A client came to me for help with her New Year’s resolutions IN AUGUST!
She was disappointed she had not yet achieved her personal goal of “being as healthy as possible.” Despite her good intentions, she had made disappointing progress and it was 8 months into the “new year”! Her weight was going up, not down.
Many of us can relate to this. We have expectations for great changes and we feel motivated at the start, but events and responsibilities seem to work against us and we are left feeling frustrated and sometimes discouraged that the changes we want to see will never be accomplished.
With this client, and many others, I’ve found a few simple strategies help to make significant changes in order to promote health, fitness, and control without the stress.
I advised this client that October would be the perfect time to make her changes. The kids are back in school, the home routine is in place, and it is a long time until the Christmas rush.
My client is now focused for October – she is prepared to make the time and energy to commit to her new plan.
The following are a few of the goals we decided to focus on:
In the case of my client, instead of her usual pattern of becoming a slave to the gym with no rewards, she has already started with two 30-minute walks per week. Over the past three weeks, these have lengthened and she now looks forward to her evening walks most nights of the week. This simple change should add years to her life and assist her food focus.
Identify specific, measurable goals. They must be realistic and linked to a period of time so you can assess your achievements. These goals are “SMART” goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.)
My client’s goals were, I think, what we would all like to achieve; ‘eat better and be more active’, but how do we measure success with a goal like this?
As a starting point, we broke down her goals into some straightforward, but significant, changes: Below are 2 examples:
1) Begin to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, five out of seven days per week.
2) Keep records of your food intake and exercise for five days to promote self-awareness of your eating and activity patterns.
Do ask for support from a friend, spouse or family member. In this case of this client, her husband has been a great supporter. He reminds her to sit down and eat breakfast with him instead of running around after the kids and he provides the motivation for her to be fit by walking with her in the evenings. He and the kids are enjoying the health changes too. They are eating better and their mum is happier and healthier. The walk also has the added benefit of keeping away from tempting snacks.
In addition to her family support, my client has benefited from professional support. In working with a dietitian it has helped her make appropriate goals, identify obstacles and help overcome challenges.
My client laughs now when she recalls her fears of attending to see me. She expected I would stop her eating normal foods and she would be miserable, but instead she admits she enjoys the one-to-one webcam consultations when she can’t get to my clinic and the programme she is following. She is already feeling much healthier and fitter.
As a Dietitian, I spend a lot of time correcting people’s myths. Most of my clients come in expecting they will be told to only eat salads and slave away on a treadmill seven days a week. We know from countless studies, that healthy eating does not mean dieting. While there are specific dietary requirements for many conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and IBS, most people do not have to cut anything out – they just need assistance in finding the right balance. Obtaining professional guidance ensures you learn which strategies are appropriate for you.
Accurate nutrition information is easier and more accessible than you may think…
For help with putting your New Year’s Resolution in place this October, contact Gillian today Call: 07717392306 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org