One of the things I’ve been wanting to do at my ‘day job’ is to host weight management classes for staff. I’ve tried in the past, but have been largely unsuccessful. Why? I think that it boiled down to me; my timing, my schedule, my idea. This time around, staff came to ME and asked if we could get one going sooner rather than later. YES! Of course!
Today was the first meeting of the weight management class. What a blast! It was the most productive, most POSITIVE meeting that I’ve been to at work in probably a year. I attend approximately 6-8 meetings per week. This was unlike the others. Why? Because all attendees, including myself, wanted to be there.
We were all interested in weight management, and we all have a stake in the outcome of each session.
I won’t get all philosophical on you now, but I’d like to share what we discussed. Perhaps some of it will ring true with some of you as well (this, of course, assumes that people other than my sister are reading my blog).
I started out by letting the participants know that I didn’t want the classes to be just me standing in front of everyone telling them what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing. My experience with this type of leadership in weight management is that most people become resentful, lose interest, and ultimately give up. We all agreed that I would be the ‘guide’ and ‘resource’, but not the dictator.
Then I set about asking each one to please comment as to what their impetus was; why NOW to get this going rather than 3 months ago or waiting for 2017. Their answers were varied, but all carried a common theme. Here is some of what was offered:
- Return to vigorous health
- Avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes
- Increase potential to be in long term relationship
- Breathe better
- Live longer than my mother did (died at 59)
- Get off of Insulin by 2018
- Increase knowledge on how to eat better, and to prepare healthy meals
One reason given stuck with me…”I want to feel like myself again.” Hey, ME TOO! You? We explored her answer a little, and I won’t go into it here, but feeling like oneself again is, I believe, a VERY powerful motivator. I don’t quite understand it when people say that they want to ‘love’ themselves, but feeling like myself again? yea, I can relate to that! Anyone else?
We talked a bit about tracking food/drinks, from the 10,000 foot level not from the micro-nutrient level. We agreed that we’d all track our food/drink for the next two weeks and take a look at where we were before we jumped to the “I need to eat fewer calories” trap that gets most people tangled so badly they throw in the towel before they even begin.
Since next week is Thanksgiving, we all admitted and agreed that this is a tough holiday to start watching what we eat. I said that I didn’t want them to make any drastic changes to their eating habits this week, and certainly not on Thanksgiving. We’re not going to risk not attaining our goals if we have that extra helping of sweet potatoes in the next 6 days. Honestly. I gave each person a paper-tracker to use that would last them the two weeks.
What we ARE going to do, though, is take look at our eating habits and identify ONE thing that we can try to reduce by HALF. Four sodas a day? Let’s shoot for only TWO. A muffin every day for breakfast? How about HALF a muffin, or one every other day? Start small, keep it manageable.
We also discussed the concept of having a “WHY” for making changes. Because I want them to do some thinking and research on this, I left it pretty vague, but did ask that when we meet next Wednesday that each of them have come up with at least one WHY that pertains to them. While I encourage them to share it with the group, by no means would I force them to or make them feel embarrassed if they don’t want to share.
That’s where we left it. Our next weight management meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday morning!
Does this sound like something that you would be interested in doing at your workplace? Is there a way for you to make it happen? Would you like to see about doing it for yourself?
Let me know.