Healthy is for the long term. To succeed, I had to change my RELATIONSHIP with food.
I had to switch to Self-care.
In this video I share some of my experience to help you re-think about food choices and be empowered to create healthy, sustainable changes to your eating patterns.
You can download the Worksheet here: https://livemorelife.kartra.com/page/68ws
Other videos mentioned:
#27 How to Identify Hunger
#66 Planned Indulgences
#67 Creating Desired Future
When you are eating or drinking...Are you caring for yourself? Or are you harming yourself?
Now, I know that phrase might be controversial. And if you disagree, if you're offended by that, or triggered by that, Okay. I do believe in personal empowerment. You have agency. I respect your right to your own opinions, your indecision about what is right for you. However, I do believe that overeating and other unhealthy eating is harming not only our physical well being, but also our mental and emotional health. That was certainly my lived experience, and I've come to appreciate that for much of my life. I was harming myself with food. And I don't want you to have to do that.
Today, I want to share a little of my experience and also offer you a way to bring more awareness to your food choices. So that you can be empowered to create healthy, sustainable changes create a healthy life that you can actually live. We can't keep going on diets for a little while. If you want to lose weight healthily, and you want to keep it off, you have to create a healthy life.
As an example I want you to think about last time you had an unhealthy choice. Maybe it was maybe over Easter, you know, a low nutrient choice. How do you think about it? Was it a reward? A treat? A cheat? Was it a sanity meal? Or was it planned indulgence?
Now, obviously I think planned indulgence is the way to have it in a healthy balance. If you want to learn more about that, check out my video number 66 on planned indulgences. So check out April videos, number 66 to give you my take.
What I want you to think about though is, is that choice a part of your healthy life? Was it in a healthy balance? Or was that an exception from your healthy life? Was it time off from living healthily? If it was, why would you want to do that?
I should introduce myself Hi. For those that don't know me, my name is Brian Grainger. I'm a life coach and a weight loss coach and I transformed my relationship with myself. Back in 2006, and when I did that, when I transformed me, I lost 50 kilos. And I've maintained that weight loss ever since. Now, I help other people. I help people transform their thinking, change their habits and achieve their goals like losing weight for good. You check out more of my work and download my 10 secrets to long term weight loss over at LiveMoreLife.com.au While you're there, check out my other videos. And you can also download the worksheet for today's video, it's got some questions that can help you bring awareness to your food choices. Find that link in the description.
So this is my problem with the diet mentality. You know, the typical diet mentality. It's this idea that there's going to be an expiration date or an end date. You know, I'm going to do this thing, whatever it is - paleo, low fat, clean eating, calorie counting, keto, intermittent fasting, detox - whatever it is, whatever the plan, for a short time. Until I achieve a certain result. Then I'm gonna go back to my real life. Do this for a little while, then stop.
I'm going to tell you, that's the exact strategy I used to gain the last 20 of my 50 extra kilos. I see so many people making changes, right? They know they want to lose weight, they want to do something about it, they want to get on top of it, but they make changes that they know are going to be unsustainable. Right? There's this idea that I'm just going to do it for a little while.
And then everyone has, I guess, the audacity (you get to decide, act, however they want), but I noticed that many people are then surprised when they can't achieve or can't maintain their goals. They can't get to their ideal weight, or they can't keep it when they get there. And I say, of course you can't keep it right. So many people will say, to me, maintaining weight is the hardest part. Now, respectfully, I don't agree. I don't find that to be true. But it's because of this difference, right? If it's hard, it's because in your losing phase, you're setting up these ideas about good food, bad food, bad naughty foods, and cheat foods. About things you can have, and things you can't have. Right?
Of course, it's hard when you have to 'white knuckle' your way through social situations and temptations and special events. Back when we're having social occasions again. Most diet plans, never go beyond "don't have it". Or maybe just "plan for a small amount" and never really tell you actually how to go about it. They don't help you understand why you've been making the choices, why the urges are there, how you've created the habits that aren't helping. And never mind that they don't tell you then how to make active, empowered choices that you actually want to make. You know...what to actually do instead. And that is the way to success.
Like, feeling deprived, never leads to long term success. I've never seen it work. And trying to hate yourself healthy, trying to punish yourself with food or exercise also never works. For me, long term success is created only through the following steps....
#1: Awareness. Actually be aware of what you're actually doing. Be conscious of what choices you are making, you know? Have the honesty and the integrity to look at it and be accountable with yourself. Really get to know what you're doing because so many of our unhealthy habits become unconscious. We don't even really notice we're doing them, it's just automatic. So step one, awareness.
Step #2, is to understand why you're making that choice and also to understand and accept what the impact of that choice is. So often, we only think in the present in the moment. We're not really looking ahead to the bigger picture. So step two, understanding why and what the impact is.
And #3, remembering that you are the one who's in control. In my last video number 67, about creating desired futures, I talked about this idea of taking ownership and responsibility. If you haven't checked that video out, go and check it out. You are the one who has created all of your habits, all of your results in your life. And so you've been making those choices for a reason. It's been serving you somehow. So I think it is important to recognize that you have a powerful ability to create habits. That's very important to know when you're wanting to make a change in your life.
#4: Deliberate decisions to make change or changes, for reasons that you like. I'll say it again awareness, understanding, empowerment or ownership, and number four, deliberate decisions to change. For reasons you like.
Then, then we can look at the how. Then we can look at #5: Making one small change at a time that you can live with. Remember, it's got to become a way of life. You have to build a fridge or a ladder, or a path, from where you are to where you want to be. And small changes are much more readily accepted by our brain as part of our normal life. There's less willpower required to make them. Remember that this is a real life, not a fantasy life. It's not where everything's gonna be perfect or easy. There'll be times when willpower has run out. So we have to create changes that are sustainable, even then. So small change. One small change, at a time, that you can live with.
And #6: Evaluate what worked. You know, we go back to paying attention to what worked, what didn't. And then what you'll do differently next time. Evolving gradually, with consciousness with awareness. Little by little, you'll be creating healthy life. Then repeat and repeat and repeat. Remember there is no end date, you're creating a healthy life.
And a healthy life can't be something we choose to live sometimes. You know? When we feel like it. It can't just be in the good times when there's no stress or chaos or temptation. Or, you know, only when we're motivated. I've said this already, but I want to remind you, it's no good feeling deprived. We can't rely on willpower. So the answer is learning how to have everything and anything in a healthy balance.
Now, I got this wrong for a long time in my life. Since my early teens, I've been overweight. And I've always thought of myself as the fat kid. You know, I always said that I came from a "big boned" family. Which by the way is blatantly not true. When I lost all my weight, I discovered I had little petite bones in there.
The truth was I'd simply developed some very unhealthy eating habits. And then what happened is I learned very quickly, the disappointment, the disapproval from the, the teasing, the bullying, the social rejection of being different, that I wasn't good enough. That was the story I adopted. Now, I'm not singling myself out here for any special treatment. I know many people have had it much worse than me. And obviously, I'm speaking from my, you know, white, male middle class privilege. So I don't want to undermined anyone else's lived experience. I also know I'm not without blame. In my younger years I too, teased others to make myself feel better.
I wish I could go back to my younger self now with my current learning and understanding and tell my younger self that doing all of that isn't going to make you feel better. Because it didn't. Because I believed the lie, that I'm not good enough, my habits actually got worse when I left home to go to university. Potentially it was the chance to become my own person and live life the way I wanted. But I didn't.
I learned instead to hide in the familiarity of that rejection. This rejection was expected and I could survive it. Then never really had to face rejection for anything else, like who I really was or how I really wanted to live my life. And of course, through all of that, I was rejecting myself.
Everything was hard. Everything was uncomfortable. And I very often fell into bouts of depression and apathy. Who cares!! Stuff it. I might as well enjoy myself (order another pizza - pepperoni lovers with extra pepperoni). Or I might as well have this pleasure, right? Might as well comfort myself (open another bottle of wine).
Along the way I'd tried all the diets. I'd try to be good or try to exercise. I'd try to focus be disciplined. And you know, sometimes I'd be able to stick to it for a few days or a few weeks. Then I need to reward myself for all of my efforts. (Hello, Baskin Robbins, Jamoca almond fudge). But because I never gained that the understandings that I now have, I never really solved the real issues.
Actually, I am good enough. I always was. Just because I didn't see it, I'd just keep falling back into old habits. You know, and then Meanwhile, I was beating myself up for not being good enough, or not being strong enough, or disciplined enough to stick to it. Then I'd need to comfort and medicate myself with food. So I over eat. Food became my self harm weapon of choice. I used it against myself.
And I see so many people get trapped into that same self destructive pattern. It's why, when I had this realisation that you don't have to do it that way, you can love yourself healthy or you can change because you want to change, it's why I've become a coach. I want to help other people, perhaps you, so that you don't have to keep making those mistakes that I made. You don't have to figure it out on your own.
I want you to know that you are already good enough.
You are already worthy of looking after and caring for.
Then from that space, if you want to change something I want to help you love yourself forward, to make that change a gift to your future self, to your future well being. I want to help everyone out there who's using food as a weapon against themselves to instead switch and choose all foods from self care.
So today, I want to really dial into step one, bringing that awareness to what you're doing. And I've created a worksheet with a series of questions that I encourage you to ask each time you reach for food this week. Now, sometimes that feels tedious or burdensome, so it feels like too much, choose one eating occasion a day and answer these questions for that. I've included seven copies in the workbook, you can print more if you need them. I really invite you into this.
Now if it does feel tedious, remember that you're learning something new. You're teaching your brain to do something different. And I want you to know that repetition is important. It matters. When you do repeat it even just a few times, do it every eating occasion for a day or every, try and do it for a week. With repetition, what happens is you'll very quickly train your brain to ask these questions automatically. A little practice that can become instantaneous, you're able to start to interrupt your habitual thinking. Your habitual thought routines, right? Most people find very quickly, that they start actually making changes to their choices that are more aligned with the healthy life they want. It happens very, very fast. So just remember, it feels a bit tedious feels a burden to start with burdensome to start with. That's normal, that's expected. It gets easier with practice. Now, you can download the worksheet by clicking on the link in the description.
So here are the questions to help you bring awareness to how your food choices are, or aren't being part of your self care.
Number one, Why am I eating this? Or why am I about to eat this? Why did I eat that? When you're first starting, sometimes you have to do this in retrospect. You forget, you'll be like I have to remember. you're like, Okay, let me look back. Why am I eating this? Or why am I about to eat this? Why did I eat that?
How hungry or thirsty Am I? (or was I?) So many of us have trained out listening and responding appropriately to our hunger signals. We're kind of not in tune at all. We don't even recognise them. Now, if that's you, I encourage you to go back and look at video number 27, which was from July 2019. Check that on my video blog. You can go back. It's how to identify hunger signals. That will be very helpful for you if you're not sure.
So why am I choosing this? Like why am I eating this? How hungry was I? Right? Was it hunger or something else? #3 is why is it the this particular choice, rather than a different or healthier choice? Why did I choose this thing? Is it my go to? Was it just there? Was it in plain sight? Someone else suggested? Why did I choose this, instead of something else? You use eating to solve a problem, either hunger or something else....Why did you choose this particular food? It a really good question to ask.
Because if it's not hunger or thirst...what problem was I actually trying to solve? Boredom? Was I trying to improve my mood? Was I just making myself feel better? Was it a distraction from an unpleasant feeling? What was it? And what might solve that in a healthy way? What would work better than food or drink here? What other options do I, or did I, have? Make a list.
When you step back out and look at this choice in the context of your life....Is this choice an act of self care? Or self harm? is a part of my healthy life? Or an exception from it?
How do I feel about making that choice? Now? By the way, if the answer to that question, 'how am I feeling?' isn't compassionate, loving or understanding? Try reflecting on your choice in those terms. Compassion, love, understanding - what would that look like instead? If I did love myself, if I was caring for myself here, what choice would I make? What would I do differently? Might be nothing. It might be something different. So reflect.
And then the final question here is what will I do for myself, now? Remember, we can't change the past, we can choose a new future. What will I do for myself, now?
As I said, when we first start asking these questions, you might have to do it in retrospect. You're looking back on something you have eaten, maybe perhaps something you now regret. Or maybe not. Maybe it was an empowered choice. Maybe it was a nutritious choice, and you're like, yeah, this was a great choice for me. Right? That's okay. If you have to do them in retrospect to start that's good. Do it.
If you can, maybe try to print out the worksheets and have them where the food is going to be. Maybe they're near the fridge, or the pantry, or on the kitchen table or, I don't know, if you're packing a lunch box still in isolation, put it in the lunch box. Put it at the dining room table, the couch, if your eating in front of the TV, wherever it's gonna be. Have them out so that you can do it in real time, with what's actually going on for you in the moment. And as I said, if it feels like too much to do it for every eating occasion, try scheduling it in for just one eating occasion each day.
Notice that it doesn't have to just be the bad or unhealthy choices, right...'bad'. It's important sometimes to notice when you are choosing healthy choices that are moving you towards your healthy goals, right? That you are - it's a good reminder - that you are always in fact, in control. It's very important, very beneficial to see that, actually, I'm a person who's making choices. That's all that’s happening here. I have this power.
I really encourage you this week to make choices for the healthy life you want. And notice, have compassion, if you're making choices that are against that life. That's our opportunity to change. But we want to do it from self care.
So download the worksheet and remember that if you do need help, right, understanding the habits that aren't helping, or if you'd like to make a transformation of those habits, then let's have a conversation. I'd love to help you out, right? Head to LiveMoreLife.com.au and click on 'request a consult'. I'd love to help you. I really do want you to have the life and the results you want and that you can sustain. (That's so fun by the way).
Of course, if this has been helpful for you, please make sure you give me a like, give me a heart. If you're watching on YouTube or on my video blog make sure you hit subscribe so that you get notified of all of the new videos. And if you know someone who might be helped by seeing this video, by hearing these words, by having access to the worksheet, then please tag them in the comments. Send them the link, share it with more people.
And let me know in the comments, how will you love and care for yourself, now? I'd love to hear your experiences, finding out what you learn through this process - and particularly if you decide to change. Let me know, did you have similar experiences growing up? Have you gotten into that self doubt? Are you using food to self harm? Would you like it to be different?
You can make this change. You are worthy. You are already good enough.
I hope this has been useful. I hope you have an amazing day. Practice some self love and self care. I look forward to catching you in the next video. Bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
After losing my 50 kg I've made it my mission to help others transform their minds, overcome emotional eating and create the life they want to be living.