Weight Loss Case Study #2 - Nancy H.
I have always said that I love what I do and often that there are people that just seem to touch my heart. I received a phone call from a woman (Nancy) that had found my website online and emailed me with questions about weight loss. I contacted her and we were able to connect about where she was wanting to go with her weight and we had got to know each other. There were some concerns on her part as she has some medical issues that we definitely needed to address before developing her program together.
As I was speaking with her I was hearing that she really wasn’t getting the support or encouragement or even direction she needed from her physicians! Her weight needed to come down for many reasons and Not just cosmetically. One of the interesting things I learned as we spoke was that Nancy is a Pescetarian. Most people (including myself) aren’t as familiar with that as a vegetarian or Vegan.
Simply the definition of a Pescetarian is the practice of a diet that includes fish or other seafood but not the flesh of other animals. Most Pescetarians maintain a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and seafood. There are a variety of reasons someone would opt for this diet (including Nancy) whether that be for ethical or nutritional belief but regardless of the reasons they choose, there are definite health benefits. One of those of controlling caloric intake which is the most helpful with healthy weight loss and variety in food choices!
I did a lot of research and together Nancy and I came up with a plan that took into account her regular schedule and her willingness to really eat with a “super-structure”. By this I meaning a daily routine that keeps her full throughout the day while accommodating her schedule, especially during the work week!
Weight Loss Support System
Nancy told me that her sweet husband was very supportive in her weight loss journey as he wanted for her to be happy and healthy. She told me he would accommodate her in any way he could. This, to me, meant being able to adjust to this new lifestyle that she is embarking on. That is the key to Any long-term weight loss, not just for Nancy but Anyone!
As I have taught for many years, the support system in Nancy’s environment is key as the, as a couple, really enjoyed eating out especially on the weekends! One of the first things I tackle, as her coach , is to make sure she had enough protein throughout the day so she stays full. I talk about this concept a lot with each client because, in order for anyone to lose weight, there HAS to be structure and her day needs to have enough fruits and vegetables as “fillers and bulk” along with those lean proteins.
Breaking Bad Habits and Creating New GOOD Ones
The brilliant thing in “breaking habits” during the weight loss journey is finding areas where Nancy was taking in high calorie, high-fat things she enjoyed and replacing them with an equivalent that would be equally as satisfying for her.
Another thing that was extremely important as I was first working with her was getting in enough activity during the day. This isn't always easy. I GET THAT. But, I asked her to get in 15 to 20 minutes during the day. This was a text message she sent:
"By the way, I went totally against my grain & drug myself out of bed Tuesday & today just to get in 15 min. cardio (DVD) workouts. ????
"You are the woman!! (And your still alive????)
Nancy told me that she was basically “addicted” (smile) to Starbucks frappuccinos. She would go in the mornings on the way to work and get a large to drink and another one to take to work and “nurse” through the day. Yikes! Don’t get me wrong I love those yummy coffee drinks but the calorie content is out of control when Nancy is losing weight. One of the things I suggested was for Nancy to buy some sugar-free coffee syrups and use her whey protein shake mix at home combined with regular coffee in the blender and making her own frappuccinos! This helps her get in the protein at breakfast but also gives her the satisfaction of her coffee delights!
Nancy was really open from the start of our plan in the sense that she has been willing to try new things in order to get to her goal! I immediately had a connection with her and I found some great protein smoothie recipes that she has played around with and now they are a part of her everyday plan. We all can be creatures of habit but the more open-minded we are, the easier it is to change those habits.
Healthy Food Choices: Protein Bars
The second thing I did with Nancy was to look at her work schedule. This is important because she works in a position where she doesn’t get lunch hour so we had to come up with ways for her to eat all throughout the day. Tricky! It is important that the preparation of foods in advance are convenient and that won’t cause stress. We set up a great plan that includes fully nutritious protein bars. People ask me all the time if these bars are actually useful. My take on this, as I explained to Nancy, is preplanning. Sometimes “snacks” are used to replace regular meals.
Nancy is very good when getting her things ready for work and fortunately she is consistent!
This makes her day really simple and also keeps her from being tempted to “grab” other high-calorie foods in the work environment.
Planning for Weekends
The next big hurdle was the eating out on the weekends. I have guided people in weight loss for 23 years and I am not negative about eating out in general but I explained to Nancy that whenever anyone eats out, they have to consider that the sodium content can be high as well as high sugar and fat. I also know that in order to make a long-term lifestyle change, Nancy and I had to find options in eating out that would still support her new healthy eating habits.
I figured out that if Nancy gave me some idea of which restaurants they wanted to go to (typically Friday, Saturday and Sundays) whether it be lunch or early dinner, I pull up the local menu online in advance and see the choices. I do this on a weekly basis for her and take into consideration her dietary restrictions and lower calorie options but the neat thing is now she has some tried and true favorites at local restaurants!
I want to make sure that during this weight loss journey, Nancy LIKES the foods she is eating and it has been brilliant to see her learn what to look for considering eatiing out is a nice “social celebration” for her and her husband.
This is what she said about this meal,
"DELICIOUS! Ordered the dressing on the side and dry-grilled shrimp!
That is a technique I have taught for years and it's working! Nancy can cut out 200-300 calories by ordering the shrimp grilled without oil or butter and she can shave off 300-400 calories by having the dressing on the side. Another trick I taught her was to “dip her fork” in the dressing and THEN get the salad on the fork. Nancy still gets all the taste of the dressing in every bite yet surprisingly uses only a small amount of the outrageous portion that is usually brought to the table!
Choosing amazing foods is something that comes with planning.
Nancy and her amazingly supportive husband are able to pick restaurants in town and she is becoming a super pro at knowing what is in her arena to continue to lose weight!
Nancy is actually down almost 40 pounds in 4 months!
One of the best parts is seeing the dedication that she has with not only the food choices but also the planning, grocery shopping, etc. but also understanding that there can be a complete benefit to making long-term lifestyle changes!!