It was a Monday when she came in the office excited to tell me about her new grandson. Beaming from ear to ear, she told me all about this new addition to her family. In the conversation, she admitted to gaining quite a bit of weight, and if I would help her, well that would be great. "Maybe I can," was my rely. "How much sugar is in your diet?" I asked. "Oh, honey. I have to have sugar. It gets me through the day," was her answer. So I asked her why she chose sugary drinks instead of drinking water. Dehydration will slow down the body, so keeping hydrated with water will actually give you quite a bit of energy. She told me she doesn't like the taste of water, but she does drink the flavored, bottled water sometimes. Occasionally, in the morning she will also put some honey and lemon in her water before she goes to work. Wait, there's more.
I'm beginning to sense some defense, but I keep going. "Do you prepare your own meals or do you tend to eat out?" I ask. "I don't have time to cook with my busy schedule. I usually go to McDonalds. You know it's amazing what you can eat in a car driving down the road," she chuckles. "I order the chicken sandwich with tomato, lettuce, and cheese. That's well balanced, right?" Oh, boy.
Now it's clear to me why she had gained the extra weight. She is busy and stressed. Unable or unwlling (I'm thinking the later) to prepare herself for the battles ahead, she has fallen in the pit of a fast food cycle. Of course, it's easy and convenient, but it's not a healthy choice if weight loss is the goal. I was beginning to understand she wasn't ready to make a change. Even though she asked for help, she wasn't ready to take the necessary steps to reach her goals. Every question I asked was lined with excuses and defense. In retrospect, I should have asked her what measures she had laid out to reach her goal. Her answers would have help me better understand if she was ready and willing to make some changes.
Hopefully, our conversation will replay back to her the next time she thinks about her weight issue or her next McDonalds trip. Sometimes, even though we want to change, we just aren't ready to commit to the hard work.
health-bite: it takes hard work to make a change