Archive for the ‘Evesdropping’ Category

[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Eve has been struggling with her weight for years so it makes perfect sense that actually getting to the bottom if it all takes more than one week! Last week her defensiveness with the weigh in staff member came from her feelings about all this change. A way to stand up for herself, I suppose. It was not so surprising that the following week there was no criticism for what was in her food journal even though it wasn’t perfect.

Recently as Eve has been more attentive to her weight loss she hoped for some notice from others, like her mom who knew of her recent efforts. It had frustrated and actually hurt that her mom said nothing at all about it. This week while sitting over coffee her mom mentioned how terrific Eve looked and was sorry she hadn’t quite figured out how to say it before now. Even though Eve was grateful for the encouragement that mom had noticed, she realized that it was no longer important if others noticed, but more so what she herself thought and felt. Eve said, “I feel in control of my life again! I feel good!”

Where Eve felt neglected by a good friend in the recent past, she found out it was not about her but her friend had been going through something and was now ready to talk to her about it. These things confirmed to Eve that it is not always about her but that maybe she just has gotten lonely and missed her friends company.  

Why are these things all different today?

 I just feel better about myself and don’t need others to fill a void I once felt I had.

The biggest change to be revealed! Eve’s entire life she has never mentioned her weight…to ANYONE! The joke in her family was that if they wanted to know how much she weighed they would have to do it upon her death, but not before. There was a moment this week – let’s say an opportunity for her to be completely honest.

Eve and her beloved were sitting with friends over coffee (lots of coffee dates this week!) and for some reason that never happened before someone asked about her weight. He was most concerned about his daughter’s health and had noticed her steady weight loss. It happened like this.

Eve, do you weight about 140 pounds?

No, actually 145!

She saw her husband’s brow lift and thought he was going to fall off his chair.

I asked her how she felt about saying it out loud.

“Who cares accept yourself and who are you fooling except yourself. He was shocked that I said my weight, but didn’t care about the number. He said that he doesn’t, never did and never will ever care about how much I weigh and that I have to deal with it. I thought it was a big deal and it wasn’t. I could hardly wait to tell you!”

“I have had tough things to deal with and I am more aware of my reactions to them. Worry has been an issue for me forever about my kids when they were young and now that they are adults as well as my husband’s work. Today I am better equipped to deal with worry and am handling it better…whichever way the wind blows. I am better at shaking myself out of bad or heavy thoughts. I have become amazing at ‘you may be right!’ I ask myself ‘How important is it for me to be right?’ Who really cares anyway?”

“Honesty really has removed my defensiveness and need to be right!” This is a great way to end today and I know that Eve has more growth in front of her, but the big stuff for now is behind her and the real work is staying on top of it until it becomes just who she is. If any of these issues that Eve has gone through sound familiar to you, a coach may be of assistance to you. Drop me a line and let me know what you think and how honest are you with yourself today?

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]After being honest with me last week about her REAL “closet eating” issues, today we find out how she worked through her week with food.

The first thing Eve told me was that she wrote down everything, not leaving one morsel out! As she has been weighing is at a weight loss clinic for several months, she went in with all of it in hand. Eve had a day where she needed a fix and ate a box of chocolates and wrote it down as well.  The woman on the other side of the counter was quite critical about what her week. Eve went on to describe the woman as not so perfect herself and somewhat pushy, cocky and arrogant.

I asked if the woman may have been reacting to her defensiveness about what she had done. Quite possibly she said, as they had always been kind in the past. It had been uncomfortable to show her actions on paper to someone else which made her feel like she had to defend herself. Calming down she was able to mention her commitment to herself and felt more power and on another occasion had only a sliver of pie with no desire to sneak more. The sign on her fridge door was a constant reminder that it was “Just for Today” she needed to stay focused on with food.

Had she any new thoughts this week as she moved along her path to being honest with herself? Eve mentioned that she had been a pleaser all her life and worked very hard to make others happy. Now she realized that she is a good person, and needs to make her priority her own happiness. The sign that she was “good enough” last week was a great reminder as well. Eve says she walks a little prouder and everything she does is important, not menial. Everyone’s job is equally important.

Life is “ever interesting” with her spouse and the job decisions up in the air right now. Eve is now realizing that this time in her life is serving a purpose for her. When her spouse has made good decisions in the past, she usually says “I hate it when you’re right!” A great phrase to practice instead of saying you are wrong (as he never believes that he is and she is right sometime too) could be “You may be right.” There is no defensiveness or criticism in this statement. Eve loved this and could hardly wait to use it.

How has being honest with yourself this week changed how you feel about yourself?

“More relaxed and definitely more empowered! It is surprisingly less work than hiding things. I feel more in control and definitely prouder of myself even when I am not perfect.”

 How is not being perfect changing your life?

“It seems less important that it used to be. It was always the barometer of where I needed to be.”

What will you do this week to commit to this honest path of yours?

“To continue to be honest with myself and write down what I am eating no matter what it is.”

 Come back next week to see Eve honestly on her way to the bottom of it all!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve was working on not criticizing her husband as a driver or anything else. This has been a challenge, but she catches herself and sometimes even before it leaves her lips! This is progress for Eve and she is moving forward in other areas of her life.

Eve brought up guilt today and went on to talk about how she was not doing as well as she thought she could. Eve has been a “closet eater” all her life and feels she has been letting herself down. She couldn’t even write down everything she ate. She would say she had a cookie not 4. Eve had no acceptance of her lack of will-power and has a desire to” PERFECT” this part of her life with healthy eating and no longer “dieting”.

How does “PERFECT” look to you? Eating just what I need not all the extra. Being the right size and liking what I see in the mirror. Not feeling bad about my lack of self-control in this area. Not being secretive about my eating. What if you weren’t “PERFECT” at this? I’m not but I would like to change it! Trying to be perfect makes me feel awful.

There had been some friends over to have dinner and once again she had the tiniest sliver of dessert as she was watching her weight while the company was over. After everyone else left and her beloved was out of sight she ate another piece of dessert the size she had really wanted. She felt bad about this but it had been her habit to do this for so long it was normal. Another day she brought her spouse and herself out a piece of chocolate that had been a treat only to go back and eat half the box out of sight of him.  

I asked if she ever considered confiding in her husband that she was a closet eater or just eating what she wanted in front of him. Immediately, Eve said that he would not care what she ate or what her dress size was just as long as she was happy. It really wasn’t about him it was about her.

I asked if she would consider telling him and how she would feel about it. A hesitant “maybe” was her answer- followed by her desire to be more open. He did wonder why she struggled with her weight with the amount of food he saw her eat, feeling her frustration. She realized that she had been closer to her beloved since she has been working with me so she was warming to the idea. Eve said that she was sure it would feel good to not hide her eating and that admitting it would mean no more secrets. This was appealing to Eve. The thought gave her a bit of a knot in her stomach none the less.

Eve mentioned that her awareness of herself has made it much easier to be in control. Better in most ways and said that everything doesn’t have to be so serious. Maybe food can be put there too!

Eve has moved from apprehension about the direction of their life because of her husband’s work choices and is noticing more trust and faith in him. This seems to be moving in all areas of her life and feels good because she knows that past choices have all worked out and so will future ones. In the past apprehensions and waiting has sent her to the closet. She would rather know what is going to happen then be in the waiting game, though. Can she stay in her day with her eating? This is going to be the challenge that would not go away overnight.

Honesty with herself is key to her weight issues and I asked if she was willing to start with being honest with herself by writing down every morsel she is consuming from an extra chocolate or 6 to a handful of chocolate chips.  Eve is determined to follow through this week. I had two suggestions to keep in front of her this week. One a sign on her mirror that says “I AM good enough!” and the second for her fridge that says “Just for Today”. She was on it! We will check back next week to see how she is doing. Are you or have you secretly been a “closet eater?” I would be happy to hear your comments on this issue!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] Relationships are always going to be something to work on for most of us, until we accept that others are not us. They don’t completely think like us, act like us, respond like us or much else actually as they are not us. Even when you understand this and are good at acceptance I suspect that occasionally you slip (like I do). Maybe you need a refresher course of action.

Adam and Eve are a terrific couple who have been together for several decades and know each other well…well as well as one can know another person, anyway. They know all the quirks that their partner came into the relationship with and some of the rough edges have been smoothed out over time. Acceptance of those quirks has not always been easy, but to enjoy the relationship and last this long, their has to be acceptance or they would  have become the “Bickersons”! I tell you they are not.

Eve has one thing that is a bit of an issue – she picks on her spouse about driving. You know – like I wrote about in my post “I have learned…my GPS only works for me!” Well Eve had the same affliction of criticizing her spouse wondering why he drove the speed he was or didn’t take her ideal route, etc. It irritated her and she HAD to tell him. Often!

I asked her what she thought he heard when she did this behaviour.

After a moment she replied, “He’s not good enough! I don’t trust him.”

After this huge awareness (and silence) I asked if she trusted him and was he good enough.

She quickly replied that it was yes to both. As Eve had been working on being “good enough” herself this was a real stab to her that she was saying the same thing to him in this behaviour (absolutely not uncommon) and she did not want to continue doing this. She also mentioned that this was certainly not the message that she wanted to convey.

How could Eve amend the behaviour?

So I asked what she wanted to do about it.

Not do it again of course, was her answer.

How would she feel if this is how she was when she was in the car and he was going the wrong way? Probably frustrated at first, but maybe it’s not the wrong way for him.

Bingo! Revelation, now was it possible?

Eve figured it may be difficult as it had been a habit for most of their 30 years of marriage.

Could she apologize, she wasn’t sure.

How could she conscript her husband in the process?

Eve said the next time she was in the car and she felt compelled to do so she would mention it.

The next time they were in the car she commented on his driving (Darn!) and as he looked over at her she realized that she was caught in that old behaviour and immediately apologized, stating she had this overwhelming feeling to correct his driving and that she was working on eliminating it from her not so good habits. He was surprised. He didn’t know she was aware she did it in the first place as she had been a back seat driver forever! This gave Eve an added impetus to work on this. Only a short time later she caught her husband doing the same thing to Eve’s dad and poked him…they both had a good laugh about it and he is now working on it, too.

Eve is not perfect with this but catches herself and apologizes immediately. It was the largest area of criticism in her life. As she has been feeling “good enough” these days she also has not felt the need to defend herself either. All of the work that Eve has done has created incredible shifts in her thinking. Eve told me that she feels really good about giving the right message to her beloved Adam amd this goes deep to her core. I suspect that with all that she is feeling during this process of change, it will aid in the sticking of this new habit of “not doing” something and changing it for a loving action, letting go.

Eve’s knowledge that she is truly a good person and good enough as she is has changed her thoughts, attitudes then actions. This has affected her reality. As she takes care of herself and lets go of others to take care of themselves there is nothing left to defend or criticize. Hmm sounds perfect doesn’t it. Well Eve is the first to note her lack of “perfection” and her goal for the perfect body still lurks in the wings. See you next week when Eve tackles this big part of her growth!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve spoke of “envy” of what others had that she didn’t and how it made her feel. This week’s session she started out stating how grateful she was with what she did have. Eve is becoming more of who she is and less of what others may have wanted her to be or her past illusion of herself. “Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”

This week we are all about her relationships with others. Most of her relationships run quite smoothly as Eve is a loving, caring fun person to be around. Firstly, there is a friend who seems distant and too busy to be bothered to return calls and even forgot to mention a special occasion in town that she hadn’t bothered to let them know of as it was a tribute to a dear mutual friend.  This upset Eve. Not the same kind of crazy crying “how could she” that she had felt in the past or the “what did I do wrong” place that before she may have gone in the past. No – just incredibly disappointed. She also realized that as her closest friend near where she currently lives, she has depended on her and missed her.

She found acceptance in her friend’s life and chose not to bring it up, but at some point when her friend brought up the event and that they were missed, Eve mentioned not knowing about it. The friend somehow thought she had and felt quite bad about not and for being so busy. “Let’s get together soon as there is to catch up on.” Eve understands that her own life is still the same but that she is changing. Not everyone will understand the changes or even like them for that matter.

 We have roles in relationships and when we alter ourselves sometimes who we are with others does too. Eve has let go of most things quite easily these days, even not knowing what her adult children are doing or going through. Even their choices which she may not understand or agree with somehow seem a lot easier to deal with.

Her mom is another person to work on accepting that she has a close relationship with. Her mom knows how hard it has been in Eve’s life to keep weight off and even though it is apparent that she has lost an incredible amount of weight, mom has said nothing. Not a “How is it going?” Or a “You look great!” Her mother is also the kind of person who has never said “I am sorry.”

 I asked Eve is she was “good enough” without her mom’s opinion? She quickly said yes. “How important is it that mom notice?” Not as much as she thought, anymore. Eve used to strive for mom’s acceptance and approval but now realizes she no longer works for it. Is mom a perfectionist? “Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!” she laughs. Eve actually feels badly for others who have it, too. She is being so much easier on herself these days but cannot let her “perfectionist tendencies” slip in at any point. A great new habit has emerged!

I ask Eve if she has been able to stand in front of a mirror and say “I am good enough and I love myself and my body?” Eve claims it is so much easier today and that is quite an improvement to wanting to cover the mirrors. Eve feels she is getting as good with this as the “should’s” in her life. Life is all about choices and Eve is choosing to enjoy every day of her life and is getting better results because of it daily.

Now, Eve’s relationship with her husband is quite another story. They are a terrific couple, but like all of us there is always something to work on, and that is where we are going next week. Next week we will talk about critical driving. Have a great week!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] “Envy is the art of counting the other fellows blessings instead of our own.” Harold Coffin

Eve started off the session with an important statement for her. “I have wasted too much time crying over things that I wouldn’t have done different! I am good the way I am.” After our last session I gave Eve a cd of music. On it are all female vocalists with some very powerful songs. A couple of them had lyrics that really struck Eve; “That’s Who I Am” by Jessica Andrews and “Video” by India Arie so she listened to them often over the past week. Sometimes we need reminders in many forms to tell us we are good enough. She truly started out the session excited!

Last week in Evesdropping #3 mentioned she envied many different people and their lives.  This is not who she is, she knew that but was disconcerted that it had come up. What did others have that she really wanted or did they actually have things she wanted. So the question is “What do you want for yourself?” Eve has friends who winters in the dry heat of the south and have been invited with her spouse to visit them in the winter. This hasn’t happened yet. Why not? There have been too many things up in the air these last few years to consider it. Last year they had taken another trip already, and how many times can one go away in one winter? As many as you can afford and want, but why not for you? Truly there was no REAL reason, except she had never done anything that frivolous even with her husband without a ton of thought. Taking time away for them now seems a real priority and will consider doing it more regularly, even if it is twice in one winter.

Another thing Eve wants in no stress. After asking what stresses her, it is mostly not knowing where they will be living based on her spouses consulting work. Some of this not knowing feels in her face with another couple they are friends with are quite planned out until they die, probably. They are not there and that does leave a bit of envy with all this not knowing at the moment. Question; “How flexible are you?” After thought Eve said she felt she was quite flexible, although some changes in her life have been more difficult than others. All in all she rides the waves. So how important is it to know what’s next? “Actually life is kind of an adventure for us. We don’t know where we are going but it has always worked out no matter where we have moved to and where my husband has worked.” I can hear a surprised sound in her voice as she says “You know, I don’t think I would be so excited about always knowing what our next step is going to be. Where is the fun in that?”

So, I ask Eve to sum up our session for me. Eve felt that after looking at her life as a whole it has been quite a ride so far. Envy has not had a big role in it, but being honest with herself, it has had some part in how she felt about herself and her life. She has had been good riding the waves and is looking forward to the next one whenever it comes and there is little she can do but wait, so she can keep working on herself until then. Eve is feeling good about how well she feels with such a few sessions under her belt. Her new empowered self is emerging as self accepting, more confident and generally happier. What’s up for Eve next week? It’s all about relationships.  That’s all I am going to tell you about, so come back next week and get the scoop.

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] Last week Eve was working on her issues with “shoulding” all over herself. I am please to say that it seems she is right on top of it. I haven’t heard “should” once in our whole week of conversations and emails. She says she hardly catches herself saying it and corrects it immediately with an appropriate decisive statement. Congratulations, Eve!

This week Eve is talking about acceptance. I asked what kinds of things she had issues accepting.  Things at the top of her list were her life being up in the air due to hubbies consulting company. This one seems to affect several decisions on her home renovations due to possible moves. Her lack of self- esteem and confidence as well as her weight (which has been up and down for as long as she could remember) seemed to be real issues as well.  

I asked her to think about what it was that really bothered her about the renovations in the home. She claimed not being able to make any decisions and not knowing what to do while she waited. Not feeling in control of HER home was very difficult for her. She would toss things by her husband if things were going to cost a bit, but normally she had carte blanche in making any changes.

What changes would be good if they moved? Closer to children and friends was at the top of the list. These were pretty important to her as family has always been her priority. If they moved it would also take them farther from aging parents and her siblings with their families and friends. I think we are getting warmer here.

If she could make the choice now, which would she choose? Stay or go? Here it is, the dilemma, she didn’t know.  Does she need to know right now when she does not have all the information from her spouse at this point? No, as a matter of fact it was so up in the air- it could be weeks or months before the decision may need to be made.

Is it possible that with more information the decision may be easier? Yes, there seem to be so many variables that to make one now seemed impossible. So there- no decision need be made at this time, so Eve could let go of the renovation as not that important. Nothing they could not live another year if they had to, and she would wait until they had more information to make the decision.  It was not the control of the house but the unknown possibilities and how they may affect her.

 I asked Eve what she was not confident about. What were her assets? The list went on for some time leading with things like great organizer, good housekeeper, good cook, sense of humour, positive and optimistic, fun and creative, good mom, sister, wife, daughter and friend, caring, giving, loving, affectionate, understanding…The list is not near done, but I asked what part of that she felt she needed to be better at. She didn’t think any of them so I mentioned that maybe she was confident at the skills and assets she has listed so that maybe that wasn’t quite the issue. She agreed completely.

Self-esteem was another story, as it was about what she felt she didn’t have.  Smaller dress size, a career, the same stuff her brothers had, being so hard on herself about not being perfect. Bingo! Perfectionism!  Again the list of qualities that I would say mirrored her former list and then some. How is perfectionism harming your life? “Feel bad about me; want what others have, feel like I am never going to be skinny enough or good enough!”

 What does Eve want that she doesn’t already have? Acceptance that she is good enough just the way she is. AHHHH! A suggestion – Make a sign that says “I am good enough, just the way I am.” and stick it on her bedroom mirror. She felt this would help and she would do it. This is a great affirmation note for Eve’s mirror.

What does an empowered Eve look like? Confident, accepting of self, realize that I am as good as anybody else, happier within myself AND a dress size smaller!” Eve says with a chuckle. I know that this is still the goal and encourage her to keep doing what she is doing to get there, but the work she is doing here will support that goal. Are there some goals you need support with?

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] You met Eve last week in “Eve” a REAL client!  Eve had come a long way in her quest for happiness and value in her first coaching session. Her next session began with thoughts about feeling guilty. Eve felt guilty about so many things. Guilt about not being the best mom,  not doing enough of ‘this’ and even doing too much of ‘that’ at times…I know that you get what I am talking about. Some of you have been there, I know I have!

 Women feel inherently guilty. I don’t mean men don’t feel guilt, but not to the same extent as women, and I realize this is a sweeping generalization. I apologize, guys. Eve did not actually say she felt guilty about all of those things, some of them came out in “should’s”. Like- “I should get home and do dinner.” or “I should’ve cleaned the house before I went out to lunch.” The third time I asked her to stop it. She didn’t know what I meant at first. I said, “STOP ‘shoulding’ all over you!” She hadn’t heard herself use the word. In the next few moments she did it again and she heard herself. I asked her why she believed she “should” do anything I am not entirely sure she understood the question clearly at first. She said it needed to be done so she should do it.

Do you have a choice? Hmmm…after some thought she realized that she actually did have a choice. I asked if it was possible to restate it in a way that gave choice. So a new statement was “The laundry needs to be done and I will do it later.” I asked her to think of other times she used ‘should’ that could be different. There was “I don’t want to do this as it’s not actually my job!” or “I am enjoying doing what I am doing right now so maybe I will get to it later.” Or “I want a piece of chocolate but I will save it for later.”

I listened to her empowered self shine from within. When you act on your choices and decisions you feel strong and confident. When you act from guilt or the “should’s” you are coming from a heavy place where value and self-esteem are hiding in the shadows. Over the next week she caught herself numerous times and most every time she thought about it then rephrased it from a place of choice. Today she hardly ever says “should” not even to other people. If you wouldn’t “should” on yourself, why would you “should” on others?

Try it for awhile; rephrase all the “shoulds” in you world and give yourself a choice. From a small word exchange you can have a great feeling empowerment!

Sneak peak: Next week Eve talks of the difficulty accepting lots of things about herself.

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  [tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] A client of mine suggested that some people might like to peek into the lives of others being coached. You may want to see how coaching works, like being a welcome voyeur. An eavesdropper! Clients that have offered to let me write about their sessions in this blog. You may not have heard of Life Coaching or have but don’t get it. Or maybe you do but aren’t sure if it’s for you or a ton of other reasons, you do not have a coach in your life right now. But hey, this may be very interesting to you anyway.
I will start with Client #1- not that she was my first client, just for the sake of ease and fun, I will call her Eve.
Eve came to me after a particularly tough winter of feeling horribly blue about her life. She was a stay at home mom pretty much until her kids all left home. No longer feeling useful and wanting something in her life, Eve tried several part-time jobs. They were each appealing in some way but there was something with each one of them that didn’t quite fit so moved on once she knew it wasn’t working for her. Eve told me that she believed her life would have been very different and probably better if she had continued on the career path she had when she was young, before children. Maybe she could have risen up the ranks in the institution she worked for and would have maybe “been somebody”. This past winter this was all she focused on- what she didn’t have, who she wasn’t.
I asked Eve one simple question- simple to me anyway, but very important to her. “Given the same choice today, would you really make a different decision?” After much thought and a long moment of silent thought, she said “No!” I asked her to tell me what she was thinking to come to that answer. Eve said that she was a mom first and foremost and the idea of having her children in daycare and after school programs was never what she wanted for her children or had herself as a child. The value to her was so high that her children knew that she would always be there for them there was no other answer. This truly would have gone against everything she was and believed. It was an absolute “No way!”
Eve had struggled off and on with this for many years, along with the tough 6 months last winter. It all disappeared in one coaching session. All this came from one laser question. Eve said she felt supported that the person who made that choice was good enough, then and now. That she was a person of value and was somebody. This choice had originally been made with her husband. But now it was hers. Eve is now living her choice and happy about it. I will give you updates on Eve in the weeks to come.iBut to give you a sneak peek on our next session, the “should’s” have been guiding Eve’s life for some time now and tune in next Friday to see how she works through it. And that is where I will leave you this week.
If coaching sounds like something you would be interested in, just jot me a line. Typically, coaching is done over the phone so it is not necessary to be local to me. I would be pleased to give you a free 15 minute “Laser Coaching Session.”
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