Tanya and I met in October of 2016 because she wanted to learn more about nutrition and lose some weight. She works full-time, has a husband, 2 teenage children at home and she is involved in their high school activities. Tanya thought she knew how to eat healthy but time was her biggest barrier. Here is what she has to say about the changes she has made since we first met:
1. What are some of the biggest changes you have made in your diet recently?
“In the past, I have tried many diets. Many of them required the elimination of certain kinds of foods such as carbohydrates or they had me counting and weighing everything I put in my mouth. While I experienced significant weight loss on plans like that, I was never able to maintain that loss. I always gained it right back, and then some, putting me on a unhealthy cycle of losing then re-gaining weight. Before I met Christie, I thought that this was the only way to “get healthy”.
The biggest change I made was a shift in my mindset. I never want to count calories or weigh food. Christie did not ask me to eliminate any food groups, count any calories, or go hungry for hours on end. In fact, I eat all day long. I just changed in the quality of the foods that I eat. I make every possible effort to avoid eating food that I did not prepare myself except on special occasions.
The old adage says that “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and this is so true when it comes to healthy eating. I have a meal plan going into every week and the groceries in the house to help me execute that plan. I set myself up for success so I am less likely to splurge on eating high fat, high sodium restaurant food.”
2. What did you perceive as some of the biggest barriers when starting?
“The biggest barriers I saw were time, money, and an intense dislike for grocery shopping. I work long hours away from home so I have little time to plan for or prepare meals. I absolutely do not want to spend my precious downtime working my way through a traffic jam of carts in a grocery store. I used to be focused on the problems instead of looking for solutions to those problems. Christie’s coaching helped me find the solutions to these problems.”
3. What was your motivation to change?
“Quite simply, I didn’t feel good. My blood pressure was climbing, my clothes were getting tight and I was tired all the time. I knew that, in the absence of a change, I would continue to let momentum carry me in the wrong direction. I made small changes and began to see results. Getting results and feeling better gave me the push I needed to keep going. The biggest motivator, for me, is seeing Christie because she is non-judgmental and she is incredibly supportive.”
4. What resources help you to make it happen week after week?
“Resources were the secret sauce for me. I signed up for a grocery pick up service which really helped me to keep the house stocked with good quality food without having to set foot in the grocery store or a restaurant. I still struggled to make and execute on a meal plan so Christie pointed me towards several meal planning subscriptions that are loaded with dietician approved recipes and shopping lists. All of them offer a free trial! I tried them all and chose one that worked for me. While I invested money in the grocery and meal planning services, I found that I have saved more than I spent because I eat at home and I don’t impulse shop. I am sure that in the long run this small investment in my health will also save me on medical expenses.”
5. If you could give one piece of advice to help someone else, what would you say?
“The first step to success lies in defining the problem. The good news is that most of us have already done that so we have already taken the first step! I encourage folks to take the second step which is to find solutions to the problems they face. Then, just keep an open mind and try new things! If you try something that doesn’t work just keep looking until you find something that does. Stay away from fad diets or plans that eliminate foods entirely because they are not sustainable. Eat real food and eat at home. I would also recommend looking for support wherever it can be found (at home, at work, or even in a blog or book). Inspiration and support is everywhere if you just look for it! Remind yourself that this isn’t about perfection. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on. Make an investment in your health because it is the only thing that is truly your own.”