Day 17: Communicating With Your Inner Coach
TODAY'S SHIFT FROM FAT TO THIN THINKING:
Even in our darkest moments, there is always the opportunity for mastery.
Welcome to Your Thin Thinking Practice Day 17
Here we are--right in the middle of your 30-day practice and I want to share a secret with you. In the twenty years that I have maintained my ideal weight, there have been times when I have overeaten. There have been times when I have binged. There have been times when my behavior, in the moment, would not have looked very masterful.
This is important for you to know. Masters mess up; they even have epic fail moments. How human. But the difference between a weight master and a weight struggler is what happens inside your mind during those “off” moments. How does a master get instantly back on track and moving forward instead of staying off track and feeling bad.
Today’s coaching session: Shift Out of a Binge (below) will give you and your Inner Coach some tools to negotiate with yourself during those “off” times and get you right back on your road to mastery.
Today's Shift From Fat To Thin Thinking: Even in our darkest moments, there is always the opportunity for mastery.
Rita’s Coaching: Shift on from a Binge
Just recently, a client, Rachel, described an overeating episode in a very vivid way:
“I had a bad day at work. My boss wasn’t acknowledging me for all the work I had done and she just kept giving me more work. I was so mad but then that feeling of mad at her turned into a craving for chocolate. I knew I had a Snickers bar in my desk drawer. I tried not to give in, but the urge became so great I finally did. I know chocolate is a trigger food for me, but I just said 'screw it, I want chocolate' and began eating.
At first it was an amazing release, it’s like I am in that movie Thelma and Louise and we are in a stolen car driving at 100 MPH, driving down the highway with the wind in our hair—I am free and I am tasting the chocolate and I can feel the sugar hitting my blood stream and it’s wonderful! But then I eat the last bite and it’s like I hear the police sirens behind us—we hit the gas to get away but end up crashed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The thrill is gone and I feel bad about myself and bad with the sugar crash from the chocolate. So in order to avoid feeling bad, I headed into the staff room and ate more junk that was in there. It didn’t even matter at this point what it was, so long as it had sugar in it, it was going in my mouth.”
I am sure you have been in that same place my client had. The thrill of letting loose and giving into the craving or just the act of binging at first can be a bit of a release, but after that it unravels quickly into FEELING ICKY—I am out of control, I feel bad, and our Inner Critic comes back, agitating us and causing us to eat more to escape. What if instead of sirens we intercepted with a SHIFT BACK ON TRACK tool instead?
In the middle of a binge, usually we are yelling at ourselves. What if instead, you brought in your Inner coach, the loving scientist, to get in there and just observe what you are doing and GET CURIOUS. Curiosity melts emotions like anger and fear.
Here is an example of how, after taking a Shift Breath during a binge, you could intercept the energy of the binge with some questions to yourself:
Inner Coach: Hey Rebel, I see you're eating some chocolate?
Inner Rebel: That’s right and don’t even try and stop me!
IC: Hey that’s cool. You must really need the chocolate.
IR: Yes, it’s been a crappy day and it’s my reward, so buzz off Ms. Positivity.
IC: Yes, it has been a crappy day, how many more bites of that chocolate do you need to make this day a less crappy day?
IC: You’re right--it’s been a crappy day and chocolate seems like the solution to you right now--so how many more bites until the problem is solved? I am curious.
IR: Well, to tell you the truth, it’s not really solving the problem. It tasted good for a few seconds but now it’s just kind of making me feel bad but in a different way.
IC: So, how many more bites?
IR: Actually, one more for the hell of it.
Now our Inner coach becomes the nurturer, letting us know we are okay and urging us to get back to really taking good care of ourselves.
IC: Good job. Now that you are done, what do you really need to get back on track and take care of yourself?
IR: I think I really need to take a bath and go to bed early. I am tired and just want this day to be done.
IC: Yeah, that sounds like a good way to take care of yourself.
IR: Yeah. I am glad I didn’t eat the rest of that chocolate. I actually feel better now.
Can you see that by getting in there and breaking up the feelings of self-anger and guilt with curiosity and respect the Inner Rebel felt “heard” and was able to be reasonable instead of rebellious. I find that if we meet a binge with extreme empathy and respect we can often slow it down and stop it before it goes any further.
Moving Forward After a Binge
Now, even though every situation is different and there are days when you need to finish the chocolate to be done. That is okay as long as you bring in your Inner Coach to engage you in problem solving a strategy back to being on track. This a the tool Rachel and I worked on in our session—moving on from a binge so that you don’t end up eating more and then getting completely off track.
- Acknowledge what you did, forgive yourself and get conscious.
“Wow, I ate that whole chocolate bar.”
- Come up with a healthy plan of action to nourish yourself the next time you eat.
“That was a lot of sugar and chocolate and calories but that’s okay. I need to drink some water and make sure my next meal is a healthy one with some fiber and protein to offset this sugar rush.”
- Try and exercise because this will make you feel good about yourself and reconnect your mind and body.
“I could go for a walk too.”
- Get real about the binge and learn the lesson.
“I will not be releasing weight today and that is okay but what lesson can I take from this so I at least learn something?”
- Take back your power by learning something from the binge that you can implement in the future.
“I can learn that on bad days I need to come home and be good to myself—maybe a hot bath, maybe a walk. I also learned that having that chocolate in my desk doesn’t work for me!”
Can you see how this SHIFT BACK ON TRACK could save you a lot of over eating, give you back your dignity and allow you to begin to shift out of those eating episodes that in the past may have led to a lot more, even days of, over eating?
This tool is a powerful step forward towards being consistent!!