Food for Thought: Take In The Bigger PictureJul 27, 2017
There was a brief period of time where I engaged in the world of online diet dictating and nutrition in Dubai – reading some health stats from a client such as weight, muscle mass, fat mass, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and then giving a few choice bon mots on ways to improve these numbers, which had to be kept generic to cater to the masses that used this service.
I was surprised at the how little details I had access to, given that it takes a while to reach this state of health where outside advice is needed.
I was given a general scale of the client’s’ level of exercise, but no information about access to exercise facilities or even what kind of activity they enjoyed for more than 2 sessions. I read that they prefer a vegetarian diet, without telling me why, where they usually get their nutrition from, whether they can cook or even if they can’t have eggs. I also would have liked to know what motivated these people to seek help in the first place, as that would have been a great way to target a hidden node of determination in them to strive for improvement.
It really opened my eyes into the millions of tiny threads in our lives that work themselves into a tapestry of who we are as people and who we become, which then gets reduced into a few numbers that need increasing or decreasing.
It’s good to work towards a body fat percentage of 20-25% for women (10-15 for men!), but even better to realize that you went above it partially because you love the cookies from the bakery on your way home and you want to get healthier to see your children grow up without you being bed-ridden in a hospital.
The point is, while it is good to keep tabs on these numbers to give us a sense of our progress, it takes a lot of thinking to realize why you ended up there in the first place and why you want to get out of the danger zone.
These things take time and a human connection to figure out, either with yourself as an exercise of introspection, or with a empathetic ear ready to coach you from day one and cheer you on after that.
That’s why I left that system of health communication.
I felt that helping people reach the parts of their goals that involved all of their lifestyle would satisfy better than giving quips that they have probably read a thousand times over, seeing as they are intelligent professionals with almost constant access to the internet.
I wanted to become their advisor, coach, mentor and…dare I say it?…friend.
I wanted to help them take in the bigger picture.