Date Your Meals!
This quite ludicrous title hides a very powerful shift that is the foundation for this work.
It is highly likely that for a long time you have been in a parent-child dynamic with how you eat.
Basically this involves the diet being the strict parent and the dieter being the naughty child who cannot be trusted to make their own food choices.
Looking to a diet or personal trainer or ANY external meal plan for guidance in meal planning and eating is to put yourself in the naughty child role.
Instead, we are going to EXPERIMENT with trying new ways of eating. Think of me as a matchmaker, helping you find the best way to eat for yourself. If I was a dating coach, my job would not be to force my idea of Mr or Mrs Perfect onto you, but to help you meet someone who is good for you, but also that you want to date again.
Let’s see how this plays out with both scenarios in this example:
Step 1: Your Issue & My Suggestion
Dating: You go for ‘bad boys’ who are exciting but always break your heart. You want to meet a decent man and settle down.
If I were a dating coach, I would suggest ditching nightclubs and joining a bungee jumping club, because the men there are adventurous but probably too busy bungee jumping to cheat on you (NB I know how dodgy this logic is! Good job I am not a dating coach in reality ha ha ha!)
Eating: The equivalent to the bad boy habit...you cannot stop eating sugar, for the high - but it makes you anxious and miserable. You want to eat and still like yourself.
I suggest a change eg a more nutritious breakfast, because this has a massive impact on chaotic eating and appetite later in the day.
Step 2: What happens if my suggestion is too much for you
Dating: You tell me you cannot stand heights. I suggest an alternative - a meetup group that does wild swimming - just try it once, I say.
Eating: You tell me that you cannot face eating breakfast. I suggest the alternative of a smoothie that has protein and healthy fat - the key ingredients that will help you later in the day food-wise. It is sweetened with fruit. Just try it once, I say.
In the same way that there are no marks out of 10 for how you perform at the Wild Swimming meetup, there is no pressure to do well having the smoothie.
In both cases, you try the new idea out. You see how you get on.
Imagine how much more likely you will be to be your best self and meet someone at that meetup group if you are enjoying yourself. And imagine how much more likely you are to make the changes that are good for you sustainable if you feel no pressure to get any marks out of ten.
If a suggestion I make is too scary, we scale back the challenge.
This is why I use the analogy of dating your meals. The shift is from good boy/girl depriving herself for that metaphorical gold star to intrepid first dater seeing how she gets on with the new way of eating/ foodstuff.
There is no failure when you date these changes.