Monday, March 17, 2014

Mindful but not Neurotic

New Foodtrainees often ask “how long do clients typically see you?” That’s a tricky question to answer. Most clients come intensively in the first couple of months but the really successful Foodtrainees don’t see our work in those terms. If you think about it, would you ask a personal trainer “how many visits will I need?” Or a therapist? Food is the same way. Though clients may not come weekly for the duration they check in, schedule a bunch of visits to reboot and realize the value of accountability.

I am an excellent digresser but session frequency wasn’t the point of this post. I had a client in my office last Thursday and we realized that we first met five years ago. I have seen her in spurts but this time of year is crazy for her with work and so we’re usually in contact. She opened her session (long time Foodtrainees know I prefer the good news first though we all have the tendency to want to confess our food sins) saying “I feel mindful but not neurotic”.

I jotted that comment down in my notebook. Progress with weight should make us less obsessive not more. I’ll call this client Five (for our five years). Five knows what foods to bring for her trips. She also knows how to reign it in before and after to allot for travel eating. Most of all, she knows which behaviors leave her at the top of her comfortable range and what she’s doing when she wants to drop.

I was doing a radio show last week and was asked “who is the Foodtrainers’ client?”
I joked and said I  could be a Foodtrainers’ client and added it’s someone who likes input and a system, someone busy with work or family or travel or just stuff. Someone who likes to eat but likes their clothes fitting well and wants to age gracefully.” My client Five is all of the above. Happy Anniversary to her and I’m raising my glass (ok coffee mug) to us all being more mindful and less neurotic.
Why do you think we want rapid results when it comes to food and weight? Would you have thought that clients come to us for 5 or 10 years? Are you more mindful or more neurotic?


  1. Love that phrase! Great point that we don't ask a therapist "how long this is going to take," though I'm sure people do ask that. I like to think that on the mindful-neurotic spectrum, I'm mindful. However, I know that when I was trying to follow a vegetarian diet some years ago to ward off a boyfriend's dinnertime lectures, I often felt pretty neurotic, not to mention stressed the f*** out.

  2. Mindful but not neurotic is good. :) I think I'm more mindful at this point. But there were certainly times when I was neurotic...

    I can totally see the benefit of working with you over a long(er) period of time. I still have to remind myself to be "extra mindful" when things get stressful, and I can totally see the benefits of working with you on an off over the years.

  3. Me or really anyone, right? It's an ongoing, evolving process. Most of us mindfuls have neurosis we've moved on from.

  4. Well, what I like about you is that our food philosophies are so similar... That's why I can especially see the benefit in working with you... :)