In our work, we find we talk a lot about this idea of redefining success. Both motivational interviewing (MI) and Health at Every Size® (HAES) ask people to do this. MI encourages clinicians to embrace the different possibilities, besides action, for defining a successful encounter. Many health care providers judge their success by asking this question: Did I get the person to do what I wanted them to do by the time they left my office? This is a tall order when the people you are talking to might not be all that interested in making a change. From a Motivational Interviewing perspective, our role is to explore the possibility of change, not to ensure that it happens. Most clinicians breathe a huge sigh of relief when they hear this. How might this change the conversations you have with your patients?
Redefining success is one of the five core competencies of our Body Trust™ Wellness programs. When a person wants to focus on healing their relationship with food and body, it is necessary to put thoughts about weight, shape, and size on the back burner. It is the only way for people to get out from underneath the dieting mind. So the next question that comes is often: How will I know if it is working? Help people come up with more meaningful markers of health and well-being: improved quality of life, increased connection with internal cues of hunger and fullness, and more trust and confidence around food are a few things our clients report. It can also be powerful to discuss the difference between cosmetic fitness and metabolic fitness (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc). Looking fit and being fit are two completely different things. When success is no longer judged by the number on the scale, people are able to develop sustainable self-care practices, and the benefits will last a lifetime.
The Be Nourished Training Institute provides training and support in the Art and Science of Behavior Change Counseling. We know the conversations that occur between health care providers and their clients are powerful ones, capable of supporting or inhibiting the innate change process that is alive in all of us. We also believe helping professionals do the work they do because they want to be agents of change. Our institute, which is grounded in the empirically validated treatment modalities of Motivational Interviewing and Health at Every Size® can help you create well-balanced, meaningful relationships with your clients.