Being a nutritionist is incredibly rewarding. Watching my clients make progress toward their goals and celebrating it with them is more rewarding than any job I’ve ever had. On the flip side, nutrition counseling has been really eye opening to the barriers holding people back from change. One big barrier I’ve noted consistently is that people are afraid of being healthy because they are scared of change and don’t understand what being healthy really means.
They have an image in their mind of what it means to be healthy. That image is one of being restrictive.
They feel they’re going to be deprived eating salads all day, giving up sweets, obsessively counting calories, eating unsatisfying, bland foods and exercising until they pass out. Whew! No wonder 2/3 of Americans are overweight. What they don’t know, is this how far from the truth that image of healthy really is.
This misconception turns people away from making a long-term commitment to a life of physical activity and eating whole foods, and it isn’t until a health crisis happens in their life that they’re ready to make a change. A forced change.
What really breaks my heart is when a client comes to me depressed, anxious, stressed, sleep deprived, or dealing with digestive issues and doesn’t want to help themselves because this image makes them afraid. They let fear hold them back. What they don’t know is not only how much better they will but also the many benefits a whole foods diet and exercise can give them.
Benefits of healthy lifestyle include:
Better quality sleep, increased energy and mental focus, ability to handle daily stress, weight loss or weight maintenance, better digestion, improved self-confidence, positive outlook on life, and a higher motivation to experience new things in life.
Not only that, a healthy lifestyle has been shown to reduce the risk for development of common conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and mental health conditions.
With those benefits, no one should be afraid of being healthy. But surprisingly, they are because they’re scared of change.
Healthy doesn’t have to mean counting calories, tracking macros or fitting into a certain pant size.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those things. I lost 80 pounds counting calories, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to do it that way. In fact, I don’t want my clients doing things my way. I want them to do it their way.
This is in part, why I don’t post workouts anymore. Too many people were trying to be like me. In one situation, a girl was hurting herself doing my workouts and got a stress fracture. My workouts are meant for someone who’s a triathlete and I’ve been training like one for years. That type of workout isn’t meant for everyone. That’s my version of healthy.
The challenge is many people are desperate for answers when it comes to their health so they look to the internet to get them, and end up doing things that set them back.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to being healthy. The only right is your right.
This is where a nutrition coach is invaluable. They correct misconceptions of what it means to be healthy, counsel you on letting go of fear, and help you define you own version of healthy so you can accept and appreciate the wonderful person you are, and meet your goals.
Fear should not and does not define you. You do. Asking for help is a sign of courage, not weakness. If you want to achieve your goals, letting go of fear and misconceptions is the first step.
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Is this you? Are you afraid of being healthy?
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