Spring is about re-awakening. Spring is the time for re-birth, for taking stock, for blowing off the winter cobwebs. The bulbs are out, the garden perennials have their new shoots showing at ground level and perhaps there is the opportunity for your new life to start growing too. Can you make spring your moment for change, to improve your health and your eating?
Perhaps a few years has gone by when you've been determined the make the change but not managed it. You've repeatedly turned to diets in the past and they havent worked (this is not your fault by the way - read this!).
It could be that your health is seriously suffering from excess weight, your nutritional health could be compromised by a poor diet, you could be trapped in a cycle of disordered eating. All these could be getting your down and causing you to think negatively about yourself and those around you.
Could this spring be different?
Lasting change is about understanding how you got to where you are in the first place. This means unpicking the drivers, behaviours, role that food plays in your life. It's important to examine chains of behaviours which cause a negative impact on our health and which may seem impossible to break. But they're not.
Those drivers can be caught-up in all sorts of relationships and stories from our past life but just because they exist, doesn't mean that they can't be reframed and changed. The behaviours and attitudes we have are actually pretty flexible, they occupy pathways in our brains which can be changed. Instead we learn different behaviours and attitudes to replace the ones which aren't helpful to us. We train the brain to change what messages it gives us. We learn these, we do these consistently and we change the habit. We distance ourselves from negative beliefs about ourselves which may be caught up in our relationship with food. We lose the moralising about food and learn how to eat to nourish ourselves instead.
Sometimes lack of change is due to lack confidence, or uncertainty about what success will feel like. We may end up in a different shaped body which we're uncertain about, or we may have a different way of life which could feel alien to us and we don't want to go through that process. We may have existed around food in a certain way for such a long time that change is just too daunting. Finally, there is a reason why you have been eating this way and it is probably serving a purpose. Change means understanding what's good about your eating behaviour as it currently stands, and what's bad about it.
The steps to change should be small and gentle - something which creates an easy to implement action plan to empower living constructively around food with positive intent and strong motivation. The 'why' of any behaviour change is crucial if it is to last. That's how it works with all our actions if you think about. Sometimes this starts with lots of confidence and self-esteem work, other times if might mean getting stuck into the practicalities of meal planning. Whatever change steps we take, they have to be consistent. You simply have to "do the reps"! (As James Clear says in his book Atomic Habits!)
And so, along the journey of positive change, we create autonomy and we learn to reward ourselves or compensate with something other than food; we learn to accept and welcome 'relapses' as a way to mitigate against them in the future and we accept and are thankful for our bodies for what they allow us to do. We forgive past behaviours and we gain perspective.
We find food freedom and we think, eat and live better!
Is spring your time to change? If you're ready then we can talk about coaching or take a look at my Mindful Way programme which takes you through a tried and tested process to change deep-rooted behaviours in a lasting way.