In my time so far as the health specialist at Bianco Primary Care in Alpharetta, Georgia, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with a diverse group of our patients. Most goals to improve their health usually stem from a unique “why” that motivates them to meet with me and start a change. However, that personal, motivating factor isn’t the only thing that sets my patients apart from one another. Along with a common goal of working toward a healthier version of themselves, most of my clients have unique actions or habits that they are not willing to try or give up just yet.
And that’s not a bad thing.
In my initial consultation with each patient, we discuss overall goals, limitations, and priorities. I do believe it is important to acknowledge up front that there are necessary trade-offs to make certain goals happen. As Precision Nutrition puts it “for X to happen, you may have to change Y.”
If you are looking to make changes to your health, it is time to be honest with yourself, or the health professional you are partnered with, and be clear on what you are willing and not willing to compromise right now to reach your goals.
Your perspective on what I call “worth it’s” will evolve as your health journey evolves. No need to stress right now that working toward your health goals means giving up everything you love. Trust me when I say there are many ways to work toward a healthier you (beyond strict rules and deprivation) when you are honest with yourself.
If the idea of giving up your regular Friday pizza night with your kids sounds unreasonable, then let’s talk about portion sizing or adding a side salad.
If you are worried you have to “go Keto” to fix your blood sugar numbers, in most cases, let’s take a deep breath and talk about what you would be willing to change so you don’t have to give up your beloved french fries for good.
The more upfront and honest you are initially, the saner you will be as you progress into your wellness journey. It is a beautiful thing when your expectations line up with the reality of your progress. When you acknowledge the habits you are not willing to give up, you achieve real insight into the speed at which you could expect true results long term.
My patients who do not share trade-offs are unwilling to give up and often struggle because my suggestions don’t match them personally.
One of my favorite parts of my job is being able to offer personal recommendations. I can put the latest science and research from my field into practice to benefit each of my patients, and help them reach their individual goals.
I would love to talk to you about what you may or may not be willing to trade-off to reach your health goals. Come, be honest with me, and let me help you reach your goals without compromising who you are in the beginning.
Quit playing the comparison game with your friends, partner, or social media influencer who has a different journey than you. Their trade-offs are most likely different, so following their “food rules” or workout plan might not be the best place to start when looking for long-term results.
As I said before, your views will most likely change, and that is a good thing! Instead of being forced and pressured, the changes will come naturally with YOUR journey.
Kathryn Terry, MS, CPT, PN 1
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