Joy, I was reluctant about responding to your question because I understood that you were specifically reaching out to the obese population and I did not feel I could give an appropriate answer.
However, after reading your response to Bryant Seton, I feel impelled to respond.
You might feel differently, however, here is what I believe your challenge will be.
1. The obese population don’t see obesity as a clinical condition.
2. Fitness professionals for the most part don’t see obesity as a clinical condition.
3. Obesity is a clinical condition.
4. Most people with clinical conditions, go see clinicians in order to help control or improve their diagnosed condition.
Joy, from my experience, the obese population in addition to other populations who have diagnosed chronic conditions that are not under control, really don’t have the knowledge, skills or ability to control their clinical condition.
There are so many factors to weigh when trying to assist individuals with clinical conditions Factors such as:
1. Health literacy
3. Socioeconomic status
Need to be addressed in order to help these populations.
Here is an example so that you can see my perspective. Right now I am working towards earning by certified diabetes educator credential.
Let’s say I meet someone who is 47 years old who has a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Is it reasonable to expect that this individual have the health literacy or the education to adopt habits that improve his/her condition? It is reasonable to expect that individual to understand what HBAIC, IFG, or IGT is? Is it enough for that individual to say to his/her endocrinologist: Doctor, this is what I need and this is what you will do or will the endocrinologist give the newly diagnosed diabetics direction?
I feel confident you will say that the endocrinologist will assist the individual in understanding his/her disease state as well as explain the condition, prescribe medication in order to help the individual get control of their disease.
It is no different for the obese population. However, it is important for fitness professionals to recognize where their professional scope and strength lie to determine whether or not they truly have the knowledge, skills and abilities to truly help populations with clinical conditions. If we don’t have the training or skills, we do them a disservice.
Joy, I hope this is insightful to you and I am happy to speak with you about this if this is something that you would like.
All the best to you.
Hello Joy Keller,
What about talking to those who used to be obese? Wouldn’t they be the most help for you? A person who turned their life around and kept up the new healthy lifestyle would have the most insight, right?
Now, how to find those people? The Weight Watchers groups are run by people who are successful.
I hope this helps you.
Hi Joy, I am very interested in reading your article… The only contributions I can suggest to make is talking to a Lifestyle Medical doctors to see if you are able to speak to their patients. Or try hosting a community gathering to have others openly speak on obesity and\or their own experience. And my last suggested would maybe go to a local Jenny Craig place (or something like it in your area) and see if you are able to speak to their clients“? I wish you well on your writing journey!
I applaud your intentions and hope that you will be successful. I have been asking myself this question but, by the time an overweight person talks to me, s/he has already decided to make changes.
There is one book that has helped me tremendously in understanding the challenges for obese individuals, and that was the book ‘The End of Overeating’ by Dr. David Kessler.