I have some weight loss clients I work with that are part of a support group with the Diabetes Prevention Program. As is typical for most of us… they rationalize their food choices or lack of activity; finding one reason or another why they made a less healthy food choice or are not exercising. They are all aware of why they are in the program, the importance of making changes and have made some great changes to date. I try to continue to encourage them by noting the little changes or changes in awareness, but how do I help them move to the place where there is consistency in healthy lifestyle choices?
Thanks for your responses! I try to encourage and praise all changes; no matter how big or small. In the group, they talk lots about awareness and how they are becoming more and more aware of their triggers, challenges, healthier food/activity choices, etc. So… even though a couple participants have actually gained some weight, I praise them for how much more aware they are of the choices they are making and how they are turning difficult eating situations into positive. The group does a really great job of encouraging one another too.
And I agree… it needs to be them taking ownership/responsibility for their choices and health. Thanks again.
I also work with many weight loss clients, and realize that there are many factors that are involved in the process. Most clients know that they need to eat healthy and exercise, but putting those things into action also requires an understanding of behavioral change (I couldn’t see a profile for you so I’m not sure what your background is). Each person is individual with regard to their own stages of change and belief in themselves to lose weight. In addition, social, economic, cultural and environmental factors affect their progress. Every individual will have some sort of barriers to overcome (time, financial, etc.). It is an on-going process that takes a lot of support and encouragement.
There is no short answer here to help you with your clients, and it will ultimately be up to the client to take responsibility for their actions. Some may need additional outside help from a health coach or other professional such as a registered dietician or even a psychologist.
You can continue to support, listen, encourage, and provide information to your clients to help them succeed. Acknowledge their progress and understand that they will have relapses.
Good luck–keep encouraging them. It is so worth it!
Hello Eileen Bochsler,
This is where slow and steady wins the race. That is great they are making changes; you will want to keep encouraging and reminding them about the positives they are achieving, where they started and where they are now.
Listen to them, when they bring up something, that is your chance to get the ball rolling further. It takes time, some quicker, some slower.
See if you can’t bring in documentation for them to take home and read. Picking up those articles is also a step, not to mention, working with you.
Keep up the great work of helping our fellow man.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.