As I'm starting this new journey, some acquaintances have referred some friends or family that they'd like me to see. One such referral was for someone who was looking to lose weight because they were interested in joining a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. In case you did not know, each branch of the service has their own weight requirements and everyone who enlists must be below the maximum allowable weight or they are not allowed in.
From what I could gather, my client's date to enroll was getting close and needed to jumpstart their weight loss plan and they were looking to me for guidance. I thought long and hard about whether I should take this client. Just like I tell my clients to do when they embark on making changes, I weighed the pros and cons of taking the client. After some time I made a decision not to take this client on. In the end my decision came down to this:
- As a believer in Intuitive Eating, I don't subscribe to meal-plans for weight loss. They are useful in some situations but when it comes to really embracing Intuitive Eating, a meal plan gets in the way of listening to and honoring your body's cravings.
- By helping this client lose weight with a calorie budget and meal plan, would I be starting them on a cycle of dieting? So let's say they meet their goal with me...they enlist in the military and then sometime after basic training or somewhere down the road they start to gain weight. Once this weight gain occurs will they fall back on that familiar meal plan and continue to ignore their own intuitive signals?
- The fact that it ssemed to be an urgent need to lose weight concerned me. This is not the kind of work that I'd like to do since the focus on just the number on the scale ignores so many other factors that determine our overall health.n I'd rather focus my efforts on health and not just a number.
- Although I can not change the military, this notion that anyone outside of their silly weight requirements can not perform as a soldier is absurd. It spits in the face of the whole Healthy at Every Size® movement which I so firmly believe in.
So my question is this: Do you think I made the right decision? Should I stick to my beliefs or should I not turn away any possible client as I get my practice started? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Also, be sure to stay tuned to hear more exciting news about my private practice.