Sat on the rugged surface of the wooden chairs in my dinning room. Without a peep from the outside world because it's 5am on a Saturday and no one is nearly crazy enough to wake at this time, I'm feeling reflective.
I've come a long way from the sport and exercise graduate who did some personal training on the side around 10 years ago. Back then, I had a foundation level of knowledge surrounding nutrition. I had completed some modules at University and had done some further reading on my own but I was far from an expert. A fact that can sometimes make me cringe when I think back to how I really didn't know the ins and outs of nutrition back then.
I certainly would not have been able to dissect a diet where the client had plateaued despite seemingly eating healthily. A fact that is also salient when patients and clients tell me they have seen personal trainers or nutritionists who can't understand why their weight has plateaued. A degree in nutrition and/or dietetics and years...
I can't help but notice the downbeat tone of my client. Usually Claire (not her real name) is lively and bubbly.
Claire is one of my Winning Weight Loss Programme clients and has been doing very well over the previous few weeks with her lifestyle change. Today though, she sounds different.
Claire tells me how she has fallen off the wagon. I probe deeper to understand why someone who is doing so well with her weight loss has completely gone off the rails in the space of a month since our last conversation.
Claire, like many others I have came across either as a private client or as a patient within the NHS, informs me it all started with a small blowout about a week after our last conversation. Claire, went out for dinner and had a dessert. The following evening, she went to the shop and bought a bag of chocolate and ate it all.
"I just felt I had blown it and so what was the point" Claire told me.
What Claire and many others fail to realise is this is actually common...
When working with 1:1 dietary clients, as a rule, I send them out a questionnaire asking them if and how I have helped them and what I could do better. I've recently had some lovely feedback from clients who have thus far managed to lose a serious amount of weight amongst themselves and it inspired todays post.
One common theme these clients have fed back is the way in which I help them change their thinking from short term dietary behaviour to longer term sustainable weight loss.
For example, Jane (not her real name) explained how she had consistently struggled to find the ability to lose weight long term. Sure she had successes over the years but she would relapse once the weight loss was not as expected week to week. Downhearted, Jane lost the motivation and ultimately relapsed.
Another prime example is Sue (not her real name). Sue was able to hit target weight a number of times through various methods but once achieved, complacency would set in. Over time and without realising...