Skip to Main Content

Sara: Driving Toward Diet Changes

Sara was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome by her Functional Medicine doctor, who recommended that she incorporate a gluten- and dairy-free diet for six weeks before undergoing a follow-up endoscopy. Her doctor recommended that she consult with a Certified Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian.

After gathering information from her doctor and nutritionist, Sara was feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of having to completely change her diet, but had a deep desire to change the course of her health and was determined to put in the effort required. She recognized that she wanted ongoing support and help navigating the new decisions she wanted to make and habits she desired to change. Sara shared her thoughts with her practitioner who offered my contact information.

Sara and I scheduled a call. We began to build a connection and I assured her of my commitment to a trusting relationship. Through powerful questions, I recognized Sara’s strengths and her driving motivation toward optimal outcomes. I learned that Sara lives alone, loves music, and often travels to visit her parents. I heard a shift in her voice when she mentioned her trips to see her family. I shared my observation and she noticed it for herself, as well. We talked about her joyful road trips in detail. What about them made her so happy? How did she plan for them? What strength did she utilize to ensure that they went smoothly? I learned that she got great satisfaction from finding new routes, embraced the unexpected, and felt a sense of freedom out on the road. Sara’s travel success provided a powerful metaphor, enabling a new perspective and opportunity to reframe her challenges.

Map Out Your Journey

Whether we want to literally get from point A to point B or reach a wellness goal, having a road map—a plan—will more likely empower our efforts.
We have all experienced that aimless feeling at some point during our life. Sara was feeling a bit lost. We began to map out a plan together. I asked her questions to help her envision the destination she wished to reach—these are long-term goals:

  • What elements of your health do you want to improve?
  • What are the benefits?
  • What is your driving force for making changes?

Then, we talked about her short-term goals, or how she would get to her destination:

  • What options or paths can you choose?
  • How have you achieved success in the past?
  • What are new and creative ways you are excited to try now?

Finally, we broke it down turn by turn using SMART goals:

  • Specific: What part of the journey do you want to focus on this week?
  • Measurable: How will you know you are getting closer to your destination?
  • Achievable: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how confident do you feel about your next steps?
  • Relevant: How do the changes you are making this week relate to your ultimate destination?
  • Timely: What deadline do you want to set for yourself to get you farther down the road?

Don’t Overthink It

For most of us, driving has become second nature. We have an intuitive feel for the wheel, how much pressure to apply to the pedals, and how to make quick decisions to avoid hazards. I asked Sara how it felt when she took her road test. She recognized that she was tentative and nervous, but with practice, she gained confidence and skill.

  • Remember what you know! How have your strengths, experiences, and instincts helped you navigate difficult roadblocks in the past?
  • Quite simply, practice makes better! What consistent action can you take that will drive proficiency and confidence?
  • What habits do you want to change? How can you practice your new habits?
healthy bowls

Keep Calm Amid the Traffic Jams

Health coach tough love—Sara, you are going to hit road bumps! Recalculating messages on our GPS are common, and being prepared for a change in the plan is key to staying on track. Sara voiced her fears about how upcoming events outside of her control might sabotage her efforts. When we can anticipate a change of course, and have an alternate route, we can better manage our expectations and prepare accordingly.

  • What obstacles do you foresee?
  • What resources will you need to navigate them successfully?
  • How will you feel when you have faced and overcome your fear?
  • It is just as easy to envision a positive outcome as a negative; how can you shift your thinking to see a positive result?

Find a Co-Pilot

Perhaps Thelma & Louise is not the best example, but trips are usually more fun and safer when you have someone along for the ride. Sara shared how traveling with a friend made the trip more enjoyable, how she felt responsible for her passenger and that inspired her to be more thoughtful about her actions and her time.

  • We are as successful as the five people we spend the most time with. How will these people influence your ability to reach your destination?
  • How will you create relationships and an environment that sets you up to win?
  • How do you want to be accountable for your goals?

Fill Up with Premium Fuel

If you had one car for your entire life, how dutifully would you care for it? You would probably ensure that it was only fed the best possible fuel for optimal road performance. Well, time for a reality check. We can always trade in our car, but we do not have the same option when it comes to our physical body (mic drop). Sara’s success toward eliminating gluten and dairy has been empowered by her ability to change her thoughts about self-care and connect it to her ability to thrive long-term.

  • What are you ready to change? How ready do you feel?
  • What resources will help you make choices that align with your goals?
  • What is the value of prioritizing these choices?
  • How will knowing you are energizing your body for the road ahead make you feel in your physical body? How will it affect other aspects of your life?

You Are on Your Way to Your Nutrition Goals

Sara is well on her way to achieving her goal of eliminating gluten and dairy from her meals and snacks. She has replaced judgment with curiosity and is being kinder to herself. She is acknowledging her accomplishments and is practicing new habits she initially thought would be beyond her skill set. She sees the value in her efforts and has experienced how small steps create big results. She is doing the hard work not because her doctor told her to but because she has tapped into why it is important to her.

I truly hope that Sara’s journey inspires you to approach your nutrition goals with a new mindset. As you can see, Sara had all the information she could possibly need to begin driving down her new path, but she was stuck in neutral. She was ready to shift gears and just needed someone to help her find her way.

Do you need the support of a health coach to help you achieve your nutrition goals?

This entry was posted in Blog, Transformation Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.