I met last week with a new coaching client. She wanted to talk about getting into a better relationship with food because she has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. We chatted for a while and discovered we shared similar addiction histories: we’re both recovering alcoholics who returned to food after we got sober, particularly sugar. Then I asked what kind of relationship she wanted with food and I began to see that she is still on the fence.
She wants to give up sugar but not honey in her tea or kombucha, which she has just learned to make. She was okay with giving up bread (she might be gluten-intolerant) but not pasta. I reassured her that she didn’t have to give up any of these things if she didn’t want to. No one has to choose abstinence and, in fact, there are many kinds of abstinence and I can’t say what will work for her, only what works for me.
And so I moved to talking about being on the fence. It takes tremendous energy to stay on the fence, to live in indecision. And we can’t move forward while we’re there. I sat on the fence about sugar for two decades. I knew it was killing me and I just didn’t want to give up that comfort. I knew what she was going through.
So I encouraged her to make a decision. She could continue eating as she was and see what happens, and she didn’t need my help to do that. Or she could give up all sugar and flour and see what happens, and I could support her in doing that. Either way she would free up energy by getting off the fence and moving forward.
Where are you sitting on the fence? What energy would get freed up if you made a decision and moved in one direction or the other?
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