I believe every person can accomplish at least one thing a day to make for a better tomorrow. For you can't expect everything in life to be easy. You have to accept what is given to you for the day and just focus on what you CAN do to make for a better tomorrow.
The other day I was counseling a client with motivational interviewing (a very powerful technique I learned during my dietetic internship, specifically while interning at Preferred Nutrition - who specializes in eating disorders) and my client was telling me that he was struggling with eating out too much and that is why he wasn't losing weight.
Like many people, his questions were in regard to eating out - how to choose healthier options to help with his weight loss. But my thought was not to address the eating out, but rather to gain a better understanding as to why he was eating out so often.
Although he admitted that he enjoyed the smells and tastes of restaurant food and even though he was retired, he was just too busy to cook at home, he also admitted that he didn't feel good when he finished eating, the portions were too big and he knew he was consuming food that wouldn't promote weight loss.
So, after he recognized that he needed to make it a point to eat out less, he (not me) set a goal to reduce eating out from 6-7 times a week to 3-4 times a week. A very realistic goal that he created, which he told me he could do.
So, next the conversation quickly moved from eating out to creating a positive food environment at home so that he could stay consistent with this goal of eating out less. He assured me that he would buy more fruits and veggies because he knows he needs to eat more for overall health but when I asked him if he is making a plan to eat these foods on a daily basis, his response was:
"The problem is that I buy them but they always go bad"
I then asked:
"why do they go bad"
"Because I am not eating them every day"
"Why aren't you eating them every day?"
"Oh - I get it. Because I am always eating out"
I just love motivational interviewing...an easy way for the client to recognize what it is they are struggling with at a much deeper level rather than me, as the professional, telling the client what to do. For I could tell people all day long what not to do (humm, makes me think of every "diet" book or plan out there) but that doesn't address the long-term problem. More often than not, if people could accept their excuses, much more could be accomplished in a shorter amount of time.
For my client, it was important to recognize that it wasn't the eating out that was the problem but rather that he was not making it a priority on a daily basis - which was to have a plan with filling his body with nutrient dense foods. It wasn't that eating out was off limits but rather that consistent actions bring consistent results. It's one thing to have the foods at home to encourage weight loss but you have to have a plan as to when you will eat them - and of course, why it is important to prioritize healthful actions on a day-to-day basis.
I'd like to introduce you to George...a Trimarni Nutrition athlete who I have been working with for the past 2 months as part of his 3-month nutrition/lifestyle journey Trimarni service. George contacted me after meeting with his doctor and recognizing that he was ready to stop making excuses and to start making things happen.
George has worked really hard over the past 2 months - recognizing what habits he needed to change in order to bring consistent results. Again, I could have given him a strict meal plan and told him what not to eat...but that's not my style. I told George "the purpose of my program is to change lifestyles". Thankfully, George was ready for the journey and he has loved every minute of it!
George has sent me a few "thank you" emails and I wanted to share a personal email that George sent to me (with his permission to share) describing his journey. I am not posting this to toot my own horn but rather, to inspire others that YOU can make things happen IF you make your health a priority.
Thank you George for sharing your story with me and my blog readers. I'm hoping George's story inspires you to take a deeper look at your life and what you want to accomplish in your one and only life.
Marni, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help. I started training for triathlons last year and competed in 4 sprints. My story starts in December 2010 when both my kids came to me with tears in their eyes and asked me to please get healthy so I won’t die early. The reason they were concerned was the health on my father’s side of the family. My father passed away when he was 62 years old and he was the oldest male on his side of the family. His father, uncle cousins and brother all passed away before they were 61 and most of them were due to heart attacks. After he passed away I went to my family physician to check my health and my cholesterol was out of control. My doctor tried to get it under control for about 1 year and then referred me to a specialist to see if she could help. I worked with this specialist for about 2 years and due to a job change and bad insurance I had to stop seeing her and taking medications. My last visit with her I was on 3 medications for cholesterol, 1 for being border line diabetic and 1 for my thyroids. I went 1 year without medication or seeing my specialist and I even got up to 235 pounds and I’m only 5’7”. Due to all this that is why my family was worried. I made a decision after that day when I children approached me to not let the Miller family curse take me, if I was going to die then it was due to old age and not bad health. I stated training on December 24, 2010 and later that week I watched the Ironman Championship that I recorded. I knew after watching it and seeing people that have overcome many challenges in life compete and complete the Ironman. I was amazed and said one day that will be me. In March 2011, I went to see my specialist for the first time in over 1 year and my lab results showed I was in better health then when I was on medication for over 1 year. Keep in mind I was off medication over 1 year and I have only been training for 3 months. When I left my visit I was prescribed 2 medications for cholesterol and that was it she said I no longer needed my diabeticor thyroid medication. I knew if I keep this up I will get to watch my kids grow old and have kids of their own. I trained for 8 months and lost 13 pounds. In August my body was tired and I could not get out and train anymore. In March 2012 I decided I wanted to try a Half Ironman so I set my goals on Ironman Miami 70.3 on October 28, 2012. But I knew I needed some help since the training was going to be more intense then what I have done before and I did not want my body to give up like it did the past year. This is when I contacted you and decided I would want to use you as my nutrition coach. I was a little worried at first because I never really believed in using a nutritionist, but I have to say you have proved me wrong. In the 2 ½ months I have worked with you I have dropped 13 pounds where last year it took 8 months. I also feel better than I have in a very, very long time. My training has me currently swimming around 2400-2600 yards a session, running between 45 minutes on weekdays to 1 hour 45 minutes on weekend and cycling 1 hour on weekdays to 3 hours on weekends. I do 3 sessions of swimming, running and cycling each week. I never did this much training in the past and after the workouts I still feel great and this is all because of you. I now know how to feed my body to handle the trainings and also the recovery. I just had another visit with my specialist on July 3, 2012 and the numbers are still going down. She told me that whatever I’m doing to keep it up because its doing wonders for me. I told her that it was because of my awesome nutrition coach Marni. My look on food has made a 180 degree turn, I’m eating foods that I never thought I would and I love it. Marni you really have saved my life and from the Miller family we want to say THANK YOU.