When I first started in this field, and even when I started this business, I took what I call the "American Dream" approach towards nutrition and fitness. It sounds a little something like this...
If you just work hard enough, you can achieve your goals!
I was simultaneously suffering from a syndrome that most women suffer from: PPS or, People Pleasing Syndrome. You want to lose weight? Sure! Let's do it. You want to eliminate gluten? Because your friend told you you "should"? Even though you have no known allergy or intolerance? Sure! Let's do it! You want to go on a short-term restrictive diet for a month, and then go back to the way you were eating before, but not have it affect your health? Let me see if I can make that work!
Now I have to say, my approach to nutrition and exercise has always been very moderate. And I always thought it was my moderate approach that made it difficult for my clients to reach their goals. Maybe they need more structure? More rules? I offered more "restrictive" programs, like my 10-Day Sugar Detox (which I will not be offering anymore). I still took a much more moderate approach than other "detox" programs out there, but even still, I saw my clients achieving short term "success" and then quickly cycling back to where they were before starting. Was it me? Was I just not offering the "right" answers? Or was it them? Were they just not working hard enough? What makes this stuff stick?
Before I discovered Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size, it was like I knew deep down that was what I was supposed to be doing, but I didn't have the language for it. I felt like I was constantly straddling the line(s) between giving my clients what they wanted, imparting my own knowledge and resources, and also helping them dig deep on the issues that they were really facing (which always went beyond the number on the scale). But alas, straddling, no matter how flexible you are, is exhausting. And eventually, if you do it long enough, it splits you in two.
I realized that I couldn't help my clients improve their relationship with food and their body (my mission since I started my business) and also help them follow a restrictive diet. I had to choose between offering my clients a fulfilling life that is free of food and weight worry, and offering them a diet. I chose life. I chose to offer them unconditional permission to eat, tools to help them honor their fullness and their hunger, and a program that is rooted curiosity rather than accountability and free of food guilt and body shame. And success is measured in physical, emotional, and health gained, not weight lost.