Those who know my style of guiding lifestyle changes know that I value personal choice. I believe in empowering a person’s ability to make better choices, as they define for themselves what makes a food choice good or bad at a given time. I know a lot about nutrition, but I don’t always know a lot about the inner workings of another person.
Even though many people would like me to set hard and fast rules for them, I know that in reality they are always in charge of making their food choices. Even if I told them exactly what to eat, I can’t monitor every food choice for someone else. Not only would that be painfully annoying, it would also be fruitless. The bottom line is that I have no real power to make food choices for anyone but myself.
My role, as I see it, is to provide nutrition information and instill confidence in a person’s ability to choose well. Too often I see a lack of confidence surrounding food choices, even in people who approach the rest of life so sure of themselves.
I think our dieting culture is largely to blame. The dieting message is often, “You are so incompetent in this area that you had better just let us handle it from here. We have made it so simple to choose that even a weight loss idiot can succeed. Here are your rules – so simple to follow! Just eat what we tell you. Just do it. You can trust us.”
Great advice for a machine! Not so helpful for human beings, unfortunately. This is a set-up for feelings of shame and incompetence, not helpful motivators for success with anything.
I hold the somewhat unconventional view that all of us are capable of making good food choices that support good health and a happy life, without the anxiety of traditional dieting. With a little empowering support and dependable information, anyone can develop helpful tools using the creative thought that comes from nonjudgmental observation of what works and what doesn’t. If not you, who is better equipped for the job?