Clients come to Eating Free™ often asking for motivation to lose weight. They look at me as if to say, “Give me a reason to change!” But I would be granting them a huge disservice if I pretended I could give them that reason. Motivation is intrinsic. I may inspire, but I cannot motivate.
In my nutrition practice, what usually starts off as excitement, often quickly diminishes in the face of honest self-examination, a lack of energy, time, and motivation. Struggle comes from looking oneself in the eye and realizing all the negative, bad habits we’ve accumulated over time. Unlearning these habits is only accomplished by learning new ones and “teaching an old dog new tricks” is a challenge in itself. Eating Free™ is not a diet plan. We don’t count calories or points and we surely don’t starve ourselves. In my practice, if a client is not interested in evolving, becoming self-aware, or learning about healthy habits and food – how much, how often, and why to eat – then they’ve come to the wrong place.
What motivates us may come from fear, but hopefully it comes more from a place of positivity, hope, and progress. Do you dream of finishing college, having a family, starting your own business or could your sense of accomplishment come simply from losing weight? Simple accomplishments in weight loss could be taking a walk around the block, bending to tie your shoe, or even just playing with your children without pain or gasping for air.
For example, a client of mine once had a weight loss goal so he could walk without his cane. Several months and 60 pounds later, he left my office and had actually forgotten the cane. As I yelled out to him, “Hey, you forgot your cane!” we met each other with a tear of joy. He had achieved his goal and was free at last!
As a registered dietitian, I teach people all about good, wholesome foods and appropriate portion sizes, but what I really do is have my clients dig deep and visualize a better place. We discuss why they want what they want and we turn that want into a need. Why do they need to be better and how will they accomplish this? Motivation to achieve anything, be it college, a family, a business, or weight loss, comes from this inner place of need, a need to evolve, succeed, and be free.
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