Thursday, July 3, 2014

Taking Responsibility For Your Eating (and Choices)... Without all the Guilt

I've had a small hand-made sign next to my desk for the past two years. It says "Take Radical Responsibility for Your Reality." It's become the underlying mantra for every decision I make, every invitation I say yes (or no) to, and every food I eat (or don't). What does it actually mean to take radical responsibility? Knowing what it means has changed everything about the way I take care of myself - and how easy it's become.

For most of us, responsibility equates with obligations, burdens, all the heavy stuff of being an adult that, really, we'd rather be free of...

The idea of taking radical responsibility first resonated for me when I was reintroduced to it as "the ability to respond."


It's an ability that all of us have. While I've spent the last couple of years of my life learning and excepting that I can't really control anything outside of me, I have also, simultaneously, been learning how to respond differently to what is happening inside of me. This was the KEY for me as an unpredictably healthy/out-of-control eater.

"Control my thoughts and feelings? Yeah, right..." I thought control meant restricting myself, holding myself back, depriving myself. Because otherwise, I feared I might lose it one night, never stop eating, and blow up like a freaky obese person. Seriously. And I know I'm not the only one with those thoughts.

What I had to realize what that I needed to stop trying to control everything - starting with myself - and instead, find my feet on the ground and simply notice what was there so I could decide how to deal with it. Reclaim my ability and power to respond. This required me to do some learning and reprogramming of my first-response reactions to things.

Luckily, I love learning and I love knowing myself deeply because it means I can (finally for the first time in my life) trust myself. Feel safe and at home within my own being. Like most of us, I've gone most of my life trying to find trust, safety, love, stability and a sense of belonging (and satisfaction and happiness...) from others without consciously looking for and cultivating those feelings within myself, the one place I do have the ultimate say. This is not our fault. It's the result of being brought up in a consumerist society where we are programmed from birth to look outside of ourselves for happiness and satisfaction.

To stand up and say, "I'm going to decide how I feel and what I want from now on," To me, that is taking radical responsibility.

It requires committing to yourself to look at your own inner programming and habits. It requires getting honest, real, vulnerable and open with yourself. Then you can access your innate ability to respond from a place of grounded, clear awareness and conscious choice.

So how do you stay grounded enough to be clear in your own head, so you can respond with good choices, amidst ubiquitous food and stress?

I see groundedness as the ability to recognize your own two feet on the ground, to see and feel all of your past, your stories, your fears, AND be able to look down and say to yourself "Okay here I am right now, and I'm okay." Maybe you're not where you want to be (aka stressed, lonely or uncomfortable) but if you know where and how you are then you can always do something different.

The willingness to see, with eyes wide open and feet grounded on the floor, and choose, clearly and consciously, how you will respond = claiming and owning one of your greatest powers, Your Response – Ability.

Taking radical responsibility of your eating habits is being aware of your body's hunger, as well as your emotions and mind's stories and desires, and making a grounded choice about what to eat, when to stop, and what not to eat at all. It's knowing why you are eating. I don't mean to take all pleasure out of eating, quite the contrary! Eating for enjoyment and nourishment are my top two priorities! But it's to recognize when eating becomes a distraction, an obsession, or way to check out.

Let me tell you some of my Food Story to illustrate...

When I first started my practice as a Health Coach my focus was on eating for more energy. I was personally eating lots of greens and whole grains, feeling high-energy physically... for the most part. The only problem was that all my stress and little perfectionist self-judgments would pile up at the end of the day and I'd find myself stuffing my face in the pantry almost every night. As healthy as I would eat all day, I would go to bed feeling stuffed, bloated and sluggish, frustrated and disappointed with myself, saying, "That was the last time!"

I wasn't fully taking responsibility for my energy. Emotions, after all, are physical-mental energy too. I wasn't dealing with my negative emotions. I was literally stuffing them down, avoiding them, distracting myself, trying to feel better in the moment. Because I wasn't allowing myself to be grounded, to acknowledge all the things I was feeling and just say "okay here I am right now, and I'm okay," I wasn't giving myself the opportunity to respond to what was going on in my life. Instead I created more anxiety about my anxiety, convinced that if I let it out, it would consume me. That is a victim mentality. But we are not victims of ourselves. All of our actions and behaviors have a positive intention. Some behaviors just aren't serving us anymore.

It was my own coaching training program that helped me to realize that. So I committed to myself to look at my own inner programming and habits. I got honest, real, vulnerable and open with myself. And then, I suddenly had access to use my innate ability to respond, act and behave differently, from a place of grounded, clear awareness and conscious choice. It felt like a miracle. But the ability to respond is innate to every single one of us.

Want to hear some exciting news???

If you're ready to take radical responsibility for your eating and your reality, to feel more in charge and in control of what's going in your mouth, I've got fabulous news for you:

I've taken my most powerful tools and created "In Charge: An 8-week Course on Controlling the Controllable & Letting the Rest Go." Get in control of your eating, deal successfully with stress, and have more freed time and energy to be productive and enjoy yourself. For a limited time, I am beta testing this course for just $500 (that's 2/3rd's off)! Jump on it... is all I can say.

Secondly, I'm laying out an introductory breakthrough package of two 45-minute coaching sessions for only $100, to assist you with stopping your cycle of self-sabotage - eating, health, or otherwise. This is the sampler pack for the curious but tentative. I totally understand how getting started can be, and I believe in clarity through action. You have to try some things to know.

I'm here to make some waves and support you.

If you're ready to take radical responsibility for your health and the places you're feeling stuck, I am your woman, and now is always the best time.

I invite you to take advantage. To find out if we're truly a match, check out my calendar and schedule a Strategy Session with me. I'll help you get crystal clear either way.

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