Monday, May 28, 2012
Weight Loss Counselor Conundrum
(WARNING! Upcoming rant about feelings and random disheveled thoughts!)
I am not overweight and have no inspirational or emotional weight-loss story to share with the world. I put on some weight working at a bakery for nearly 4 years, and over the past few years I worked really hard and lost the weight. Whooptie Do! So my question is, what do these weight loss group people think of someone like me coming in there and telling them what to do? This goes not only for groups, but also the individual clients in the office. I can't say, "I know how you feel cause I've been there." Cause I don't and I haven't. I have no idea what it's like to be picked on for being the fat kid and I have never lost 50lbs only to gain 60 back. I keep having these flood of thoughts of what clients could be thinking when I am counseling them on a subject as important as weight loss.
- "What does she know? She's never been fat! She doesn't know how hard it is."
- "Well, she's not fat. Maybe I should listen to her."
- "She has a degree in Nutrition. So what? Life experience outweighs education in this situation."
- "She has a degree in Nutrition. She must know what she's talking about."
- "She's just an employee and not the one who did the hard work to create this program."
I find myself feeling this sense of anxiety when meeting clients because I fear that they won't want to open up to me since I'm new at this and lack their personal experiences in weight loss struggle. And then I start to over-think my answers to their questions if they do ask me about my weight. I pretty much just say that I work really hard to maintain my weight and for most of the population, weight-loss and/or maintenance is difficult no matter who you are (apart from the genetically blessed who "eat whatever they want and never gain weight"...you know who you are... Chris). I also point out that a lot of thin people aren't healthy because they take their lower body weight for granted and have been eating bad foods their whole lives thinking they're invincible. Being overweight, filling your plate with healthy food and being physically active is a much healthier way of living then being naturally thin and living life as a couch potato while eating horribly.
I've got a bit off topic here but I guess I am just wanting feedback on what people want in terms of a weight-loss counselor or lifestyle coach. Someone who has been there, walked in your shoes and empathetically struggled the struggle too? Or someone who has the education to back up their words and the desire to make the world a bit healthier?