This week we are looking at how Lorraine organises herself and her staying power. Both very important qualities when trying to achieve a goal.
Lorraine is a naturally organised person and this is reflected in how she sets her goals.
First of all she has a number of short term goals related to various events coming up. The first of these was to lose a stone before attending a wedding. I am pleased to report that she was successful.
Secondly she is looking at the longer term. Her ultimate goal is weight maintenance and she sees the short term goals as a preamble to what the journey is going to be. She likes the fact that she doesn’t have to starve herself because she knows it’s a long term goal. She has managed to let go of the instant gratification that short term dieting behaviours can bring.
Occasionally old thinking patterns come back but she is able to recognise them and stop them in their tracks.
I asked her what has changed. She no longer ‘beats herself up’ if things don’t go to plan. She is much kinder to herself now and allows herself to have the odd day where she will choose less healthy options. The big difference is that she still likes herself afterwards and doesn’t use it as an excuse to give up.
Lorraine has a very busy social life. She has 3 more short holidays coming up in the next couple of months and has set another short term goal to lose a further half a stone before she goes on her next trip in 7 weeks.
She has much more confidence now because she knows she can make sensible choices and still have fun.
What Lorraine is doing differently this time is to reappraise her whole approach and in particular, her goal.
In the past her goal has always been ‘weight loss’ and she never looked beyond it. She now believes she has been focussing on the wrong thing. This time the goal is weight maintenance and she is prepared to give herself the time and space to achieve it.
One of her personal strengths is her staying power and she freely admits to applying it in all other areas of her life apart from her health! I don’t think she had recognised this before. Now she is using this natural ability to focus on what is important to her.
Her DietMap showed her that she is likely to feel overcome if she tries to go it alone and that benefits by sharing her target and goal with those she really trusts. This is what has made the big difference for Lorraine.
Next time we will be focusing on self efficacy and risk failure. As soon as we take a peek at what the future might look like (losing 5kg for example) we also create the possibility of failure. Our attitude to that is very much a peronality issue.
Lorraine has been on holiday so how did she manage?
In our coaching session beforehand we discussed her strategies and how, by utilising her natural strengths and preferences, she could enjoy herself whilst staying focused on her long term goal to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
She decided that she wasn’t going to repeat the mistakes of the past by putting on loads of weight.
I am pleased to report that she gained less than 1lb, despite having a brilliant holiday and not denying herself the things she enjoys eating and drinking!
By understanding her personality better she was able to enlist the support and encouragement of her friends to help her. This is very important to Lorraine and played a huge part in her success.
A friend helped her improve her front crawl which enabled her to swim 20 lengths of the pool every day.
At dinner her friends agreed to share starters and desserts which meant she ate less overall whilst still enjoying her meal.
She cut down her alcohol intake by drinking spritzers which were perfectly nice in hot weather!
When I asked Lorraine how she felt when she got back she said “Proud of myself. I can enjoy a holiday and still be sensible”
What has changed for Lorraine? She is now taking a more rational adult view of her eating behaviour which is a totally different outlook for her. In the past she has given in to the demands of having what she wanted when she wanted it, without considering the consequences. She has stopped beating herself up if things don’t always go to plan and is able to be her own guide and mentor.
I asked Lorraine to sum up how she feels at this stage of her journey and she said:
“I’ve tried all the wrong ways before finding the right way”
Whatever way you look at it some change is inevitable if we are to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. How we cope with change is very much a personality issue.
Lorraine isn’t someone who rushes into change for the sake of it, but gives it very careful consideration. She values a slow steady approach. However, once she has made her decision she will implement the required changes willingly, as we can see from her holiday experience. What has worked really well is getting her friends and family on board with the changes she needs to make.
By understanding her natural approach to change she has been able to cope with any ups and downs without being thrown off course. She knows she is in this for the long term.
Next week we look at how Lorraine organises her life and her staying power – very important if she is to be successful in the long term.
How is Lorraine getting on?
She has dropped a further 2lbs since our last coaching call a week ago. She is not on a conventional restrictive diet so how is she doing it?
She has taken on board the information in her DietMap and is using it to tap into her natural strengths.
In the last week she has had two social events to attend and decided beforehand to enlist the help and support of her friends to ensure she didn’t use the occasion as an excuse to overindulge.
At each event she asked a friend to choose the food from the buffet for her. What she got back looked very different to what she would have chosen. She had colourful platefuls of healthy food with smaller portions of her favourite things.
I asked her if she felt in anyway deprived or resentful and she said “Not at all, in many ways it was a relief not to have that conversation with myself about what I should or shouldn’t have. The support of my friends means so much to me; it feels like they are on my side”
We also discussed how Lorraine is motivated and makes decisions about what she wants. These are both personality issues. She needs to involve others in her decisions to get their buy in and values their ongoing support to keep her motivated. Lorraine has realised that going it alone just doesn’t work for her and her DietMap helped her discover this.
She commented that this journey feels very different because she has her support network to help her stay on track.
When coaching Lorraine I encouraged her to think about who can help her in different situations. Because she values relationships very highly it matters to her that she is able to join in with what others are doing. By getting her friends onside she can feel part of things without sabotaging her goal.
Next week we’ll discover how she copes with a holiday abroad with friends.