If I had an accountability coach, would that help me stick with a weight loss plan? Theoretically, yes. Accountability coaches can be extraordinarily helpful. But, for me, hiring one at this point seems counterproductive. Why?
Because an accountability coach cannot actually hold me accountable for anything. This is someone I would pay to remind me what I have committed to do. I don’t need a reminder. Every single days serves as such. All I need to do is become aware of my body, which happens more times each day than I care to count.
Self-Respect and Accountability Coaching
Let’s think this through.
Sticking to your commitments – being accountable – builds self-respect. And self-respect leads to greater accountability. Upward spiral. Which comes first, the self-respect or the willingness to hold yourself accountable?
Answer: Who cares? We need them both.
Most people can address both issues at the same time. Just link the two concepts in your mind and see through that filter. How would that work? In my case, the reason I considered hiring an accountability coach is to help me stick to a healthy eating plan. I committed to eating right and get out of my own way.
If I hold myself accountable, with or without an accountability coach, it will build self-respect. Since this is my commitment, food becomes a tool to either build or destroy self-respect. If I come to see food as such a tool, I can use it to hurt myself or harm myself?
I could relabel food as self-respect! Right? Let’s play it out.
I’m hungry. Let me go to the kitchen and get some self-respect.
That actually sounds good! When I eat, I am seeking to respect myself. Eating healthy food and stopping when my body’s needs are met is inherently self-respectful. Eating junk food while calling it self-respect ruins the experience in my mind. Wow! Will this work? I’m going to try it today. My wife will, yet again, know I am nuts.
It just ruined my Diet Pepsi. Sitting here typing with a DP at my side, I reach for it. Let me take a sip of self-respect. Oops. I do not believe DP is good for me. It didn’t taste as good. Am I mind-fucking myself? (Yes, but in a good way?)
Oh, the part of me that doesn’t give a shit.
This is sounding odd but the fact of the matter is that this little guy whispers in my ear all day long, enticing me toward unbridled hedonism of the self-sabotaging kind. But here’s the reality.
- This part of me is acting out of a perverted sense of self-respect learned early in life.
- It’s negotiable. I can heal this part of me by communicating with it.
It’s talking in my head all day long (and this is normal, folks). Think about it. Do you have a running narrative in your head? We all do, no matter how we might try to ignore it. Anyway, how shall I deal with this?
By listening and re-interpreting self-respect, reminding myself that overeating is not, in fact, self-respecting, even though this part of me believes it is the most obvious thing to do. Now, for the kicker.
Overeating is a form of slow suicide. This part of me is all for that, even though it might not be thinking it through. And in a twisted way (think Samurai Warrior) suicide can seem like the only honorable choice. Throw yourself on your sword! Jump on the grenade to save your buddies. Or eliminate yourself when you are not wanted.
It goes like this:
They don’t want me, so I will do them a favor and get rid of myself.
It’s a form of apathy. None of the people who raised me ever felt wanted either, so why not join the crowd? And there’s another twisted form of honor – to follow the example of your elders. So, we have the emotionally distraught raising the emotionally distraught. It’s a cluster!
My entire family consists of food and drug abusers. And my sense of self-respect is damned no matter what, unless I plot a course that was never modeled for me. Now, that would be true self-respect – to reject that perverse forms of self-respect that were handed to me (unconsciously, where it really counts) by those who raised me.
If I do say so myself…
An accountability coach probably wouldn’t offer this kind of insight.
Still, insight is worth ZERO unless you do something with it. So, today I will view and label all my food as self-respect. It’s feeling like it will work.