Friday, November 21, 2008

The Story of Your Life

I was asking my friend today if she had any ideas for what I could write about in relation to wellness and the Maintain Don’t Gain program---it’s not that I’m out of ideas, it’s just that I’m more of a research or academic writer, and frankly, that stuff is not always interesting. I had passed along a couple blogs to her that I read on a regular basis: This blog is written by one of the most famous “Mommy Bloggers” who supports her family through advertising on her blog. She’s a very sarcastic and outspoken woman----so beware if you’re easily offended! I think this blog is related to wellness because it’s about just being who you are and not worrying about what people think. Don’t be afraid to just be yourself! This blog is written by a dietician named Liz who I met at the conference I went to in Santa Fe a couple months ago. She’s got two kids and I think the blog appeals to me in the realm of wellness because it’s about a real family trying to be healthy, but it’s also realistic about food and kids and exercise in the process. Lizzy’s philosophy on running a race---if it hurts, walk because it’s not worth the pain!

So, I don’t necessarily agree with or support everything in both of the blogs (and all the food and recipes are not healthy), but I think they’re interesting people. The real point of this post is to share with you that it’s important to think and read and decide how you feel about stuff in general as well as about your own life. As you live your life, you’re crafting your own story. You don’t have to go so far as to write a blog about it, but you’ll be surprised how you begin to interpret your story as you go along if you just think about your life that way.

I like to tie in the real world to the research world as much as possible, otherwise what’s the point of research, right? I did my dissertation last year on the topic of what makes women choose a healthy lifestyle and also sustain it over time. I didn’t want to help people change (at least not for that project!), I just wanted to find out why and how people made health a high priority in their lives. I used a methodology called Narrative Inquiry and it was all about making interpretations from the stories the women told me about their lives. I didn’t really uncover anything revolutionary---everyone’s story was different. But maybe that was the revolutionary finding? As a wellness coach, if I tell you what to do to reach your goals without taking a lot of your personal details into account, (1) you won’t do it, and (2) you won’t like it.

My goal is to help you figure out
1. Where are you now?
2. Where do you want to end up?
3. What steps fit into your life and with your personality that will help lead you in that direction?
4. How can we adjust your plan to make it work better?

These are things you can start to think about on your own, and then ask me for help! I’ll tell you more about the stories I collected another time. For now, think about your story!

Knowing yourself is the first step in successful lifestyle change (and we’ll talk about liking yourself later!).

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