Awareness with a capital Ahhh…
Often times when I’m talking to a student about their habits and behaviors and what things leave them feeling powerless to change
There’s an awkward silence
Not the thinking kind of silence, though that can happen too
But the oh, you want to me think MORE about myself ?
But developing self – awareness is different than being self-obsessed
It’s not about having more rules and limitations to live by
It’s about having less…
You’re not indulging your ego into thinking everything will be just fine if you just throw out all the crappy food in your kitchen or don’t drink for a week
Or that you can eat whatever now that you’re working out 3 hours a week and you’ll see major physical changes
See…your ego says, stick with me and whallah! Problem solved
Or the criticism that comes from over analyzing everything you eat and do to see if you can find the culprit that made you fat
Spoiler alert, it’s not bread, because it’s not about the food…
No, I’m talking about the practice of Noticing and Naming.
It comes from my nutrition certification materials from Precision Nutrition and it’s heavily backed by the latest behavior change science
Being a recovering stress eater (and Catholic) I know how difficult building self- awareness can be in the moment
I have stories about the year when we first opened OF, how I’d be so stressed trying to get everything done that my eyes would glaze over and I’d black out- only to awaken sitting in my car with a half eaten donut and coffee in my hand
And the proceeding guilt that comes with being a stress eater who is a fitness and nutrition coach
We’re all human, and most of our habits pre-date the internet so lets be real about it
Through the notice and naming practice I was able to start to notice when I was getting overwhelmed with stress, and actually stop the usual steps that followed
Like having a strong impulse to drink caffeine and or eat something sugary
When you practice self-awareness in this way you’ll be able to identify the why behind the behaviors that feel compulsive and leave you feeling helpless
Start by noticing when there’s a change in how you’re feeling, anxiousness, stress, anger, resentment, exhaustion..
And name how you’re feeling and why- “I’m feeling anxious because I have so much to do I can’t possibly finish it. I need to take a break and the only way I can justify it is to go grab a coffee.”
Finding the trigger, feeling, and behavior that follows will unlock some serious information about what’s happening just below the surface
And that’s where the actual change happens
There’s a great line by Geneen Roth, “awareness is learning to keep yourself company, and then learn to be more compassionate company.”
I’d like to tell you that you’ll lose weight, feel amazing and have a fulfilling life by throwing out the chips in your cabinet or not eating the bread before dinner at the restaurant,
But I’d be lying
The real change happens when you start to see yourself for who you are right now and show up as a friend
Start with noticing and naming- without judgement- to uncover what’s really driving your habits.
Good luck, we’re all counting on you!
Committed to Your Success,