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Create Space for Weight

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>> Hello. It's great to be back with you today, as we discuss some key points for how you can create space for weight. That's right. Today is about how you can coach clients through weight. If you google something like Health Coach plus weight, inevitably 99% of the findings are centered on weight loss. There's a reason for this. It is a common struggle, a common goal, and a common consuming part of life. Ultimately, you'll probably coach weight at some point with many clients. You want to feel comfortable coaching through it, not around it, and within your scope of practice. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you want to feel comfortable having unbiased conversations, you want to validate motivations for weight goals while helping clients connect with the deeper why behind those goals. You want to support and lovingly challenge them within your scope of practice. We're going to touch on each of these points today. Again, it's helpful to simplify it for yourself as much as possible while acknowledging that it's also complicated. Clients are confused and frustrated, and they want easy answers from you. As we've discussed throughout this course, coaching is a constant balance in more ways than one. However, you have all that you need to support clients effectively. Weight is a deep and difficult topic, and it carries many unpleasant emotions from anger and frustration to guilt and shame. Clients have likely tried many approaches with few or no sustainable results. So here they are. And here you are. And you're providing your clients an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about weight in a safe and trusting space. So how do you have an unbiased conversation with clients about weight? What does it look like? What does it sound like? How does it feel to both of you? Grab your journal and imagine having an unbiased conversation with a client about weight. Pause the video, visualize this, and write down what comes up for you. How was that? Was it easy or was it difficult? Comfortable or uncomfortable? Having an unbiased conversation with clients starts with self awareness of your own biases, which we explored earlier in the course, biases about health, weight, eating habits, and what your clients "should" be doing. Do you remember your biases in these areas when you started this course? Have they changed at all since then? We've brought up the health at every size movement several times throughout this course. This movement emphasizes that health comes in all shapes and sizes, but there's also the other side of that. Being a certain weight doesn't mean that you're necessarily healthy. Does that make sense? In other words, fatness or thinness doesn't mean not healthy, but it also doesn't necessarily mean healthy. Coaching means recognizing both sides of that coin, that body acceptance and a positive self relationship is the goal but so is health. Throughout the course, we have continually stressed the importance of bio-individuality and a one-size-fits-none approach to food, eating, and wellness as a whole. One underlying thread throughout this material is this. Don't assume anything. Don't assume that a client does or doesn't struggle with emotional eating, disordered eating, or an eating disorder. Don't assume that there are or are not medical, biological, or cultural reasons for their mindsets and habits around food. Having an unbiased conversation starts right there. It also includes not imposing your own values, viewpoints, or how you might think, or what you might do. None of those are based in fact, especially when it comes to your clients. They're based on your experiences, your way of being in the world, your goals, and even your own ongoing challenges. Finally, having an unbiased conversation around weight, as with all areas of coaching emotional eating, means remaining nonjudgmental and neutral. For the purposes of simplicity, always go back to these three strategies when attempting an unbiased conversation. Don't assume anything, don't impose your own values and views, but do remain nonjudgmental and neutral. Your goals as a coach include helping clients eat for the right reasons, develop nourishing food relationships, and empower them to reach their goals. Just because you want them to stop dieting doesn't mean that they have to give up their goals connected with dieting, goals like getting back to a more comfortable weight, eating healthier, having more energy or making positive changes in their daily habits. When clients have weight related goals or desires, either losing weight or sometimes gaining weight, it's important to validate their motivations while helping them get to the deeper why behind their goals. This fuels their self-awareness, a very valuable place to start. It's not necessarily about trying to change their minds. It's more about helping them explore the roots. In other words, it's about supporting mindfulness around goals. Connecting with the why empowers clients. There are reasons they struggle, and those reasons are their reasons. There's no right reason for their goals. As Danielle Laporte puts it, "Chase the feeling, not the goal." High-mileage questions that can help clients connect with their why include what emotions are you chasing, how do you expect to feel if you meet your goal, what values motivate your goals, and how else can you get to that emotional space or support those values. Okay, so supporting clients with weight requires unbiased coaching and connecting with the why behind goals. From there, it basically boils down to the eight guideposts we'll go over right now. Coaching weight isn't easy or simple, but honestly, having a basic framework is all that you need to do the job you already know how to do. So use what you know, use who you are as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and go do good things. Grab your journal, as you'll have plenty of room to apply what you already know to this story that we explored earlier in the course. Greg is in his late 30s, and he hates his "fat belly." He has gained weight over the past few years. He feels very self-conscious and ashamed, which has caused him to stop exercising and stop coaching his daughter's softball team. He's also less motivated to be intimate with his wife. Greg says that losing weight is his new project, and he believes that getting his food "under control" is the key to happiness. He's willing to do whatever it takes. However, he's had zero luck with diets. He gets bored and frustrated and ends up eating burgers and fries to feel better. Are you ready? Here we go. Acknowledge possible biological factors. This includes medications, medical history, physical health, hormones, and genetics. Now there's no information about this in Greg's story. But this biology might play a role, right? Biology can play a role in weight, and it can influence eating behaviors. Pause the video, and write down some of Greg's potential biological factors or expand upon the story and insert some of your own. There's a lot to consider. But remember, you'll learn a lot in the Health History form as well as from the eating story. And you can always suggest the clients ask their doctors for more testing if needed. Address potential emotional eating. I'm just going to leave it at that. Pause the video, and spend a few minutes jotting down potential emotional eating factors that might contribute to Greg's weight struggle or expand upon the story and insert some based on everything we've explored in this course. How are you feeling with this? Do you have a lot of ideas? I'm sure you do. You see, you got this. Remember your scope of practice. In other words, know your boundaries as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. It is not your job to diagnose. If you're working with a client who has a medical condition, you need to refer them out, and then support them as you would any other client while maintaining open communication with their healthcare providers. It's also not your job to "fix" them, to do the work for them, or promise weight loss. They get out of coaching what they're willing to put in. Lack of progress doesn't mean that either of you failed. This is their process, and it's not one for you to judge. You're there to help them figure out what's working, what isn't, why not, and go from there. Remember, you are the bridge. You advocate, you fill in the support gaps, and you continually focus on transformation. This transformation might include weight itself, but it also includes mindsets, food relationships, primary food nourishment, you get the idea. Pause the video, and write down how you might work with Greg within your scope of practice if he has a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. See, there is so much that you can offer Greg as a coach. Look at the whole picture. In other words, Coach beyond the food by taking a whole life perspective. When it comes to weight, there are so many factors at play, including lifestyle and culture. Sleep can also affect weight. Stress can affect weight. Mindless eating can affect weight. Looking at the bigger picture of a client's life includes acknowledging possible disease risk. Again, weight doesn't equate with health, but it also doesn't mean that a person is making healthy choices. Weight acceptance does not equal health either. Look at all sides. Pause the video, write down a few more statements that you might use, as a coach, to help Greg look at the whole picture of how his weight goals relate to other areas of his life. I'm sure you came up with some great ideas. Let's keep moving. Empower clients while validating their goals. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you might have to strike a balance between lovingly challenging them to make changes that support greater health and lower disease risk and empowering them to find out what works for them. Empowering them in this way keeps coaching strengths-based. It reminds them that their reasons for wanting change are valid and that they have all they need to progress, that might sound like a tall order. But here's an example of something you might say, "Greg, you're telling me that losing weight is very important to you and that is preventing you from finding nourishment in your relationships and with exercise, both of which are important considerations for overall wellness. It's also affecting your health. And you seem to know that. How can I support you in figuring out a way to work toward your weight goals?" Right there, you validate Greg's concerns about weight and motivations for his goals while lovingly challenging him to take active steps toward ways that will work for him. Pause the video, and think about how else you might empower Greg around his weight goals. Empowerment is such an important coaching tool, and there are many ways that you can use it. Support the process of positive transformation. This means providing accountability for clients' goals based on bio-individuality. As we've discussed, some clients might prefer accountability in the form of weekly weigh-ins or food journals, while others might prefer a more intuitive approach, for example, sharing whether or not they were able to practice their mindful eating goals that week. Supporting goals also means helping clients focus beyond weight itself. So many clients will zero in on a number, and that's their greatest concern. You can provide basic information about how muscle weighs more than fat, and how building some lean muscle mass not only increases fitness level but also energy. Having more muscle mass means that weight might stay the same, but clothes might fit differently. Plus, feeling stronger and having more endurance is very empowering. And it decreases aches and pains. Encourage clients to research exercise benefits on their own. It's very convincing. Pause the video, and jot down how you might support Greg's positive transformation keeping all of this in mind. Again, look at multiple angles and think outside the box. That is such a valuable part of your coaching relationship. Creativity helps unstick mindsets and behaviors. Help clients connect with their bodies. As we've discussed, emotional eating often involves disconnection from the self. So many people avoid their own bodies at all costs. They might not like to think about their bodies because they don't like how they look. On the flip side, they might obsess about their bodies, always wanting to change them and basing their basic sense of self-worth on their bodies. Connecting to one's own body can be a tricky business, and it's a very vulnerable area. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can start small by encouraging clients to exercise or move mindfully tuning into their bodies that way. Yoga can be very helpful for weight related struggles. Being in nature is another way to tune in, as is journaling and creative art. Many therapy approaches are body-oriented, including creative arts therapy, movement therapy, dance therapy, and yoga therapy. These are great ideas to suggest to clients. Many clients don't progress toward their weight related goals because they have an ingrained perception of themselves as a certain way. For example, if they see themselves as fat and they can't see themselves as changed, then that will make change much more difficult. You can help clients connect with their bodies through visualization. Transformation includes changing mindsets, right? Mind-body connection matters. Those are just a few ideas. Pause the video, and write down how you might help Greg connect with his physical body in helpful non-threatening empowering ways. How was that? Every client is different, so always use your judgment, especially in potentially vulnerable areas like this. And now the last point today. Support clients with nutrition. This means approaching nutrition through a bio-individual lens and helping clients find their own middle grounds and draw their own boundaries based on their deeper values and their whys. Small changes and keeping it simple can go a long way. Encourage clients to drink more water, to eat more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grain carbs, and to eat less refined sugar, trans fats, and processed foods. Help them discover new recipes, find time for meal prep, or just eat more home cooked meals in general. Regardless of a client's dietary needs and preferences, there are basic tenants of healthy eating that you can assist them with. Pause the video, and write down how else you might support Greg's weight goals with nutrition. What did you come up with? There are many simple ways that you can help clients with nutrition. And the more basic you keep it, the more likely they are to stick with it. Now take a deep breath because we covered a lot of material today. Here's a quick recap. Coaching clients through weight requires confronting them lovingly, validating their motivations behind their goals, and helping them get to the deeper why behind those goals. Having unbiased conversations around weight means not assuming anything, not imposing your own values and views, and remaining nonjudgmental and neutral. Eight basic guideposts to support and lovingly challenge clients around weight within your scope of practice are to acknowledge possible biological factors, address potential emotional eating, remember scope of practice, look at the whole picture, empower clients while validating their goals, support the process of positive transformation, help clients connect with their bodies, and support clients around nutrition. This week, you'll practice all of this material with your accountability coaching partner. And as usual, you will hopefully keep sending out to your fellow course mates in the Facebook group and within your community. Thank you so much for joining me today, and I'll see you again soon.

Video Details

Duration: 18 minutes and 21 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

Create Space for Weight

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