How to Be a Huge Pain to Your Health Coach
Can't You Just Call Me Fat?
You are what you eat.
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought within the last few days. This was prompted by my wife’s “suggestion” that I recalibrate my diet. My wife, having been married to me for over eighteen years, has learned the tactful art of not being tactful. She has never told me that I’m fat – which I am. However, as a certified health coach who has had her own personal success story of losing the weight of a middle school student from her frame, she has a professional stake on how I look.
The simple statement of what one guy would say to a bro is, “Dude, you’re fat.” That’s what guys do. Men tell other men the bald faced truth. They have nothing to gain from being tactful and you, as a man, if you have any hurt feelings over that, go and cry to your mother. Cowboy up and take the abuse. If you have a problem with that, stay home and watch Oprah or Doctor Phil.
My wife doesn’t say things like that. What she says is a thousand times worse.
I get this.
“Let’s say that we’re at a party and I find someone who could be a perspective client for my health coaching services. Then I introduce you as my husband. And you, looking the way you do, will not make my pitch go well.”
So my wife, in a practice of my best interest, has decided to make me her health challenge by diagnosing that my problems may be because I eat too many foods that inflame parts of my body. She says it’s either that or fibromyalgia.
If it is fibromyalgia, I’ve developed an incurable disease and I have to live with that for the rest of my life. If I decide to live with it, I would have to change my diet to manage it. This would make the treatment as bad as the disease.
When Cultures Clash
There is a select group of people in this world who will preach the benefits of healthy eating and look down their nose at you every time you eat a Dorito. In the eating world, I equate these people to reformed smokers.
Here’s the analogy: “Cough, cough, cough, you're giving me second hand smoke with your cancer sticks!” is to smoking as “How can you possibly eat that? Don’t you know what’s in that?” is to dieting.
I am Italian. I come from a culture that has produced cuisine so good that it dominates any food network channel. Food to me is a sacred thing and is something to be savored and enjoyed. Good Italian food is probably the best thing you can introduce to your taste buds. It is so good that I stuck out an insurance sales job that was killing me an extra week so I could eat lunch at a nearby Italian deli in Staten Island. And say what you want about the guidos that littered the MTV network’s Jersey Shore but the ones that came from Staten Island got their fair share of really good food – especially the stuff made from the Tuscany region.
It’s just plain awesome.
My wife is full blooded Irish. Her culture’s cooking is just a cruel joke in comparison. The old joke about The Complete Recipe Book of Irish Cuisine being one of the thinnest books published is not a far cry from the truth. It’s the same kind of thinking that makes people think that “Mac and Cheese” is a real meal (bleccch!). Irish spices are salt and pepper… sometimes mustard.
So when I get lectured by my wife that it’s easy to change my dietary habits, I remind her that she was a vegetarian for over thirty years before she went vegan by cutting out chocolate and cheese. I also tell her that my battle with cutting things out is worse by a factor of twenty. This would also include the cheese, chocolate, bread, anything gluten, refined sugars, a reduction or elimination of animal proteins, and anything that could be considered munchy food.
I won’t even go into the cutting away of alcohol and coffee.
This is a public service announcement: Don’t let me diet. The murder spree that will follow with be an historic event.
Do you feel that a Health Coach could help you get to your personal health goals?
Reasons Why You'd Consider A Health Coach
Reasons Why I Should Diet
Yes, we all know I’m fat. That should be evident for anyone with eyes.
However, rather than belittle my wife’s near impossible attempts to get me to eat more reasonably, I should go over the reasons why this is a legitimate issue. There are several.
First off, simple things are getting me winded – like going up stairs. Even I know that this is a bad sign. My lifestyle and career were not meant for much physical activity. I work at a computer all day. When I’m at work, finding a nutritious alternative to a sandwich or a bit of fast food is a challenge. I leave for work early and usually get a breakfast sandwich to go. I’m thoroughly convinced that the Red Bulls I’m drinking are pure poison – yet they keep me completely focused (which is what I need on my job). When I get home from work, the drive itself has exhausted me and I don’t even want to think of working out.
Secondly, I’m a sugar junkie. Aside from the diabetes risk, the crash from overdoing a sugar craving (whether it comes from candy, soft drinks, or what I add to my coffee) leaves me in a state of depression – which is fought off with MORE SUGAR. So, it’s a vicious cycle. To my credit, I’ve done much to switch to water whenever I drink. Sugared products also include alcohol (how do you think alcohol breaks down, especially with rum). While I’m no longer a big drinker, I do like to enjoy the occasional beer or scotch.
Thirdly, there’s the clothes factor. Yeah. There are several things in your wardrobe that should tell you that weight loss in a necessity. When the number of pants you have gets low and finding your pant size is becoming problematic – it’s that time. I’m not going to reveal my pants size, it’s too humiliating and requires a lot of math. The only good thing about my larger frame is that I have a tendency to carry it well. My weight is around 250 lbs. and I’m 5 foot 10 inches.
The situation has become a necessity.
Lastly, my wife is right. I probably have some health issues that can be resolved by a proper diet. The intake of processed sugar is not a good thing for anyone with ADHD. Many of the diseases that we as a people get, come from the fact that we eat too much processed food. The amount of crap put in our food supply that is allowed by the FDA is tantamount to poisoning. The fact that aspartame is something we voluntarily put into our body is a marketing miracle. If you only knew what that does to your body, you’d take any sweetener in a blue or yellow packet and burn it. High fructose corn syrup is one of the reasons why we stay hungry and want to keep on eating to excess – and yes, it’s in everything.
As much as I bust on my wife and her mission to get me to eat better, she’s very good at her job.
My wife is a year older than I am and at forty-eight she has the body of a woman in her thirties. Some would say in her twenties. After having her gall bladder removed, she changed her diet from vegetarian to vegan and dropped from a size 10 to a size 0.
No, I’m not joking. She doesn’t have a pant size. On occasion she’ll have some chocolate or some cheese. She doesn’t like the price she pays as she’s discovered that dairy products can lead to some skin blotches.
What’s more she feels great.
As a health coach, she’s had success with many of her clients. She’s gotten people to give up smoking, caffeine, eat healthier, and customize diet plans to fit the person’s lifestyle and life goals.
But I hear what you’re saying. Why do I need a health coach?
Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re one of those rare individuals that can pick up a diet book and follow it to the letter and it works for you. Or Maybe you’ve found Weight Watchers and like paying money to a person to do simple math when they weigh you before going into a room full of people who like to talk about how they had eaten yogurt instead of sour cream with their baked potato.
Good for you. Have a cookie.
I’m talking to the people who have had all kinds of trouble trying to lose weight, or give up smoking, or having problems sticking with an exercise program, or maybe trying to figure out a life goal. Those people need a winning strategy to get to where they want to be. And yes, they need some kind of partner to hear why they’re having difficulties and what new tools they can use to fight the urges that creep up on them to sabotage their efforts.
A health coach treats you as an individual that has a problem and recognizes that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person. They are there to keep you on track. Like a therapist, you have some time to spend with them and you make the most of it. Then they tell you where you can improve your efforts.
If you're in the Sea Girt area, my wife offers nutritional services at the Strong & Soulful shop.
I’ll be the first person to say this. I don’t want to diet. I love eating the foods that I eat and I love foods that taste damn good.
My wife has her work cut out for her because I need to know that I can eat food and still enjoy it. When you find some of the solutions that diet books or plans that give you substitutions that they claim “tastes just like (fill in the blank)” call them out for being the filthy liars that they are because they’ve lost their taste buds in an industrial accident. I won’t be fooled.
Food is an experience. Food is a delight. Food is a celebration that we’re alive and we can enjoy succulent subtleties of a well-made meal that tastes of such beautiful and unique ambrosia that we can sing to heaven. It is a reminder that we not only eat to live but we live to eat.
At the same time we need to recognize that life is a balance and that too much of a good thing is bad for us. In my case, I’ve enjoyed too much of a good thing and now I have to prepare for the consequences of overindulgence.
I know that I have to correct my diet. I have to get rid of the addictive food habits that have not been working toward my health. Remember, it was Hippocrates that said, “Let food by thy medicine.” When you’ve been eating too many things that aren’t for just sustenance you have to remember that you need to turn to what will make you better.
You need more spinach. You need less ice cream.
I’ve always found it interesting that the foods that are really, really good for you taste terrible in comparison to the things that are really, really bad for you. It is because of that dichotomy that you might need a health coach to put you back on the right track. It is for that reason you need someone to remind you that eating the foods you don’t want to eat is really the best thing for you and your personal goals.
I think Stephen Covey said it best when he spoke about exercise for the body. It’s all part of what you need to do for the seventh habit of renewal. When you exercise and eat right you are sharpening your own personal saw. The more you eat right and the more you exercise you build on your own self-esteem and feel better for it.
© 2013 Christopher Peruzzi