A reader wrote into me,
“I lack the discipline to say no to the innumerable choices before me that aren’t good for my body. I have 3 kids who are constantly at parties, events, etc. where there are so many temptations. Life also regularly gets in the way and it’s those times that become hard to deal with too. Any thoughts on how to handle this?”
It’s a brilliant question.
This challenge falls into the same category as the questions I hear daily:
Why can’t food just be easy?
Why does my weight weigh me down so much – and cause me to eat!?
Most nutrition experts and health coaches approach these challenges as technical challenges.
A technical challenge is where education – learning more – can solve your problem. There’s a known solution and you just need to learn the answer.
Technical weight loss solutions look like:
Educate you on how bad sugar is for your body. “If you just knew how bad sugar was for you, you’d give it up!”.
This is why there’s 10,000 books on giving up sugar that all say the same thing. Often by the same expert, but with a different title!
Food plans that provide low-carb, “guilt-free” brownies and cauliflower pizza crust recipes. Learn and stay-in the Jenny Craig or low-carb system and you’ll succeed.
The non-diet movement teaches that you fight food in reaction to hating your body. So you need to start learning to love your body. These coaches usually provide lessons on visualization techniques or self-care tips like, “call a friend” before you secretly grab tons of bad food at a convenience store.
There’s a known solution and Google can be your guru.
I googled, “stop eating tempting foods” and got 17,700 results in under a second.
Reader’s Digest suggests “unwrapping your lover first” when they surprise you with a big box of chocolates. Now, if you happen to be at a kid’s birthday party that would be awkward.
These types of suggestions and answers are extremely helpful if this is your first, second or third nutrition rodeo and you just need to learn more.
However, if you’ve tried all the diets and body love tips, and are still struggling…
… then you have what’s considered an adaptive challenge.
Adaptive challenges answer, “But how?”
- How do I not eat bad foods despite knowing they’re taking years off my life and adding to my waistline?
- How do I not rebel against the very program I willingly paid for yet now makes me want to eat even more?
- How do I actually call my friend and not buy the large peanut M&Ms and eat them in my car?
The answer to “but how” is that adaptive challenges ask you to change.
It’s about discovering how to become the person who doesn’t care about tempting foods. It’s a change from inside.
This is different than asking you to change your habits like, “don’t go to a party hungry” or “use the Emotional Freedom Technique when you have a craving.” These are “topical” or external, technical solutions.
It’s a subtle, yet profound difference.
Because when you become the person who doesn’t care about tempting foods, you don’t need coping mechanisms that drain your energy or have plans to rebel against.
Ronald Heifetz, the founder of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership and a leading thinker on how change occurs, explains that the biggest mistake when trying to change is to try and solve adaptive challenges with technical solutions.
The reason you haven’t solved this “food thing” is because you can’t learn more about nutrition or body love to solve it. Yet this is what 99% of nutrition and health coaching programs that I’ve seen do.
Which is why I created Truce with Food. It is the only health coaching program I’ve come across that addresses the food and emotional piece of food in an adaptive way.
This is why clients find it so different from the very beginning or remark, “this is what I needed but didn’t have the language for.”
You see, adaptive challenges are difficult to understand on the surface. In other words, “why is food so tempting?” isn’t the best question.
The best question is “why am I someone who finds food so tempting?”
And guess what? No one can tell you that. And if they claim they can, they don’t understand this is an adaptive challenge.
The emphasis is on you versus the tempting food
It’s why Truce with Food clients like Britney report it being a “paradigm shift to finding freedom with myself” or Abby who said, “After decades of dieting, Truce with Food was the biggest insight and change into my eating issues. I now know myself so much better.”
The answers to adaptive challenges have to be discovered. Other examples of adaptive challenges are starting a business or reducing Big Pharma’s influence on the U.S. medical system.
There’s lots of answers and more questions as you work through to the solution.
Because I’ve been health coaching full-time for 9 years and have a Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics, with concentrations in coaching and change management (this is subtext for I know what I’m doing on a highly trained level), I know how to easily identify what’s actually underneath that question. For you. And lead you through your adaptive food challenge.
For food to be easy, it’s not about discipline or willpower. Rather, you have to want to know the truth to these two questions:
What foods work best for my body (so cravings disappear) and
What’s underneath my bad eating that makes me sabotage feeling good?
You discover both of these answers in Truce with Food. The very first session we immediately X-ray your self-sabotage. You see your food issues in a brand new light. A client in this last session with misty eyes, reflected after this session, “I was so nervous for this. And now? I’m so hopeful.”
In a couple hours, she felt completely different about her ability to have a Truce with Food, despite a lifetime of weight struggles. If you’re tired exhausted of your food struggles, you’ll find the truth no more difficult than continuously failing at dieting.
Adaptive challenges involve changing who you are. To be successful, you need a radically different approach than just learning more.
Adaptive challenges require trying new behaviors, experimenting and being open to new discoveries. It’s an unfolding process that requires curiosity and courage.
Many people believe they’re already experimenting. With things like Whole30. Or going sugar-free.
But these experiments often don’t change how you really understand who you have to be to not be tempted by food. In fact, they often reinforce them by staying in a technical mode where you’re the student.
In Truce with Food, you restore self-trust by discovering your own solutions.
Critical to adaptive challenges are having a process that will keep you inspired (clients report a bumpy ride!).
Truce with Food is that program.
I’ve done the work of creating efficient experiments so you don’t waste your time with bad experimentation! And, I give you the best tools rather than having to build and then sharpen your own.
Truce with Food is sustainable because when you change how you relate to food, you eventually don’t need tips or tricks. You can unwrap your lover if you want. Either way, you’re no longer the person tempted by food.
Food becomes simpler. Life becomes easier. The grip around “having to lose weight” loosens as you start to feel better and more confident about yourself from working through the Truce with Food process.
And it’s why clients are surprised that the changes in their lives are so broad. Their marriages improve without thinking anything was wrong. Their house is cleaner. They stop shopping as much.
But, you have to want to know about what’s true about what’s underneath your bad eating. And you have to be willing to experiment.
You might be surprised when you find out what’s true for you. Delightfully so.
Begin your Truce with Food and start living the life you were meant to live. Registration opens this Friday, 9/2.
The first step to being someone who isn’t tempted by food is to figure out what diet (noun, not verb) works best for weight loss. For you. You can begin to learn what is best for you by subscribing here.