You think the answer to the weight question lies in what you’re eating- we have a checklist on new client questionnaires. Checklists are a little sneaky in that questions listed don’t’ feel so “big”. New clients rate on a scale of 1, 2 or 3 what they’d like to cover in their sessions. One item on the list is “assistance with emotional eating”. Nobody gives that item a 1 (indicating it’s unimportant). And yet, when we sit down to meet, about half of new clients will say “well I don’t binge or anything like that.” OK that’s helpful but if you feel yourself headed for the cabinets after getting off a stressful phone call. Or, if you’ve ever uttered, “I’ll do that once I lose some weight” you’re weight is about more that “just liking food” or an extra glass of wine.
Your workouts get more attention than your diet- I love the fact that fitness has taken off. I don’t know if it’s the branding from studios such as soul cycle and flywheel or that there are so many interesting options (step aerobics was not for everyone) but fewer and fewer clients come in for their first session not working out. On the contrary, many exercise multiple days a week and there they are sitting in my client chair. So here’s the deal, you can’t exercise away a poor diet (I may have mangled a phrase Carolyn uses all the time). And if you’re saying, “my diet isn’t poor” well how about the fact that diet determines about 75% of the weight picture? You absolutely need exercise for your health but if you’re looking to reduce be sure your shopping list gets more attention than that workout schedule.
You’re focused on what you’re doing right- perhaps you exercise (you now know my thoughts on that subject), eat salad and hydrate, that’s all good. However, we don’t get to pick and choose what holds us pack. As I discussed a plan of attack with a client last week she looked at me and said “but I already do so much that’s good”. I sometimes call this the spoiled brat syndrome (don’t worry I told her so). This client wanted to lose weight but was only doing the parts of her Foodtraining that came easily to her while eating too many carbs and treats. I presented a challenge. I asked her to follow the plan I had outlined for a week. We know what happened, right? At the next visit this client, though initially stubborn, saw that a couple of areas were holding her back.
You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop (the “heavy” shoe)-I have another client I’ve only been seeing for a couple of months. She came in with a lot of longstanding, destructive habits and we’ve been steadily chipping away at them.
A couple of months into our work, she went on a vacation and was disappointed with her eating and said, “I just don’t see this happening it’s so easy to go back to how I used to eat.” That comment was a bigger red flag than any of the food consumed on the trip. I didn’t express my concern but helped her regroup. I knew mentally she was teetering. It took about a month but I waited for the right time and asked, “so do you see yourself sticking with this? Can you envision yourself at the weight you want to be?” She could and whatever you’re trying to do, if you want to do it (for good) you have to be able to picture it. I don’t care if it sounds corny you have to believe it to do it.
You lost weight and now want to discuss maintenance- Oh maintenance. As I say in LBT there is no finish line when it comes to weight loss. Did weight watchers start this? The idea of a “goal weight”? I wholeheartedly believe in goals but why in the world would we make progress in a certain area (therapy, fitness, work) and then jump ship? As much as the word “lifestyle” bugs me, whether it’s Foodtraining, gluten free, paleo or vegan if you find a regime that makes you feel energized and lean please stick to it. Sure, we have weeks where our eating is looser and others where it’s better, that’s OK. If you are waiting and expecting the rules to change once you make some progress or reach your “goal” you may have set the wrong goal.
Whatever it is, whether you have those same 5 pounds or 50 pounds to lose. If you’re just tired of not feeling your best and that’s taking up way too much mind time…chances are there’s something mentally or physically that needs adjusting. You know what they say; if we keep doing things the same way we get the same result. So pick the scenario or tip you relate to most. Admit “I do that”. And then you can make real progress.
Which of these tips is the most relatable for you? Why do you think so many people focus on exercise more than eating? Did you read the Tracy McMillan piece?