I guess this isn’t too much of a question but more of a concern. A month ago, I had a client start with me that had previously lost 100 pounds on her own. In 2010-2011, she was in optimum shape and kept it off for 3 years. She since has put on 30 pounds and contacted me to help her stop and lose. The first two weeks, she was dropping pounds and feeling great. She is NO slacker and really puts in some tough sessions with me. I’ve kept in varied, incorporating Boxing, Bosu challenges, weight training, sprinting, etc and I am SO proud of her giving her all. She turns in her dietary logs and is very specific on everything.
Here is where the problem lies. She doesn’t have the greatest support, i.e. her spouse, who she said is morbidly obese, not really wanting to make a change at this time. She tends to sabotage herself once he is eating his meals of choice and falls back into pattern. She is also training for a run on her own of 10 miles happening Oct.4, so she’s been getting some long runs in during her own time, and Yoga. She has a hairdresser that puts her down when seeing her commenting on her weight gain since last time, etc. I REALLY want to help this woman. She did so well on her own and I can see is really hurting and trying to be consistent but is being pulled in different directions. She said she plans to stay with me training, right now she’s been doing 3 days a week and I don’t want to see her regress. I guess I just want to keep it intense for her but don’t know how to keep her from slipping on her own and I am worried for her. She recovered from Back Surgery 3 years ago as well and really is trying.
Sorry so lengthy and no real question, guess I just feel like any input may help.
your client has the greatest support now: YOU. Your positive and understanding attitude will do a lot to offset the negativity that she is facing from others. Her hairdresser – who cares? She sees that person once every 6 weeks but she sees you 3 times per week.
Just keep doing what you are doing. Your concern and caring will go a long way towards her regaining her confidence. She has gained back 20 lbs., and I can see that that makes her very anxious. But by her contacting you and working with you shows that she knows what to do and where to get help.
She is lucky that she has found you. You cannot change her environment but you can create an oasis of positivity, health and wellness which will help her greatly and will be a refuge.
I couldn’t agree more with Karin, so there is not much to add to that. One thing you could do or suggest to her is to keep signing up for a variety of races just as the 10 mile run. Some options could be a Spartan race or a GORUCK event or a triathlon race. These types of events will keep her motivated to stick with her training and challenged enough to keep her mind focused on a healthier lifestyle. And even better would be if you do some of those races with her for support.
Karin and Harris have good responses. I would also suggest you encourage her to find a new hairdresser! One thing I do with some of my clients is send them almost daily “textspirations”. Not all of them want or need it, but those I send them to say it helps them feel supported and stay on track. Other clients enjoy the app MyFitnessPal. They can keep their food and exercise diary there (and allow you to view it), and network with others on the site for more support. You might also try to get her physician on board as additional support.
I love all the responses you have here, as well as your question. That there is compassion, rather than judgement speaks to the professionalism and human connection of everyone posting, I think. It does seem that she is engaged in each of the areas she needs, and she is working hard toward her goals.
I would suggest that if, as it seems, the place where the wall is weakest, as it were, is with social support it might help to enlist aid there. For the obese sense of self worth is attacked from all angles daily. As soon as one gets up one is bombarded with judgement. And on top of that is her closest potential social support who is against change…. well you can understand that… if she changes he bears the burden without her…. and that is really hard.
It is admirable for you to stand with her in a place of non judgement and compassion. But it would be helpful for her to have a greater support net, in addition to that. If you get her involved in some sort of race, as Harris suggests, she has the opportunity to join with a group, or train together with a group, that can help support her in her positive choices.
Yoga is another great place to find this supportive community. You do have to choose your class/teacher/studio well. Try to find her a viniyoga class, or something like that. I would say to avoid the really hot or other classes that are about the strong physical discipline to start.
If you can find her a meditation group that would probably also be very helpful. And I don’t just say meditate… that is good…. but it is doubly good I think if she joins a group, so she continues to develop a network of communities that support her.
If she works with a nutritionist, or with a group like weight watchers there are probably opportunities for support groups, both in person and online. I think these can be really good.
And I completely agree with Janet…. there are a lot of people who do hair. She does not need to associate with someone who does not treat her with kindness.
Perhaps you can suggest that she find others to form a support network?
For example, maybe she could join a running group, or take a series of healthy cooking classes and meet people there. Help her brainstorm how she can plug into a healthier community. Although personally I’d drop the hairdresser like a hot potato, we can’t always subtract people from our lives. Sometimes we need to add strength in ourselves, or add others to our support network.
Perhaps she can eat before her husband eats, so that she’s not tempted. She may not be able to change his habits, and she’s not in charge of his habits. But she doesn’t have to do what he does, so she might have to think creatively around it.
A well-coach that I hired years ago to help me manage my health while doing extreme care-giving for a terminal family member taught me something very important about resilience. He didn’t try to trouble-shoot a single thing for me. He said, “Wow. That must be really hard. How are you going to react to that?” Whenever I dumped an issue, he nudged me to come up with a solution on my own. Perhaps do this for your client – don’t solve things for her. Listen to her, and ask really great questions that will help her find the answers for herself.