I’ve learnt some pretty important things this year.
Or as I like to say…remembered some important things! Because I think we are often not learning new things. We have often seen them before but have come back around to learn them in a deeper way!
My Life Coach introduced me to the concept of the Spiral of Healing. Anything we are learning and growing through doesn’t happen in a straight line, it is often circular, in a spiral, so we can spiral up, elevate our awareness while learning new lessons, different angles, different parts of the whole!
And one of these important things for my own healing has been my own diet and lifestyle.
One of the remarkable things IIN Health Coaches learn is a gentle approach that focuses on changing habits, in a long-term sustainable way. About looking at your life and health and yourself in the most holistic way. About bringing insight and positive action to good food, movement, spiritual practice, relationships, and meaningful work.
But while this approach made sense after finishing my study, I began to question whether I needed to get stricter with my diet. I noticed that I had slipped into poor habits, a freewheeling approach that was not serving me.
OOH this was interesting! Time to integrate my learning into life. Time to integrate it more deeply and feel it. Time to test it! Since this time, I have played with improving or changing my eating/lifestyle.
I have tried a couple of rounds of an Ayurvedic detox and a month of an elimination diet.
I didn’t just do this for weight reasons but also, for my mental health and mood issues. For brain fog, motivation and energy. For the flow on effects to my work and relationships. This was important and deep work. I want to accentuate this here. This was not done lightly. I was facing some real challenges in areas of my life that needed attention. It was not just me wanting to look better.
Because of the learning I have done, I know intellectually and through experience how what we eat influences our gut, brain, hormones, immune system, nervous system, our thoughts and emotions, and likewise, our emotions influence what we eat!
When you know this, you realise how important it is! But that can feel overwhelming, especially when you have always loved food, had a history of overeating, been drawn to carbs most of my life, and recognise the emotional connection I have to food!
And I have to be honest I have felt overwhelmed! The outcomes of diet change were good in terms of how I felt, but these experiences were challenging. They showed me my relationship with food. With my perception of missing out. With fitting out rather than fitting in with unhealthy and unhelpful habits that our society lives by and the emotions that arouses. And it showed me how rules, rigid thinking and deprivation influenced my mindset in such a negative way!
I knew this. I have never been an advocate for diet culture! Everything but. My values do not align with that and never have. But what a tremendous experience to see this firsthand again for myself.
I have seen the two extremes within myself and my approach this year:
The free wheeling, I can eat anything I want approach even though I know deep down it doesn’t work for me.
The aspiring to a certain way of eating that feels like deprivation and a diet.
Neither have worked! What I have re-discovered for myself is that having strict rules and rigid diet like approach does not work for me.
Having said all of that, I still do need to live with conviction what I know to be true. That so much of our modern diet is not real food. It is silently causing us so much damage, not just in weight and disease causation, but to our thoughts, feelings, behaviour, emotions and therefore mental health, to our energy and vitality and therefore the flow on effect to our entire functioning of us as human beings.
What this reaffirmed for me is the approach of my IIN Health Coaching philosophy. That the outcome or the lifestyle that I choose for myself is the same, but the way of getting there is crucially important.
I love the approach of IIN. I know it works. It has worked for me. Even before I studied, I had done this for myself steadily and slowly over time. I look back and see how much I have changed how and what I consume. I really have made such important and life changing alterations and at a deep level.
And I know it works for my clients too.
I have just had some extra learning to do around this. And this makes me a better Coach.
I have come around in this Spiral of Healing to this gentle approach. The same outcomes, the same diet and lifestyle but different.
That’s why the changes you make as my client are at your pace, in line with your learning and healing. To avoid the extremes of carelessness and obsession.
If you’d like to try this approach, I’d love to work with you too. If you’d like to enquire about working with me as a Health Coach in the second half of 2020, get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org