I thought it might be helpful for you to read an excerpt from the program binder that you would receive as part of your 4-month program. This sample material will give you a better understanding of the work so that you can decide if this approach is a good fit for you.
Why You’ve Invested in this Program
You probably decided to invest in this program because you want to experience a change in how your body and your life looks and feels. Some people want to lose weight, others need to gain weight and still others don’t care as much about the weight, they just want to feel better. By upgrading the way you eat and how you care for yourself, you have tremendous potential to create positive changes in your life.
This Program is Unique
This program is unique in that it will address both the physical and emotional side of your health. Keep in mind that you want to find a way of eating and caring for yourself that’s satisfying so that you want to continue it. The goal with eating is to truly feel satisfied. Many people try diets that help them lose weight, but they are unsatisfying and their cravings are so intense that they eventually quit and then they revert to their old way of eating and put the weight, plus a couple extra pounds, right back on.
It’s important that you understand how this journey is different from what you may have done in the past. Many people have been on diets. I’d say one of the characteristics that most people associate with a diet is willpower. The downside to using willpower to improve your health is that willpower often has a negative, depriving quality to it. It’s pushy and demanding. And it’s not sustainable. Nobody stays on a diet for years. Instead they keep searching for a new way of eating that they hope will finally lead them to the change they’re seeking. I’m going to invite you to explore a sustainable, gentle and effective approach to improving your health that is grounded in love. (Gentleman, stay with me, this applies to you too!).
Love, not Willpower
Self love, a transformational energy, will help you improve your health. Love is an ACTION. We tend to think of love as static, meaning “yes, I love myself or my partner.” But love is also an action that we decide to take based on how we feel. Consider a couple who says they love one another, but they don’t treat each other respectfully, they aren’t affectionate, and they rarely do anything for the other person. That’s not how love acts. But interesting enough, many people treat themselves this way.
For example, how many men and women, either don’t eat breakfast at all or if they do, they just grab something convenient and processed, they power through their morning running on coffee, they mindlessly eat their frozen lunch with a Diet Coke, and then grab some low-quality food from the vending machine around 3:00pm. When they get home from work they eat crackers and cheese standing up at the counter, then devour several large handfuls of chips, and finish with a couple of cookies. Then they feel guilty, throw themselves on the couch to watch some TV they don’t care about while their thoughts start to ruminate on beating themselves up for eating poorly yet again. They numb out in front of the TV, go to bed late only to be awakened by a loud, demanding alarm asking them to do it all again. This isn’t love. This is an unconscious, unkind way to treat yourself. Even if this isn’t your same scenario with food and self care, you probably can notice some patterns of neglect that you have in your daily life whether it’s lack of movement, not enough joy, too much work, etc.
If you feel a bit nervous about exploring unconditional self-love, you’re not alone. Many people find this a brand new concept and feel uncomfortable with it. I’ll help you understand and apply this concept at a pace that challenges you, but does not overwhelm you.
Eating Processed Foods is Not Love
When I suggest a person is going to improve their health by applying greater self-love, they get confused and think they can just eat that second piece of cheesecake or go through the drive-through window because that is being kind to themselves because they are feeling stressed and tired. Let me be VERY clear. It’s not love to eat food that damages your body. That’s actually abusive. Loving yourself does not mean eating processed foods and skipping the gym. It means getting in touch with what you’re truly craving and actually giving that to yourself. Not because you ‘should’ but because you’re choosing to care for yourself. You might truly be craving a delicious, whole foods meal, more connection with friends, you may desperately need more sleep or you may want to spend time exploring a creative activity you used to enjoy.
Everything is Food
I’m suggesting you begin to tune into what your body is truly craving. This takes time and patience. I will support you in creating this awareness. When you’re having an intense craving for sugar and processed foods, know that isn’t what your body actually wants, that is an addiction (studies show sugar is as addictive as heroine!). People often have intense cravings for sugar or processed foods because their body is not getting the quality food it needs and/or it is helping them to numb an uncomfortable feeling.
What I know is that the body was made to run on real food from nature. And when it doesn’t get these nutrients, health doesn’t go well. But let’s expand our definition of food in a way that helps you get what you need from this program. Here’s a concept that is probably new to you. EVERYTHING IS FOOD. What do I mean by that? We are ‘feeding ourselves’ with other things besides food. For example, if you have a passion in your life like knitting, hunting, sewing or competing in a sport, that is food. Meaning it’s feeding you with joy and satisfaction. We are meant to have lives that satisfy and fulfill us. Interesting concept, huh? When we aren’t getting what we need in life, often we’ll reach for something else to fill that void, such as food. Food wasn’t meant to fill the gaps in our lives by making us feel less bored or happier. That being said, it’s so important to get pleasure from your food and thoroughly enjoy it, but if that is your only pleasure in life, it’s going to be more difficult to change your habits with food. So in this program we will be talking about ways to ‘nourish’ yourself separate from food.
Why Do You Want to Be Healthier?
Many people use the word ‘should’ when they talk about eating and exercising. I invite you to approach this in a more self-satisfying way. Get in touch with WHY you want to be healthier. Is it because you want to have more energy for your kids or grandkids? Is it because you are passionate about your work and want to have more energy to invest in it? Is it because you feel like you’re not really living your life because you feel shame around your body? You’ll see in this first binder tab that I’m going to ask you to write why you want to invest your time and energy into improving your health. You don’t have to do this work. You get to do this work for reasons that mean something to you.