Getting Clear: health and body-image

Since reforming the content of my coaching program years ago, I received an array of questions as to whether or not I still support clients with nutrition, lifestyle and exercise. And, many are confused as to why I so strongly emphasize body-love.

“If someone is 350 pounds, you will just teach them to love their body with no need for change?” is a reoccurring question. The answer is no. However, what I do teach is how todrop the guilt and fear that almost always come linked with intentions around health.

I had quite the array of clients in my previous coaching practice. Some were very healthy, and yet had an unyielding need to lose weight and acquire better, faster, smarter ways to catalogue the ways they ate. Others were chronic dieters.  And then, there were the clients whose nutritional intake and lifestyle required a revolution.

And while all my clients required particular coaching unique to their needs, there was a striking similarity between all of them – a fundamental pattern of guilt and fear around their bodies.  

(Fear being anxiety around losing, maintaining or gaining weight.)

Body-image is riskily ignored in the world of health. Women are prescribed strict meal plans, chronic dieters are appeased, and those truly in need of nutritional guidance are pounced on. And yet, so few coaches support women within the realm of health while simultaneously supporting them in dropping guilt and fear.

More often than not, goals pertaining to health drive the intensity of guilt and fear.You feel amazing if you stay in control. You feel worthless if you stray. This all or nothing mentality is driven by guilt and fear.

Learning how to relinquish these patterns are key in moving beyond the heavily ingrained patterns dictating that health comes with obligation and sacrifice.

So, while I continue to support clients around nutrition and lifestyle needs, a major(!) part of my work is to simultaneously support them on the journey to once and for all drop guilt and fear around food and their bodies, and instead learn to sincerely trust and deeply respect themselves.

Hopefully, this clears things up.

Now, play with this:  Completely disconnect what you put in your mouth (or work off on the trail) with how you feel about, and talk to yourself. Just for today. Go ahead.

With love.