Food For Thought

Crumpled up piece of paper for a diet plan

Forget the Magic Bullet: Karen's Journey to Better Health, Week 2

Coach Ida, 04/05/2016

Healthy eating isn’t all sunshine and butterflies. Sticking with your diet plan can be tough at times! Karen, one of Coach Ida’s clients, recently had a “nightmare” on her journey to better health. Check out her message to Ida below and read Ida’s thoughtful response about battling feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

From Karen:

Hello Ida,

Today has been a major nightmare as far as food. I don’t have a cell phone so I couldn’t text you, but let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t have. I know I promised to call you before I did something like this. I don’t have any excuses.

I wrote the following in my journal today and think we probably need to discuss on the phone:


Today has been the worst day since I started working with Ida. I woke up at 3:00 am and wasn’t able to fall back asleep until about 5:00 am. I weighed myself and I weighed 172 lbs. Nine days, no change.

I am pissed. Tired of being stuck. Doing what I’m supposed to do and having a hard time. Tired of being afraid of Ida. Afraid of judgement. Afraid to be honest. Tired of trying to find ways to have lunch with friends at places that will accommodate me. Just tired…

I don’t want to be afraid of Ida, and there’s no reason I should be. It’s a double edged sword. I need her help, but I don’t want judgement. This is a process and I need to be kind to myself and forgive myself. I guess that’s what I also need from Ida. I will fall and stumble, and in order to move on I need to acknowledge my weakness, learn from it and MOVE ON!

I need to send an email to Ida and let her know how I feel. Sometimes I end up feeling like a child, and she is the parent. It shouldn’t feel like that.


Ida’s Response:

Well… I hate days like this! They make one feel helpless and hopeless.

I feel like you are holding yourself to some really tough standards, and life just doesn't want to cooperate. It never will. Some days will be great. Some… not so much.

I think that you have set up a context for feeling that I am a cop, parent, or teacher. This kind of dichotomy can end in you wanting to rebel, and perhaps even wanting to quit what is a valuable and successful process because you don't want to confess or stop yourself sometimes.

I do not judge.

I do suggest, ask, encourage, cheer, and hope to assist and partner with you on a path that is the opposite of easy. If I question, it is not a judgement. You are not a "good" person for staying on plan, and neither are you a "bad" person for eating in a way that doesn't align with your goals.

For this thing to "stick,” your journey has to be day by day. If you get mad at the scale, you might feel the need to move away from your daily plan because it seems like it is not working. Always remember: if you are working your plan, it is always working. Like we spoke of before, your body has priorities that are not always tied to the measurement on the scale.

I get that you don't want to have to feel or act differently when you dine out with friends. You may not like this answer, but what if you didn't dine out with friends?

If a friend asks to go out, could you suggest a coffee/tea date?

Let's just face it: Eating in a healthy way is not easy if you are going out (especially at the beginning of your journey).

I get it. You don't want to eat differently, but you want the benefits that come with eating differently. Understandable. Who would want to go out and watch others eat what you really want for yourself, but feel forbidden from doing? NO ONE!

The whole thing sounds terrible. This is the path that you have chosen, though. To not be like all others. To heal your diabetes through food. It is a real life change. You must really decide that you want to do it this way. Otherwise, it feels too hard to keep it up.

I hope that I have never made you feel shame for "falling,” but I am here to remind you of the path. That is why you reached out in the first place. This journey is not for the weak. But, it is to change your life. That is no small thing. If I disagree with your choice of foods, that is not a judgement against you. It is a real response to the agreements that we have made together.

You can call or write anytime and tell me that you are tired of doing this, hate salads, want to stick pins in a photo of Dr. Furhman, or throw a cabbage at the scale. I will say to you… how about you just stick with it for a minute, an hour, or another day? Can we get through this together?

That is the reason that I asked you to reach out before something goes wrong. I do understand not wanting to do that, but I would like to call your attention to the fact that after you move off your food plan, you don't feel better. Just spent.

So… no, I am not interested in "firing" you. If you want to continue, I want to continue with you. (I won't let you off the hook that easily!!)

I would like to know what happened before you ate off your plan (you don't have to tell me what you ate), and if you considered not doing so, and what happened in those moments just before...

I really want you to think about this. Do you want to continue? If so, we are golden.

Let me know.



Healthy eating is hard, especially when you are on your own. That’s why coaches like Ida are here to help encourage you, hold you accountable, and motivate you in your journey. If you are interested in working with Ida or one of our other phenomenal health coaches, sign up for a free 30 minute coaching session.

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