I was with one of my clients yesterday and took her out to do a bit of her grocery shopping. I like this because it allows me to see where she is at and IF she is implementing the new strategies and also doing her assigned “homework”. Yes believe me I know this is being very hopeful on my part for beginners but you have to give them tools to learn as you can’t always be there. She is one of the many who is still too focused on calories and not eating but she has made HUGE progress over the past couple of months and has lost over 60 lbs so far. She did this by practicing certain habits like starting to eat at regular intervals to be sure she is eating enough, slowly stopped drinking her gallons of diet pop and switching to water with lemon, eating less processed foods and walking more. I even got her in the habit of taking her fish oil consistently woohoo!! Needless to say, she has been doing great but she is also a highly motivated client who still has some old brain washed baggage (see her above habit). She started out by dropping weight fairly quickly. This is common when someone is obese and begins to make changes but it is also common for this to slow down after a while. That is okay but it frightened her and she started to revert back to the old habit of not eating and this further caused her to stall. I called her on it because I knew and finally got it out of her that that was what she was doing and after some convincing, she started eating again. Lo and behold, the weight is starting to come off again.
Okay so back to the grocery shopping story…I know that she does not consistently do her homework and isn’t 100% on everything, even when she tells me otherwise lol but I remind her that that is absolutely okay. It takes time to build the habits and to focus on one thing at a time (again this goes back to the highly motivated but low competence). Sometimes people just need little reminders on things that they may have learned but are not yet ready to implement. I also sometimes have a challenging time with not information overloading (sure I think it is cool to tell people that foods that normally have seeds that are made to be seedless foods have a higher glycemic index rating but not everyone does lol) and was reminded of this yesterday. She is on a very tight budget and I understand that the ideal way to eat is SUPER expensive so when I asked her if she likes beans and she said yes, I suggested buying some canned beans like kidney, black beans etc. to help her with getting her protein and sufficient calories. She grabbed some cans but with hesitation and noticed that she had put them back when I wasn’t looking so I asked her why. She said ” canned foods are not good for you”. As I slapped myself upside the head, I reminded her that yes, in an ideal world everything would be fresh, organic and so on but YOU are not there yet with certain things and if eating canned beans (because I KNOW she won’t take the time to pre-soak than cook the real stuff) instead of cereals or other crap than canned beans are awesome! The point is, do what is best for you and your lifestyle and what will help you in the journey.
I wanted to sort of test her again so when we were going to grab some other of her favourite healthier foods, I asked her about the label and what she should look for. Right off the bat came “calories”…oh boy! Okay so we had a little session in the store to remind her of what we had previously discussed and reminded her that for now, the only thing that I want her to focus on with the labels is not the actual label but the ingredient list. The really cool thing is that after we did that and she wanted to go buy her cat some treats, she picked up one of the treats, turned it over and SHE pointed out the crapola in it and made the swap all on her own (can you say, AWESOME!). Hell if it takes a cat to get her to start reading the labels instead of just grabbing things than more power to the kitty lol.
I still sometimes find it hard because I am so passionate about things to not overload “random tidbits and factoids” of info onto people in passing in hopes that it will just somehow help them learn. It really just confuses people who are “not there YET”. It can make them feel discouraged so remember, when it comes to fitness, food, anything transformational, aside from simply living and being the role model yourself, teach things and encourage things one step at a time. Always try reminding them that you too started from somewhere 🙂 No matter how many times you “fall” just keep getting right back up, dusting yourself off and moving forward!