I have just finished reading a fascinating article in the New York Times which pretty much sums up the trap that the majority of the clients who come to me have fallen in to – the yo-yo diet cycle.
I don’t think I have had a single initial consultation during which the words ‘cheat’, ‘clean’ or ‘bad’ have not been used to describe food. It is this kind of language that damages our mindset and attitude towards food, but it is hardly surprising given that the ‘wellness’ industry is so often pushing such terms into our faces.
All this does, however, is create fear and anxiety about food. We then become obsessed, the cycle takes hold and the industry cashes in.
But, consider the dichotomy; we are encouraged to deprive and starve ourselves to feel ‘good’ yet when was the last time you ever felt good for long on a restrictive diet?
Now, I know it seems easy for me to say. I appear to be a privileged, white, slim female. What you don’t see, however, are the choices and commitments I have made over the years to be in the position I am in. I could very easily have followed a different path.
Unlike many ‘wellness’ influencers, I don’t have financial security or bags of time on my hands to go to the gym. I can’t spend hours in the kitchen and I have just as many personal issues as the next person. But, I HAVE connected with my ‘why’ and I HAVE learned to navigate the damaging messages in the media.
I have educated myself and learned to like my body as much as a woman can. I don’t make excuses, I create solutions. I don’t blame the barriers that come my way on others; I take responsibility.
This is why I so passionately take the approach that I do with my clients; I encourage them to be accountable so that their new habits truly stick.
OK, I may call my services a ‘program’ but this means a program of support that is highly individualised. It is not an ‘off the shelf’ plan that you could, quite frankly, pay a lot less for but you will likely end up psychologically damaged without even realising it. That may sound harsh, but it is all too often what I see. Far too many people use food as a form of reward and punishment…..
Words like ‘syn’, ‘forbidden’ etc – how can they EVER lead to a healthy relationship with food?
Going back to the article, I particularly love 2 points that it makes; if the wellness industry really had women’s best interests at heart, it would make the following very clear:
• Yo-yo dieting may increase their risk of heart disease
• Activities like going out for meals with friends etc are scientifically proven to improve health.
Yet, all too many ‘diets’ discourage such socialisation and instead promote isolation and worrying, restrictive behaviours.
This is certainly NOT how I work. It is also why I will NEVER fall into the trap of providing cheap packages or services to my clients! Whilst I do provide nutrition plans, I offer them alongside the coaching that is necessary to undo the harmful effects our corrupt ‘wellness’ industry is creating.
This may mean I cannot reach as many people as I would like but ethically, I strive to repair people’s relationships with food not damage it even further.
I encourage clients to love food again, to look at their bodies differently, to enjoy time with their family and friends. I look at health from every single angle and encourage happiness, not misery.
Some may say that this is what makes me unique, I would say that this is just called having integrity and truly caring about my clients and the rest of the life they have to lead after working with me.
So, if you do want to genuinely feel better about yourself and be educated PROPERLY about how to fuel your body and mind, you know what to do – GET IN TOUCH.
Oh, and here is the article if you haven’t had enough of my passionate rant: