When you get started with us and our staff, we want to know what matters to you. Once we know what is important in your life, we can help you better hone in on small specific tasks and habits. These lead to better lifestyle, health and performance goals. The problem is, when we ask most clients or athletes what their values are… they don’t know.
That’s ok! We can work on that. We can help you figure out what you value most with some simple drills like this one.
A lot of times, our clients know what they value, but not how to communicate it. The point of these drills is help you bring your values to the forefront and see them with clarity. As you go through the drills, and write them down, you allow yourself to truly sift through your entire life. If done well, with good introspection, most people find what truly shapes them. What drives their actions, thoughts and life.
This is nutrition/ programming coaching… why the hell do my values matter? I value being leaner, fitter or a better athlete!
You’re right… it’s definitely different to have someone, specifically a group of dietitians and coaches, who want to know what you value. We do it because we recognize that the psychology behind health is extremely important. Simple drills to help you identify and understand your values, only work if the person doing that drill has learned WHY they are having those emotions and thoughts. Once they know that, THEN they can learn how to respond. Values Based Actions (VBA) teaches a person how to lean on their values and their “why” to help reach their goals. They realize emotions are passing, unimportant things, and following your values can be your true north. Our goal is to equip, and empower the person with understanding their values and how to act based on those. Our athletes who have implemented this, have unlocked new sets of habits and long-term growth they have never known.
Tell me more about VBA…
It is a component of therapy. It allows clients to gain awareness to their choices when emotions trigger their actions. When used properly, and the person has become aware of their reasoning and what is driving their actions, the client can slowly start to choose VBA’s over emotion and urge driven actions.
How does it work?
When you’ve realized you aren’t hungry, and you are responding to an emotional trigger, you step back and say now what? We certainly don’t want to rely on will power, this is not how the best results are made. There is only so much a person can put off before giving in. So, now we step back, and think about how we are going to react. A few things that we recommend are “emotion surfing” and “mindful acceptance”.
Let’s pretend, you are in a place where you emotionally get triggered to overeat. A great example we hear all the time, and perfect timing as I write this article in the middle of December, is family gatherings, specifically the holiday season. You walk into your family’s house, wearing your ugly sweater of course, you can already smell the baked goods and see your cousins, uncles and aunts already drinking alcohol… oh boy.
Thankfully you’ve already gone through your VBA's, so you know what you want to accomplish and what values matter to you. As you put down the potluck meal you brought, hand off the presents and hug the ones you love, you are already thinking about your actions. You are thinking about some of the values you wrote down, and which ones apply to this situation. Here are some potential examples:
Value: Self-love and accepting that I don’t need to eat perfect every day and can eat intuitively
Action: You enjoy your foods but work to limit portions by having fewer pieces of your favorite pie (lemon merengue please!)
Value: Being healthy and fit for my family
Action: Deciding what food I will and will NOT have and how to portion my day to still work towards my goals while enjoying my family and the special day
Value: Feeling good and not taking in foods that will make me feel bad for days to come
Action: Having only 1-2 cups of eggnog this year to limit your hangover and stomach issues.
These are all values you are deciding are important to you and basing your actions on them, each of them is important and they will vary by person. There are hundreds more examples where a person can decide to make improvements each day by simply trying to follow not what their emotions trigger, but what is important to them.
This is a very brief overview of VBA, we recommend you look at our other articles that help breakdown further skills and tricks for becoming better at this.