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Get choice, control and freedom with a pause…..
What would you do with more choice, control and freedom?
If I was to say now that I can give you more choice, more control and more freedom in your life, and it starts with a pause………………and that through this momentary pause you can begin to regain the energy you have lost, you can begin to lose the weight you have gained and you can begin to move yourself forward to a life of improved health, meaning and fulfilment.
What a load of tosh I hear you utter or possibly scream. Well its not tosh, it’s the basis of most successful behavioural change. As a Health Coach and Sports and Remedial therapist apart from direct treatment I aim to cultivate in my clients one crucial change and that is awareness. We regain awareness by pausing, to break free from any unconscious act, to make way for a more considered one. Still tosh?
With most of the clients I treat and see, no matter what the ailment or issue is, I aim to create more awareness for them around what the issue is, what the options for progress are and what the future would be like if these alternative options are followed. I educate them in where they are now, I guide them to see a better future and show them new, more helpful behaviours, activities and choices. It is then up to them to make the more3 helpful (I wont say right) choice each moment they are aware in order to break the habit and set up a new pathway. This could be nutritional information, exercise and movement plans.
As infants we assess our world through the senses and begin to build up our matrix of experiences then as we age we add our preferences based on emotional connection, what comforts, what pleasures us and what we move away from or are averse to. These turn into habits: same thing, same place, same time. When we look at a menu what do we base our choices on? Do we have our usual because we know we like it? Do we base our choice on something else? How aware are we of the consequence of the choice or does desire win out every time? What do we base these choices on?
When faced with the big decisions in our lives then we have a whole range of criteria against which we balance our options but when it comes to the more habitual behaviours of what we consume the criteria seem to be reduced or even silent. Pleasure and convenience comes first.
As a health coach and sports therapist my role is to educate, to provide a new set of criteria, new information, new modes of behaviour to cultivate more helpful and more sustainable habits.
With awareness comes choice, when you are aware of what you intend to do or consume, then you really do have a choice, and if you have new information and especially more healthier options backed up by nutritional and scientific evidence.
One of the core principles of the blood sugar balancing nutritional programme at the heart of my health coaching is having protein with carbs. This alone is a game changer for many as it creates more choice and will increase awareness of what you consume. We start with one change, either a specific meal or the inbetween times, the dreaded snacks. When adopting blood sugar balancing eating it is essential to keep the blood sugars level throughout the day thereby avoiding the highs and lows that lead to cravings and potentially poor habits. My cravings for snacks has always been toast and marmite, and if training I will eat ‘healthy’ sweet biscuits, this I thought was ok. Sadly it is far too much fast releasing sugar and not enough protein. So my swap has been quite revolutionary for me and my training: I now have oat cakes which are slow releasing sugars with a protein such as hummus or peanut butter and only a couple each time. It satisfies my energy needs and therefore my cravings. Crucially I am aware each time of my choices, sure I can eat what I want, but I know now what is better for my body, that I can still satisfy my sugar needs but in a better and more helpful way. Job done. With awareness comes choice. But to do this we all need to pause, take a breath and check in.
So next time you are in your favourite coffee emporium and your eyes are trained on the counter and the goodies therein, check in with yourself and ask: “do I want that pastry or sandwich, do I need it? What does my body really need right now, sugars or an alternative more nutritious option?” Ultimately we always have a choice but our bodies do not and at some point the body will bite back and let us know what it feels about our choices. Why wait until you feel sluggish, or the weight is increasing or your stress levels are high? Begin today by asking what would be the kindest, most nutritious option for my body? If you don’t know then begin to enquire. As a health coach my role is to educate you to increase your awareness of what will work best to take you closer to that version of yourself you long to be.
For more information on how health coaching can help you regain vitality contact Simon Heale
Join the 30 day Reboot programme starting in October here.
The next trickier aspect is why we eat or consume what we feel we need and how do we regain control over this and that will be covered in the next blog.
Simon Heale is a Sports and Remedial Therapist and Health Coach. He has practices in Chelsea and Crouch End, London.