A Tale Of Two Clients

Last week, I had two different case scenarios of client interventions and I wanted to share them with you in this week’s post.

I had given some of this information to my closed community on Facebook but since then more has been discovered.

Both of these clients are females. Client A is in her 50’s and Client B is in her 40’s. Both clients are working professionals, married and mothers.

Client A has lost approximately 20 pounds with me so far. She has battled some injuries which make it difficult for her to exercise consistently. The goal has been to continue to work on her dietary intake so that weight loss could continue despite the absence of exercise.

In the past, Client A has had a fair amount of variety in her diet. She doesn’t eat junk food and she doesn’t drink alcohol. When she overindulges, she is simply eating too much of the “healthy” stuff.

I had suggested that she get some more consistency with her meals. I wanted to see less overall variety and more predictable meals that had less room for error. When she nailed this, weight continued to come down.

Recently, Client A has been dealing with another set of physical drawbacks which has been both physically and mentally frustrating. As a result, a few pounds crept back up.

At this point, her motivational drive was wavering.

I asked Client A to give me a detailed breakdown of her diet:

Breakfast: 3 eggs and 1 cup asparagus

Snack: 1/4 cup macadamia nuts

Lunch: 5 oz. of salmon with 1 cup of green beans

Snack: Seasoned seaweed

Dinner: A repeat of lunch or breakfast.

Morning coffee with 2 tbsp heavy cream

I asked about food preparation (butter, olive oil, etc.) but these numbers were marginal in the grand scheme of things.

So, taking into consideration that there may be some human error we’re not catching, I just asked her to remove the macadamia nut snack for a little bit of time and see if the needle starts moving the right direction again.

The snack is approximately 240 calories and that adds up over time so I just wanted to see how things would shift.

We agreed she would do more frequent check-ins so I could keep a rough estimate of what intake was in reality.

On the next day, she had (as she called it) a “petulant child” moment. She did remove the nuts but she added calories elsewhere that weren’t part of the regular plan. There’s no judgment on my end, shit happens.

And then the “a-ha” moment occurred. Per her words:

“A lesson revisited about mindless VS. mindful eating. Tracking is ridiculously helpful. I see the little things that add up and slipped in that took place of other things. I disregarded as “too nominal to be significant “. Tasty 1/2 or 1/4 of an avocado here and there, 1/8 tbs butter in my beans. So I found where that (extra) 5 lbs came from. Interestingly enough, when I track I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. Today, I’m having tea, no coffee, because it requires no cream. Now to pound my water. I have a 50 oz goal on top of the tea (16 oz). Had bread and butter pickle slices as a snack. Lunch is sautéed shrimp and green beans. Forgot to take photo but will track everything.”

For the record, tracking can be incredibly powerful and helpful for those who utilize it correctly. It served to be the eye-opener for Client A. Now, we just keep an eye on the intake and watch the scale reward her for the diligence.

Client B hired a well-established nutrition coaching organization to kickstart her weight loss before she started training here. She saw 8 pounds come off her frame but was disappointed at the lack of results. By her admission, she wasn’t perfect with her diet but she was hoping to see better results than just 8 pounds.

When I crunched her numbers on my end, my caloric goals and macro goals were mostly in line with what the coaching organization came up with. Her nutrition coach had advised that she start strength training in efforts to keep things moving the right direction.

I noticed that her weight really hadn’t changed much since she started here. We talked about where things went right and where they could potentially be going wrong. In Client B’s case, she would have a handful of “good days” and then get frustrated if the scale didn’t move and essentially blow the progress with some “bad days.”

I am not keen on the notion of good and bad, only that some days you eat within your goal and some days you don’t. There is enough guilt and shame in dieting that I try my best not to compound the emotion with more of it.

I had relayed the story of Client A to Client B and remarked that it had been helpful for Client A to have a very consistent diet. Client B replied “I would be more consistent too if I was actually eating what I enjoyed!”

Client B doesn’t enjoy eating “health food.” She doesn’t like salads, she wasn’t enjoying protein shakes, etc.

So, I asked her what she actually enjoyed eating.

Client B said that she liked having eggs for breakfast. She also liked a McDonald’s cheeseburger with fries and for dinner she liked Applebee’s Chicken Wonton Tacos. In addition, Client B enjoys drinking several nights a week.

I got online and started crunching the numbers.

I asked her if she would be willing to make a dietary compromise. If I could show her a way to stay within her calorie goals but eat what she enjoys, would she be more compliant? She said “Yes.”

My outline for her was 3 eggs for breakfast, a McDonald’s cheeseburger (no fries) and she could have her Wonton Tacos OR she could have her alcohol (not both.)

This put her just below her allotted caloric goal per my recommendation and the recommendation of her nutrition coach.

Now, neither I or Client B are under any illusions that this is a healthy way to approach weight-loss. These aren’t exactly healthy options BUT they are calorie controlled options. There is very little room for error.

What we are looking for with Client B is adherence and some degree of happiness (and less resentment) about how she’s eating. Both she and I believe that once she gets some more weight loss momentum, that she can start to add some healthy foods in as substitutions as she sees fit.

It should go without saying that both Client A and Client B are in two different places with weight loss. They are both looking to overcome completely different obstacles. Client A needed more awareness with total caloric intake to get her momentum back and Client B needed a diet she could actually follow that still gave her a sense of enjoyment.

And after giving the reigns back to Client B, she said it best when she told me: “It was the best day in a long time that I felt in control but not guilty.”

This is monumental.

Every client of mine has different hurdles for weight loss. Some people tackle them swiftly and permanently, some have more hiccups along the way. That’s just human nature and it makes no client worse or better than the other. We all learn together and it’s about the feedback we can then educate ourselves better with.

Below is Sammy. She celebrated a massive low of 45 pounds down since she started with us. She is neither Client A or Client B but she deserved some celebration for kicking ass on her weight loss journey so far.

“We Make Great People Greater”