Sally Willis, health coach at Interactive Health knows that improving eating habits and increasing physical activity can not only help lose weight but significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Sally tells us how she leverages over 30 years of experience to help a member redefine her relationship with food and gain the confidence to shed 78 pounds and reduce her risk for diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes often progress to type 2 diabetes which affects many major organs, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.
Instilling the importance of good nutrition in my home and community has been a life-long calling. I’m committed to advocating for proper nutrition to fuel the body. Over the last five years, I have had the honor of sharing my knowledge and passion as a health coach with Interactive Health members to promote health and well-being.
I am a registered dietitian, but not an advocate of extreme diet regiments. Many fad diets can help lose weight in the short-term, but a truly healthy diet is a long-term strategy. Instead of focusing on losing weight, the focus should be on mindful eating, taking control of the choices the member is making and being “ok” when they slip up. I remind my clients; “This is not a rigid diet; if you indulge, savor the experience and move on.”
Coaching with empathy and compassion has helped to empower my clients to overcome their individual setbacks. For example; a member was identified for coaching because her health screening results indicated she was at risk for diabetes. This member had been a “yo-yo” dieter for years and wanted to stop the cycle with a better long-term approach to losing weight.
My client runs a day care in her home and fell victim to taking care of others and in the process neglected her own needs. During the work day, she rarely prepared a healthy meal for herself and fueled her body with the kid’s leftover snacks. I encouraged this client to be mindful about what she was eating and when tempted, pause, reflect and ask; Is this going to help me reach my end goal? We worked together to identify changes she could incorporate to make healthy eating a way of life and remove the guilty feelings that surfaced when she had the occasional setback.
After a year, my client’s weight has been stable at 123 pounds (a loss of 78 pounds). She feels great and doesn’t miss how she used to eat. It is not the number on the scale that matters. She is liberated knowing she is doing all she can to control her quality of life.”
As a health coach, I consider it a privilege to journey with my members as they pursue a lifetime of better health. The rewards are profound –a win-win.
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