab your journal right now and think about a time when you adopted an eating approach that left you feeling deprived. Then think about a time when you realized that giving into instant gratification cravings left you feeling worse than before. Pause the video now and just write down your stream of consciousness unfiltered on those two ideas. Interesting to think about, right? Creating clear boundaries can illuminate the internal struggles that motivated us to create them in the first place. In terms of the coaching process, helping clients connect with the bigger picture helps them make their goals a reality and focuses beyond food. In terms of the coaching process, helping clients connect with the bigger picture helps them make their goals a reality and focuses beyond food. And finally, know where to draw the line. This is a very important factor. It can be very easy, especially for clients who have struggled with eating disorders, or chronic dieting, or for perfectionists or type A personalities to veer into a realm of rigidity, inflexibility, and severity. It can also go the other way. Clients who struggle with overeating or compulsive eating might be a little too flexible rather than respecting the boundaries they set for a reason. As such, knowing where to draw the line encourages self-awareness, self-connection, and mindfulness. One coaching question that helps clients is this. How do you uphold boundaries while remaining flexible to life's curveballs? As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you help hold clients accountable, but you also empower them consistently, including when they break the boundaries they set for themselves. When this happens, you can remind them that they're not weak but that they are strong. After all, they're trying again, aren't they? They're not giving up. And when they're ready to give up, you can help them adjust their boundaries so that they feel more manageable and induce feelings of success, which motivates continual progress. We'll talk more about working with setbacks later on. But for now, I want to point out that knowing where to draw the line also refers to your scope of practice as a coach. You can be there for your clients in many ways but not in all ways. Most importantly, you are there to help them find their own ways of thriving, and that includes empowering them to build their own clear boundaries. You might have noticed that I've been using verbs like draw and build. This is because, as we've discussed, creating personal boundaries is a process. Just like drawing and building, it requires taking time, making adjustments, and fine-tuning. We included an exercise and done-for-you called Building Clear Boundaries that incorporates the ideas we covered today. You can try it yourself and use it with clients. To briefly recap so far, like goals, boundaries are much more helpful if they're specific and measurable, in other words, clear. Building clarity empowers clients and strengthens the coaching process. Four strategies you can use. Have a plan, know that you can change the plan with mindfulness, connect with the bigger picture, and know where to draw the line. Okay, now let's go over four benefits of clarity. Clarity helps cement the why behind habits. Clear boundaries are more tangible, which makes them more actionable. It's more challenging to stay committed to vague and wishy-washy boundaries which can be confusing and, frankly, unsettling, and even anxiety provoking. If your clients know where they stand, they feel more prepared and organized to move forward. For example, moving through the process of greater clarity might bring up resistances, which you can explore together. Why is this client having a hard time deciding on how often he'll skip dessert? Why is this client having a hard time leavening her bedtime snack and these resistances like deeper food metaphors and eating story components? In short, clarity helps your clients find the why behind their habits. They'll take time to be clear with their intentions because it matters to them. Are you with me? This relates to my second point here. Clarity motivates commitment. Again, if your clients feel more organized, they'll probably feel more committed. Clarity helps create a sense of direction. If I'm going to make dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then I'm planning how to do that in action steps, and thus, more likely to stick to it until it becomes a habit. If I say I'm cooking three times this week, then I might easily push it back until I get to Thursday, and then realize that, "Oops, I ran out of days." Commitment makes your clients decision-making easier because they're less distracted by unimportant things. Their attention is directed towards feeling healthier and happier in more efficient ways as defined, in part, by their clear boundaries. Clarity increases accountability. This is twofold. Clarity helps clients stay accountable to themselves but it also helps them stay accountable to you, the coach. If they decide to eat breakfast at home Monday through Friday no matter what and then they share that they only ate breakfast at home on Tuesday, well, it's pretty clear that they didn't stay accountable to their food boundary that week. Week commitments give us an out when we don't feel like upholding them. Breaking deeply engrained patterns is hard, and changing them requires full on commitment. It's harder to stay committed when you don't have a solid plan to commit to because it's easier to let things slide. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you might need to provide some tough love from time to time if you think it might help clients with their larger values and the whys behind the boundaries they set for themselves. And that's much easier to do if you have a clear boundary to refer to. Clarity goes beyond food. For example, if a client struggles to create a clear boundary around food, this might be a good opportunity to explore how that client struggles to clear boundaries beyond food in relationships, our work, with their personal schedules, and with other primary food. Food boundaries might very likely reflect boundaries in other areas of life. Therefore, the process of building clarity can be a rich coaching tool. And last but not least, clarity empowers. Ta-da, here we are again at the overarching theme of this material, empowerment. Coaching clients on clear boundaries empowers them because it helps to find sense of purpose. Again, it connects them with their why because they're practicing an internal locus of control. And they're focusing on specific ways of coping with food struggles based on their bio-individuality. In short, clarity gives clients a greater feeling of control. To recap, here are the five benefits of building clarity. It helps cement the why behind habits, it motivates commitment, it increases accountability, it goes beyond food, and it empowers. This week, you'll practice this material with your accountability coaching partner and try another peer critique, so check that out in your Skill Building Activities. You'll also practice the material with Tomas, the weekly case study. That's all for today. Until next time.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Build Clarity

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