Read Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 11 | March 2017 - Page 37

Miss Jacqueline or as she was called by her friends, Jax, is a very flamboyant, outspoken and FUNNY woman who joined one of my women’s health groups. She’s very dramatic and speaks only in exclamation points! When she walked into the group meeting one day, exclaiming “I have been VERY BAD this week!” we all fell instantly silent, awaiting her revelation.

Jax had been participating in my women’s health group for a few weeks and true to her extreme nature, she followed an all-or-nothing attitude. In our first meeting she made a commitment to transforming her eating habits and her lifestyle. She was super excited about following the healthy recipes and recommendations our group provided, and fell in love passionately with cauliflower, artichokes and sprouted salads. She cooked, she walked, she did yoga, she followed every recommendation I gave to the fullest, and she was absolutely crushed and devastated when she had her “bad” experience.

When we asked her what she meant by her “very bad” week, Jax proceeded to say, in a (loud!) broken down voice: “I had two slices of pizza on Tuesday night!!!” I suppressed a smile and gently asked her, "what else have you done this week?” She answered with the following: she ate lots of vegetables and tried new ones, went for a long walk five days that week, she did her yoga routine every morning and many other things that she had worked to incorporate into her new and improved, healthier lifestyle. The women in the group applauded her, but she said: “No! No! I failed this week! I ruined my program! I should not have eaten that pizza!”

Abandoning the all-or-nothing attitude is a hard lesson for many of us. We tend to be perfectionists and many years of dieting have taught us that we are either “on” or “off" a diet and to see ourselves as being “good” or “bad” with every choice we make. I believe that attitude will lead us to disaster. Jax and the other women in the group learned some very important lesson in that meeting.

~ The 80-20 approach. This meeting was the perfect setup for me to introduce the 80-20 approach to health. Make healthy choices 80% of the time and it’s ok to eat foods that are not the healthiest (and that you absolutely love) 20% of the time. Teaching Jax that pizza falls into the ALLOWED and BUILT IN 20% of her health “program" made

In the 35 years that I have been working as a health coach I have met some incredible women. I am happy to share their stories with you. May they inspire you and help you realize that healing is possible, that you have all the resources you need inside of you, and that every step forward you take is significant. All the stories are true but names and some details have been changed to protect the privacy of my clients.

One Woman's

Story of Healing


Monthly column written by Rachel Kieffer

March 2017 | | 37