Because we weren’t born into a helpful food culture, we have to build our own. That’s my job as a weight loss coach--I help you Pick Your Own Adventure. I teach you to develop your own rules to reaching your health and weight goals.
Riding the Bus
When I was in the first grade, my family moved to a ranch. To say we lived in the country was an understatement. Our closest neighbor was 2 miles away. Every morning we’d drive 5 miles on a gravel road to get to the bus stop. We rode the bus for an hour and a half to get to school.
Believe it or not, I loved it.
My best friend was already on the bus when I got on. My bus driver would bring boxes of Archie comic books for us to read and would narrate the drive like a tour director. And the drive—we drove along the river through the redwood trees on a road called Avenue of the Giants. The view outside our window was out of a fairytale.
To pass the time, we’d sing camp songs, talk, play tic-tac-toe on the frosted windows, and read. My favorite books at the time was the Choose your Own Adventure series. I read scores of those.
Have you ever read one?
The book starts out with a situation like being stranded on the moon of another planet or being mixed up in an old time western bank heist.
You start out with the situation, you make a choice and then you turn to page 45 to see what happens. You read for a while more, make another choice, and turn to page 132.
Sometimes you die and that was very sad, so you’d have to go back and try another scenario. In fact, I think the ratio is about 10 ways to die for every happy ending.
Those books are scary and suspenseful. My daughter read one in third grade where she was kidnapped by the Mafia, and her dead body ended up floating down the river!
But, the cool thing about the Choose your Own Adventure book was that you could always go back and try another ending.
Choose Your Own Culture
One day while coaching a weight loss client, an insight hit me like a lightning bolt.
In America when it comes to our health and weight, we need to Choose Our Own Adventure. We don’t really have a food culture or a set of rules around food like other countries do. We are in a country where anything goes.
Countries such as France and Japan are famous for having “rules” built into their culture that help their citizens to be thin and healthier.
In France their “rules” include eating small portions of high quality foods, eating slowly, enjoying each bite, not snacking between meals, and walking quite a bit.
The Japanese have similar cultural “rules” such as eat slowly, eat small portions of fresh fish, vegetables, soup, and rice, present the food artfully, walk and ride bikes a lot, and eat only to 80% full.
In America we seem to have lost our food culture wisdom. Our moms and grandmas had rules like “no eating between meals,” “sit down and eat at the dinner table with the family,” “go play outside and come home at dinner time,“ or a thousand other versions of food and activity wisdom.
But times change and so have our customs. Now we get to choose what we eat, when we eat it, how much we eat, how we move our bodies and when.
To make it even more difficult, we hear hundreds of competing opinions. Experts battle it out about which diet will make you slim or which new exercise will make you toned. Is it Atkins, Paleo, Vegan, or Weight Watchers? Is it Yoga, Barre, Cross Fit, or running a marathon? It’s confusing and overwhelming. There are a million choices.
This is the Whole Point
And that’s my whole aim with my weight loss coaching clients and now on this blog. I help you "Pick Your Own Adventure."
What does it mean to build your own health culture? You need to identify and build food and activity habits into your life that will help you reach your goals.
It might seem overwhelming and you might not know where to start, but I'll guide you through the process. I help you to know what choices actually matter, and give you suggestions to try.
You may find after some experimentation that what works for you are habits like eat eggs for breakfast (they keep you full), use a small plate (helps you to eat smaller portions), eat dessert once a week (lets you indulge, but not too much), and get 10,000 steps a day (keeps you active).
On the other hand, your husband might find the key to maintaining his weight is to eat slowly, bring lunch to work, eat nuts as a snack, lift weights three times a week, take a walk around the office every two hours, and eat ¼ cup of ice cream a night.
Each person has a different formula.
That’s what I mean, you get to "Pick Your Own Adventure."
So what will your own adventure hold? What “rules” will you make? What foods will you eat and when? What kind of activity will you do daily or weekly?
Like in the Choose your Own Adventure book The Lost Jewels of Nabooti, you don’t have to get it right on the first try. You can go back and try for a new ending.
And you probably won’t get it right the first time.
Like in the books, the odds are stacked against you. Nowadays there are extremely tasty foods that hijack the pleasure centers of your brain, there is Netflix that urges you to watch just one more episode, and there are fast food restaurants on every corner.
But, I can help you learn from your ill-fated attempts and help you know which options to try, and how to try them. I will help you "Pick Your Own Adventure" until you get the happy, healthy ending you were hoping for.
Until next time,
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Hi, I’m Treva, your weight loss coach! I'm a dietitian, personal trainer, and health coach who helps women who want to lose weight, but are done with the deprivation and disappointment of traditional dieting. I help you develop a weight loss habit plan that is personalized for your body, your preferences, and your lifestyle. Want Help Losing Weight?