By Valerie Driscoll, Lead Coach and Coaching Program Developer for Apollo Health

For years, whenever questioned about eating my philosophy, I usually described myself as an “opportunitarian.” Even though I followed a plant-based diet most of my life, the truth was — I was neither a cheerful nor a skilled cook — and if one was kind enough to prepare a meal for me, I was happy enough to eat it. It easily suited my upbringing, which taught me to be polite and not make a fuss and served me well for a long time. I drew the line at organ meats or raisins cooked or baked in anything (which should require no explanation), but I was otherwise a perfect dinner guest.

As I have adopted aspects of the KetoFLEX 12/3 into my lifestyle, I have had to adjust my formerly laissez-faire attitude from someone who never makes a fuss to someone who usually makes some. This process is not always comfortable, but I do it anyway because it honors one of my top values — my health. And I know the better I fuel my body, the better I fuel my health.

To be successful with the changes you are making in your diet and lifestyle as you adopt the ReCODE Protocol™, you may have to become fussier. The upside is, with some skill-building and practice, you cannot only become comfortable with asking for what you need but become downright inspiring as others ask about the changes you are making.

As we are all wired for different levels of comfort with regard to asking for what we need, the first step to success is to be completely honest about your current level of asking comfort. Mindful awareness comes in handy here, so no judging wherever your starting point is along the continuum of doormat to draconian. Simply, this is where you are right now. Plop down the pin, mark the spot, and then practice your skills.

Skill #1 is noticing:

The situations where you may need to make a special request:

• Restaurants
• Ordering take-out at work or with friends.
• Attending a dinner or party.
• Family situations where all the traditional dishes are expected to be provided and/or eaten.

Notice and pay attention to any discomfort; remember — try not to judge:

• What actually feels uncomfortable about asking for what you need?
• What is the story or stories you are telling yourself about asking?
• How much of the story might be true or untrue, and how does it matter?
• Is there a sensation in the body that comes along with the discomfort?

Skill #2 is getting comfortable with discomfort:

• We are creatures conditioned to move away from discomfort, but it is a place for growth.
• How can you practice getting comfortable?
• How can you see this as an opportunity for practice instead of a chore?

Skill #3 is to get clear:

• What is the importance of asking for what you need?
• Why does it matter?
• How does it outweigh not asking? 
• What is it like to be uncomfortable and to do it anyway? 
• How can honing this skill make a difference over time?

Skill #4 is building asking skills:

• Do some role-playing: how do you ask a server for olive oil on the side instead of one of the offered dressings, or to not bring bread to the table? How do you ask Aunt Audrey NOT to make you two pounds of your favorite chocolate chip cookies for the holidays? 
• Build up your skill-power! Start with small asks and work your way up! 
• Learn to BYOB: Bring your own bottled seltzer, KetoFLEX 12/3-friendly bread, bags of veggies, blueberries, etc.!

As always, this is a perfect place for working with your coach; they can help you work through your discomfort, role-play with you as needed, and help replace older behaviors that aren’t serving you with new behaviors that will serve you better.    

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