While some people come to Dr. Sprecher for tune-ups, most come with health problems that have made their lives difficult if not downright unbearable. (I am shocked, in awe actually, of what some people endure on a daily basis.) After thorough testing, most are faced with the knowledge that they need to make major changes in lifestyle in order to get their body back on track. Reducing sugar/carb consumption, eliminating gluten, dairy or other foods, adding supplements or even a full-scale elimination diet are a few of the recommendations our patients leave with after their second or third appointments.
Some patients are ready to jump in and do whatever is needed to feel better. Others feel completely overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. When many of the foods that are your daily go-tos are suddenly off limits, it can leave you wondering what to do next. Here are a few coach's recommendations to help get in the mindset to start something new.
1. Tap into your "why." This is also known as a positive emotional attractor. Do you want to be able to be more active with your grandchildren? Do you want to travel? Do you want to be able to go places and feel a part of things, and not be "the sick one" anymore? Figure out how your life could improve by making these changes, and envision what your future would be like.
2. Figure out what your strengths are, and tap into them. The VIA character strengths quiz is a favorite of many coaches, as it determines your top strengths in order of 1-24. (It is not negative in any way...the strengths at the bottom of the list are things you may need to work on a little.) Strengths include honesty, kindness, curiosity, judgment, zest, perseverance and self-regulation. If you have "love of beauty and excellence," you may do better taking a walk in a beautiful setting. Or if "spirituality" is a top strength, you can take a yoga class or incorporate meditation into your goals. The test is free, and you can take it here.
3. Set SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Figure out something that is reasonable for YOU. Trying to exercise every day may be a tall order...how about three days a week? Setting goals you can reach gives you a feeling of satisfaction and encourages you to go forward.
Of course, I am here to help with all of the above and to help figure out what you CAN eat. As of right now, I cannot eat gluten, dairy, eggs, or any migraine-trigger foods such as vinegar, many nuts, avocados, etc. In other words, I know how it feels to wonder what to eat! I always say, where there's a will, there's a way. I have found recipes for nearly everything that meet my dietary requirements. Is my bread as good as a hot baguette from Panera? Probably not, but it is bread, and I can eat it. (My daughter will say of my food "It almost hits the spot!" I said that will be the title of my recipe book someday!)