I Agree to Disagree

I had a very interesting radio interview this morning. The show I appeared on is hosted by another Life Coach who is strong and action oriented. I loved her bold style and thought it would be very fun to appear on her show to coach a caller. The prearranged caller was someone who wanted to lose weight and because I am the weight loss coach, I was going to coach her live with some input from the other Life Coach.

I am always a bit reluctant to do radio and TV because of the way the shows are produced in "sound byte" segments. I find it difficult to coach someone or convey a weight loss tool in such short bursts of time, but I hadn't done one in a long time and was willing to try it out with two coaches, one client, and two six minute segments. It was challenging to say the least.

The best part of the experience was that the Life Coach and I had many different ideas about how this caller should approach her weight loss. As many of you know, I believe we need to uncover the cause of the overeating at the same time we are taking action to lose the weight. It is my belief that the weight is the symptom of overeating, which is a symptom of the thoughts and tapes playing in the head of the client. This Life Coach told me she thought I was much more empathetic in my approach than she. This might have something to do with the fact that I have struggled with my weight and she hasn't-but it could also just be a difference in our coaching styles.

So the caller comes on and tells us that she wants to lose 20 pounds. She is an actor and because of her profession has to face rejection on a regular basis and believes life would be easier if she were thin. She said her body image came from her profession. At this point, I had to interrupt her and remind her that her body image comes from her thoughts about herself and not from an "industry." I told her that I thought she rejected herself in her own mind long before she entered the audition room. She agreed.

But here is where the Life Coach and I disagreed. The Life Coach thought she should take ACTION and go on a diet and exercise and lose the 15 pounds so she could feel empowered. I thought she needed to unwind her negative thinking so she could feel empowered and from there find the motivation to exercise and eat less. I have been doing this long enough to know that if you take action without unwinding the cause of the weight in the first place, you will only end up gaining it back. If action were enough, the failure rates on diets wouldn't be so high.

So who's right? Well, we both are. There are people who can take action, get results and this will cause them to change their thinking. I guess I am the girl you come to when that approach doesn't work. I help my clients change their thinking first. I like this approach for my especially miserable feeling clients, because this approach can change how they feel immediately. They can't change their weight fast enough when they have 100 pounds to lose, that takes time; but I can help them change the way they are thinking and feeling immediately by showing them how much control they do have over their emotional experience.

So, for now, we can agree to disagree. The debate made for good radio, but I am going to stick to helping my clients from the inside out. I know, for me personally, that is the only thing that worked long term.

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