Helping my clients achieve their weight loss goals is just the tip of the iceberg. I get to witness not only their joy from looking better, but also their satisfaction of “turning their lives around.” Most end up exercising more and making other healthy lifestyle changes which result in increased energy levels, stress reduction, better sleep, and just overall better health. Knowing that my teammates at Cōpare I and played a role in their transformation gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
Describe your personal journey and how you finally learned to stop “YOYO”dieting
I participated in a weight loss program but did not fully internalize the concepts I was taught while on the program. As a result, I slowly gained back all of the weight plus 20 pounds. My wife, a healthcare professional, told me that I was headed toward a life of disease and discomfort if I didn’t focus on making the necessary changes to my diet that would enable me to lose weight. I came to the realization that I needed to set a course that would be more lasting and not result in “Yo-Yo” gains again. It was a two-pronged approach – I increased the intensity of my workouts at the gym, and more importantly, I gradually replaced the terrible things I was eating in with nutritious wholesome foods. I also learned that I could get enjoyment and pleasure out of life from things other than food. I replaced the joy I would get from eating food with little things like getting out of my house more, getting lots of sunshine, taking care of my body with chiropractic care and massage, and going on lengthy and challenging hikes with my wife and dog several times throughout the year.
It’s men’s health month. Describe how the men that you’ve worked with feel after they lose weight
Almost all men tell me that they were shocked to learn that they could lose their weight while notbeing hungry. They still had to overcome some of their old psychological cravings but were thrilled that they could eat deliciously and healthfully at the same time. Most were excited to share their discoveries with spices and new ways of cooking. Most graduates of the program express their gratitude for us not only successfully transitioning them from the weight loss program to a sustainable maintenance phase, but also for being there to assist in many other health and lifestyle choices and challenges they confront on a daily basis.
Keys to success
There are two keys in my view: one is from a short-term perspective and other is longer term in nature. While on the program, planning, preparation, and leaning in and trusting your coach are the keys to success. Your coach will equip you with the knowledge and the tools to achieve your weight loss goals. It is up to the client to make the time to plan and prepare their meals. This means planning for meals a few days in advance and ensuring pantries, refrigerators, and freezers are adequately stocked. But I believe successful clients tend to consider two other longer-term questions before implementing any successful weight loss plan: Where does weight loss and health fit into my overall priorities in life within the confines of faith, family, friends, finances, career, etc.? The other question is how healthy do I want to be for the rest of my life? I have found that those who take a long-term perspective about where weight loss fits into their overall health and well-being (and not just losing a certain number of pounds over a certain period of time) tend to find more long term and sustainable success.
Mindset is key. There is no finish line for successful weight loss and good health; it is a never-ending quest to look better, feel better, and perform better. It is a lifelong endeavor and a process that needs to be constantly finetuned. When people find it difficult to achieve their weight loss and heath goals, it is typically a result of not having all the pieces in place. That is where we as health coaches at Cōpare come in. Lastly, the path and the process for everyone is unique and that’s what makes the job of the health coach both challenging and rewarding.