So, you have made the decision (again) to get healthy and do something about your weight and fitness! Or maybe, in spite of being lazy and eating junk food, you have managed to keep your weight under control but are determined to do better for the sake of your health … and you need HELP. The internet is chock-full of “experts,” fads, diets, and trends, and they all claim to be the most beneficial for you. How do you choose?
The first step is to look for qualifications. In a world where anyone can claim to be an expert, you want to make sure you’re getting real advice. Have they been doing this for a certain length of time? Do they have a predictable program that has reproducible results? Look for reviews and testimonials wherever possible.
Now, let’s say you have found your person. This might be a life coach, health coach, doctor, or nutritionist. Regardless, you have taken a HUGE first step and scheduled an appointment. How do you now determine if you are in the right place?
When you meet with your health advocate, goal setting should be a joint and individualized process. If they are not taking into account your opinion to some extent, it will be difficult to follow through on someone else’s plan for you. While there are definitely standards that are required for health, the ultimate plan should be something that you know will look and feel good to you in the end. Otherwise, you should be given a reasonable explanation that will help you manage expectations. Remember, it’s likely that you are seeking help because you’re frustrated on your own; however, you ARE there for advice. Be open and listen.
Do they have a process for accountability? If they are just going to offer you medication or a diet book and never see you again, that’s not coaching. You need to make sure that they will be available for you to have questions and also for weekly check-ins at minimal to keep you accountable. It’s amazing how well we behave when we know someone else is checking our work!
Have they done their own program? It would be difficult for me to tell my patients to eat vegetables if I am unwilling to consume them. In much the same way, your wellness or fitness coach should have some personal experience with their own journey. If they have never experienced a health crisis, had to diet, needed to make some sort of lifestyle change, it might be difficult for them to empathize with you. Much like a man trying to explain labor pains … you just can’t possibly know!
Does the program you are choosing provide a long-term maintenance solution? If you are going to need to buy their products for the rest of your life to maintain the results, are you willing to do so? If not, be aware that you are putting a quick Band-Aid on your health and only seeking a temporary measure of relief. A good indication that you are seeking the right program is a reliable way to maintain your wins. If there is zero effort to make a permanent and sustainable lifestyle change during the process, there is zero chance that your results will last in the long-term.
Overall, the process of making a change is a daunting activity. Always remember that the first step is to take action toward your goal. You’ve thought about it long enough! The only way that you will not get to your goal is to remain exactly where you are. Step out in faith and know that health is a journey. Your body will respond in gratitude and healing for every step taken in the right direction.
Dr. Marty Nalda is the owner and operator of Inspire Weight Loss Lake Nona, located at 19475 Boggy Creek Rd., Suite A, Orlando, FL 32832. With over 23 years of nutritional counseling experience, her passion is to inspire lifestyle choices that lead families to optimal health. Inspire offers weight loss and non-surgical body sculpting services, where patients routinely lose 20-40 pounds in just six weeks with no shakes, shots, hormones, or pre-packaged meals. You can reach Inspire at (407) 837-3555.