5 Thing a Life Coach Can do to Improve your Relationship with Food
Improving your relationship with food means no foods are off-limits. It involves respecting your body's needs mentally and physically. Signs that you may be suffering from a bad relationship with food include feeling guilty about eating, restricting certain foods, relying on dieting or calorie amounts, ignoring your body's hunger cues, and binging and/or restricting food.
As you can imagine, breaking these habits can take a long time. It won't be something that can be achieved overnight. However, with the right help, tools, and resources you can make the steps to overcome this suffering.
Just as you would work on any other meaningful relationship, this could take a lot of effort and time. But it is worth it - feeling at peace with food, respecting and listening to your body's natural cues, enjoying all foods in moderation, and prioritizing your mental health rather than obsessing over calories. Life coaching can be a helpful tool in this case as it can help shed light on the current situation. It provides an outside and fresh perspective on the issue. It can help you set goals and motivate you to stay accountable.
In this article, we will talk about how life coaching can help you improve your relationship with food.
1) Objective Listening
Have you ever had anyone that just actively listened to you? Without objections? Without personal opinions? Without judgment? A life coach offers their listening ear, without adding any personal manner or opinions to your situation. They create a space for sharing and exploring. A space where you can let your mind run free, with no fear. This type of listening lets your own mind go above and beyond your limiting beliefs, and create new and positive thought pathways. Therefore, developing new and better habits in your daily life.
2) Breakthrough Limiting Beliefs
Limiting beliefs are thoughts or a state of mind that makes you believe certain things to be the absolute truth and stops you from doing certain things. Limiting beliefs can be about yourself, how you think the world works, your ideas, or how you interact with people. Life coaching gives you the opportunity to test those limiting beliefs by helping you create alternate beliefs. They ask you open-ended questions that help you think deeper and gain a new perspective on life.
For example, you may be stuck on a limiting belief that sounds like this:
"I've tried everything to lose weight and nothing ever works for me".
A coach may ask you: "what if you're wrong? What happens then?".
The mind is then allowed to further explore that limiting belief.
The mind might say "well then I could lose the weight".
To further this thinking, the coach could ask: "how do you think trying everything to lose weight and this not working are connected to each other?".
The mind might go: "well every time I try a new diet, I follow it religiously for a few weeks, but then always end up quitting because it doesn't sustain my lifestyle in the long term".
A coach could say: "and then what happens?"
The mind may say something like: "then I go back to my old habits and gain all the weight back, and then the diet cycle continues."
The coach could repeat: "so what I'm hearing is that every time you go on a diet, you end up giving up after a few weeks because it doesn't fit your lifestyle, you then gain the weight back, and before you know it you're following another diet and cycle repeats. Is that correct?"
The mind will confirm that this is in fact true.
"Knowing that this doesn't work for you - what becomes possible?"
This is when the mind starts exploring and creating new pathways. It may say: "Perhaps I don't need to follow a diet to lose weight"
The coach may further explore what that would look like by asking: "What would life look like for you if you didn't follow a diet to lose weight?"
The mind can then start to visualize an ideal version of what weight loss could look like for this person. It may say: "well it looks like listening to my body and giving it what it needs without the fear of gaining weight and still seeing results"
A coach could dig deeper into this by asking: "what does it mean for you to listen to your body?"
The mind will start thinking about ways to listen to its body. It may sound like: "well knowing when I'm actually hungry vs when I'm emotionally eating. It's taking the time to slow down when having a meal, without any distractions. And practicing mindful eating".
As you can see, only within a few minutes, the coach was able to help their client create a new thought pattern - a newly created belief - the fact that they may be able to lose weight without following a restrictive diet and by practicing mindful eating. Plus, the client came up with this idea on their own, which makes it more realistic for them to implement. Now, the client can make that connection every time this limiting belief of not being able to lose weight comes up. It gives the client a new, more positive thought pattern to choose from.
3) Help in Setting Goals and Making a Plan of Action
After a coach has helped you uncover your limiting beliefs, it becomes easier to see things clearly. Your goals become easier to visualize and plan for. A coach will encourage you to come up with your own solution and plan to reach your goals. They will help you break down short-term goals, to help achieve the long-term goal. Coaches help you prioritize, so you don't lose sight of where to go next. A good coach will work with you and help you develop a plan that feels good for you. They may ask questions like "what is most important to you right now?" and "how will this benefit you in the future?" to help you pin down what the first steps will look like for you.
4) Keeping you Accountable
If you are like most people, you probably perform better when kept accountable. Which means you are held responsible for taking action by someone, other than yourself. Sharing your goals and aspiration with your life coach is much more likely to propel you forward in achieving your goals. Having a regular check-in with your coach will likely keep you on track and on the path to your desired outcome.
5) Keeping you honest with yourself
Circumstances change all the time. This may alter our thoughts, our beliefs, our values, and what we choose to prioritize. Having a life coach can help you look at your life from a different lens. They may help you reframe new limiting beliefs that prevent you from progressing. They can help you discover new possibilities to achieve your goals in challenging times. They may ask reflective questions like "what do you REALLY want?" or "how does this serve you?". So instead of feeling stuck, you can discuss these limiting thoughts with your life coach and keep moving confidently forward with your goal in mind.