Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confessions of a Weight Loss Consultant

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Speaking of previous lives…

In one of my last ones, I doubled as a weight loss consultant for a very popular weight loss center.

It was one of the most gratifying, albeit low paying positions I have ever held. I probably would have stayed on forever had I been able to afford cat food but alas, I had to eventually go where the food sustaining money was. Sucked really. It was a real calling for me.

Anyway, poor pay plans on their part aside; I met hundreds of clients and got to know all of their own individual weight goals and obstacles. As I struggled with weight loss throughout most of my twenties, I could totally relate to everything that they were going through. Feelings of low self esteem, hopelessness and hands in the air despair. Ughh! I was miserable! I don’t even want to think about it! There was nothing worse for me and I was constantly searching and experimenting with diets, magic pills and hypnotists that got me nowhere.

So it always touched me when an overweight person sat in front of me with eyes begging for a miracle, I poured my heart and soul into helping her in the mere fifteen minutes that I was allotted.

Some were successes, some were not and some never came back. I tried not to take it personally as the weekly food and programs were costly and perhaps the program just didn’t work for them or maybe they just weren’t truly ready.

I found that most clients usually took the join-up plunge after a major food holiday or a fight with their closet, spouse or inner self. A spontaneous cry for help. But sometimes spontaneity doesn’t stick as well as resolve.

My favorite and most productive part of the position was the actual consulting with each individual client. I was cheerleader, priest, friend and mother all rolled up into one. I got to wear all of my hats. And I love to wear hats. I also got the satisfaction of truly helping some wonderful people in meeting their weight loss goals. It felt great to be part of their personal successes.

My least favorite part of the job was coaxing clients into buying the pre-packaged foods-not that the food wasn’t awesome, my own freezer was filled with the meals but they paid consultants on food and product purchase commission (hence I needed to pay my electric bill). It just felt dirty to me after mentally holding their hands through such a vulnerable and difficult fifteen minutes.

In my struggles, I was never obese, maybe fifteen pounds out of my own skin comfort zone but I’ll never forget how uncomfortable I was in those days. I used to make excuses for eating (yes, sometimes out loud) O.K. I’ll eat this and then later only have a salad or I’ll just have one of these and then won’t eat lunch….it went on and on. One time, a friend actually commented on my Let’s Make a Deal eating habits. I wasn’t even aware I was doing it so much until he said something to me. ‘Why are you making deals with yourself?’ he questioned. I didn’t have an answer so I just stopped doing it.

And surprisingly, once I stopped analyzing and announcing everything that went into my mouth, I started to feel a little better each day. I also went crazy and joined a gym. And when I discovered that if I worked out, I could eat pretty much what I wanted (without the extra weight of a mental scale) I worked out with a true purpose. To Eat!

Without trying, I actually developed some good exercising habits (as well as a firm butt); I eventually trimmed down to where I wanted to be although I never weighed myself. I never was a big scale fan. I just felt that if my clothes fit well and I didn’t have to constantly pull an oversized shirt over the front of my jeans, I didn’t need to see an actual number below my feet.

Exercising became part of my daily life (not like a nut but enough to feel that my body was in productive motion and getting stronger every day) and I really never paid that much attention to food again (as obsessively at least-I’m not dead yet).

I also learned that nothing tastes as good as lean feels on me. Been saying that out loud and in my head for years.

No other phrase has ever come close to making more sense to me than that. Jenny must have overheard it running in my head and put it in print. Just because you print it, doesn’t make it yours right? That’s o.k. I don’t hold grudges (-:

Good and bad points aside, I am still a huge fan of this program or any weight loss program that can get you in and motivated to change your life. And they will work if you work at it.

From my own experiences from both sides of the weight loss consulting desk, I would say, seek help only when you are ready to receive it or else it will be costly and eventually shelved on the This Crap Doesn’t Work shelf which could possibly turn into an I’m Still Miserable Closet that is even harder to clean and straighten out.

I have found that only cars and lights will work when you turn them on. Other things need a little help from us in order for them to function properly.

Nothing tastes as good as lean feels on me. Yup. Still rings true after all these years.

MrsBlogalot-125x125Mrs. Blogalot is a working mom, wife and creative writer turned blogger. Buckle up and come take a fun trip around the blog with her as she lets it all out one blog at a time. Mrsblogalot -you just can’t keep a good blog down!


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