I don’t believe in diets
“Then why on earth are you hosting a diet-show?” Yesterday, DSTV launched a new program, Die Eet Oorlog (Eating War), in which I facilitate a coaching-process with three very brave women, on their journeys to weight loss.
The three ladies wanted to go on three different diet-plans: Banting, Paleo and the Mediterranean diet. This is the challenge with health-coaching: when someone walks through your door, they have a specific need, and a specific idea of what the solution is:
“I have a pain in my back. I need a voltaren injection.”
“I need to lose 10kg before summer. What crash-diet do you recommend?”
“I wake up tired all the time. I need a vit. B injection.”
“I have a pain in my neck – it’s because my boss is working on my nerves.”
But very often, my clients are wrong: They think that a certain solution will solve their problem, but they misdiagnose their problem. However, I don’t chase them away, or simply tell them “You’re Wrong.” That’s the beauty of the coaching process. We can work with someone who misdiagnosed themselves, and journey them towards better health and a better understanding of themselves. Here are three coaching principles we use:
We start where you’re at
When Ernie, Doreen and Lynn (the three contestants from the show) met up with us, they had specific ideas of what they needed. So we started there: I accommodated their requests for specific meal-plans, but we adapted their diet-plans, unique to their lifestyle, and the latest integrated nutritional principles out there. We don’t promote any of the three meal-plans as the be-all and end-all. We tailor our interventions to fit the need of the client, to transform the way they live, eat, think about and relate to food. We don’t believe in diets: We believe in healthy eating.
We establish clear goals
In order to achieve any goal, it needs to be clear, and achievable. Often, our goals are unrealistic, and short-lived. If you decide to lose 5kg in 6 weeks, that is a S.M.A.R.T. goal – it’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. If it isn’t, chances are that you won’t achieve it.
If you go further, and you decide to maintain your weight loss for at least one year after the 6 weeks, and change your relationship to food, you’ve gone even deeper: moving from ‘weight-loss’ to ‘lifestyle-change’. This is where we want to get: transformative change. Losing weight is a superficial goal. Changing your heart, is a life-goal.
We work as a team
No one has all the answers:
If you see a specialist for a problem – be it weight, pain, fitness or any other issue – you will get a lot of information on a very narrow field. Their knowledge goes deep, but not wide.
If you see a generalist, you will get little information on a very broad field. Their knowledge goes wide, but not deep.
We believe in a T-shaped approach: working with different experts and generalists, we can cover both the depth and the breadth of a problem. This way, you get results that fit into the bigger context of your life.
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