You’re living your life, and all is good. Work, lover, family, good friendships – they’re all good. You’re doing exactly what you want to be doing. You’re managing yourself quite nicely. Then one day you go for a routine doctors visit. And you’re given news. Your brain can’t quite wrap around this. You had a hint of suspicion, but now it’s real. You have been noticing a few things. The battering of questions begin – How did this happen? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What do I do now?
Chances are your emotions get a good ride too – denial, anger, frustration, guilt, fear.
So you take a couple of days to process everything. First you Google it. Then you start finding ways to ask random people questions – how common is this? How do people live with this? How is this going to affect your game? What the heck can I actually eat? You try to keep it in, because you don’t want your loved ones to worry about you. But you have to tell someone – you can’t do this alone! You fluctuate between feeling like you can handle this, and then you break down in tears. You Google harder, deeper.
You start taking Google’s advice. You start reading the labels. You try new things. How much is that other food?! You explore groups. Your sleep is erratic because you have to figure out how you’re gonna get through this – How are you going to do this – for the rest . of . your . life? Breathe. Ok. Relax a little bit. Then an advertisement piques your curiosity. You hadn’t thought about that. What other ways can you try? You get creative. You start doing things you never saw yourself doing before, like baking with substitutes, and using “special” flours. Can’t I just have a little bit of what I used to have? You have to laugh. Your mood is lighter because now all of a sudden this is exciting – thrilling even! You can do this! You will find the way! So you pick it all up and little by little as you begin to focus again on what you’ve allowed to slip because of your distraction. You have some catching up to do. And some rearranging. Because feeling healthy feels good. And though this new stuff takes some adjusting, you realize you do feel better. And to know that this is what YOUR body is okay with – well that’s just Great. You can do this!
Life is different now. Your life has changed. And by now the people you have told, you are learning how to manage their reactions to you. You’re finding balance in everything. You’re adjusting to all the different things you have to do, and how to be.
Here’s the example I often give – you don’t arrange your kitchen cabinet once in your life. You’ve removed a food, and then you shop and restock it – organizing your pantry is an ongoing thing, As is Life. Managing your emotions around Food and your Relationship with it – is an ongoing thing. And when you are given a condition to adapt to – it becomes an awareness movement. In the beginning it takes practice, and eventually you get in there, become one with it. But that detective stage – how do you approach that?
This is where having a support team comes in handy. First you want to be held accountable while you are practicing. Someone who is there with you at every step saying Yup, No, or Are you sure you want to do that? What if …. ? And with each of those check-ins – you begin to feel your body learning how to feel about it all. Pretty soon your body is telling you Yup, No, or I don’t think I want to go there any more. You need someone supportive who you can lean on and be emotional with as the road twists. And obviously someone who understands from their own experience is a good support person.
Me, for example – I have a pretty major food allergy – one in the top 5 of most common allergens. And it’s everywhere. I have to be “that girl” when I go to a restaurant, and I have to ask the waiter a zillion questions … it starts with this: “I have a food allergy, can you tell me on your menu what has it, and I’ll go from there. Thank You.” And believe it or not a lot of times – I have to leave! There are still a lot of restaurants who cannot substitute for me. And when I go to a party, I have to ask who made this? Can I ask what’s in it? I bring my own snacks everywhere and I always fill up before an event – like a wedding or something. I choose not to make it about me, so I just don’t eat at times. Like, events that are catered – there’s no one to ask. So people probably think I’m even weirder than they initially thought. Socializing at first felt like dread – now I just don’t mind. People can think all they want – I know I’m doing what’s best for me. Thankfully most people are curious enough that they’ll ask me – then I’m honest. I go through it all … the I’m sorry’s, the OH NO!, the You poor thing (pouty face). At the least it’s a good conversation starter. Like I said a bit ago, it’s become an awareness movement. Not that I go off on some tangent, or preach. But I share my feelings on how funny it is at times. And I always let everyone know that I’m ok with it. That it keeps me on my toes and this way I know I’m always making the best choices for myself. Then I get to talking about what a Healthy Relationship with Food is.
As an Eating Psychology Coach this is what I do. Don’t let the word Psychology get you – I’m not going to shrink your head. And I’m not going to tell you what to do. Instead, I’m going to be your support person. I will explore with you the whole scenario – as you find it, as it is, and for what it needs to be – for you. I guide you toward your strength and courage. I sit with you, and I go through the motions with you. I help you find the way. The way that works – for You.
To learn more about Individual and Group sessions with me, schedule at https://LKCEPC.10to8.com, and be sure read more here on my website.