Why Nutrition is Foundational to Lifestyle Coaching (and anarchistic!)

What if I described myself not as a health coach or a lifestyle coach, but as a health and lifestyle anarchist?

“The philosophy of anarchy lies in empowering people to take control of their own lives and not on having others having power of them.” – James Cox

Maybe it’s time for a title change?

As a health and wellness anarchist, my mission is to help women TAKE CONTROL of their lives (not necessarily to rise up against “the man”, but, hey, who knows!).

Describing myself as a health coach is a) so damn vanilla it hurts and b) a serious misrepresentation of what I do.   Can I get a show of hands for how many of you think I focus solely on nutrition and weight loss?

As my business continues to evolve, so has my philosophy on the work I do.  I am LIFESTYLE focused; someone who builds a foundation with nutrition, but then works with you to take control of the rest of your life – all that really important stuff like your career, your relationships, yourself, just to name a few.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely an advantage to focusing on nutrition first... as a “grown-up”, you are absolutely, 100%, in control of what you eat.  Just let that sink in for a second...

You are absolutely, 100%, in control of what you eat.

That’s the essence of why I consider nutrition foundational to my work.

If you’re saying to yourself anything like: “But my family eats X”, “my company takes me out to lunch on Fridays”, or “my friends love to meet up at Denny’s for breakfast”, these are EXCUSES.  You’ll never be able to take control of anything if you continue to live under the shadow of these excuses.  So, CUT. IT. OUT.

full house
full house

Seriously, though, if you want to stay in the “safe” world of excuses, it’s probably OK to stop reading now.  But, if you’re committed to giving up those excuses, I’ve got some tips to help you stay on track.

1.    Food is Fuel

Reframe your thoughts on food.  For many of us, food is a social tool, an emotional outlet, a feel-good drug.  It’s time to let that go.  Food is fuel for your body to support you in everything you do.   That’s it.

2.    Know Your Why

Why do you want to be healthy?  Be honest.  It’s okay to want to fit into a size 4 (or 6 or 8) or to look hot in a bathing suit for your upcoming cruise.  Or maybe you just want more energy to make it through your day without reaching for the RedBull.  Do you want to live to be a 100 or to set a good example for your kids/grandkids/spouse/friends?  Whatever it is, get CLEAR on it and remind yourself of it DAILY.  Staying true to your why will help you stay on track.

3.    Give Yourself Wiggle Room

Clean eating is NOT ALL OR NOTHING.  I would never tell you that you CAN’T have something.  If you want a jelly donut, have it.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  Then, get back to business.

4.    Be Prepared

It’s so easy for all of us to get stuck in that excuse trap, especially when it involves social situations.   Be prepared with a response to the conversations and the questions so you don’t get suckered into doing something you don’t want to.  It’s also a great idea to review a menu and decide what you’ll order before you get there, so you don’t even have to crack the menu and risk getting off track.

5.    Keep it Fresh

fresh prince
fresh prince

Whoops - not that kind of fresh!

Experiment with new recipes and new foods regularly.  Commit to trying 1 new recipe or 1 new food a week – it’s really as easy as that.  If I hadn’t done this myself, I’d have never fallen head over heels for b. sprouts or learned how easy and versatile quinoa can be.

Now I want to hear from you.  What’s one step you will make to take control of food?