Are you like me? You have been trying to lose weight for most of your life? You have gone through the pudgy, chubby, heavy, and are now in the overweight phase of your life? You have a love affair going with food? You have a problem with portion control. All of the above or none of the above?
I think that I have been on a diet since I was 6 years old. About the only time that I was at my proper weight was when I graduated from grade 9. And that was a LONG time ago! 🙂
I have 2 issues with food. I love just about anything and everything and I can eat until I feel sick. Second is that as soon as I go on a diet I immediately start craving everything that I am NOT allowed to have.
I have done Weight Watchers (multiple times), TOPS, a couple of programs run through medical clinics, diets taken from different books (low carb, Atkins, and probably a couple of others). Don’t get me wrong – I have lost weight, but I have also gained it all back again – plus a few pounds after each round of dieting.
The biggest lesson that I found over time is that I can no longer “Diet”. It just doesn’t work for me. In 2018, I was lucky enough to come across a program called RECLAIM offered by Nutritionist, Ricki Heller. I took part in the beta program in June 2018 and then took the full program which ran from August 2018 to January 2019. Normally when you think of working with a Nutritionist, you think about everything food related. However, this new and unique course offered by Ricki is quite different.
RECLAIM is a 6-month program geared to women who are ready to take the next step in managing their health. As she will tell you, each letter in the name, ‘RECLAIM,’ actually stands for specific actions that are the focus of each month in the program. While the content portion zeroes in on these concepts and skills, the majority of the time in the program is devoted to coaching members through the transition to building habits that will last for a lifetime. The weekly content is somewhat fluid as each session is designed around the specific challenges or issues that members bring to the table.
What does RECLAIM stand for?
R: Recognize, Restore, Rebalance — here we begin to recognize the habits we wish to change, restore and rebalance the physical body to allow for a healthy foundation to begin changing habits around eating.
E: Establish — this session establishes goals for the future as well as the mindset changes that we need to establish in order to change the way we approach food and what we eat.
C: Commitment/Clarity; Self-Care and Confidence — this session allows us to commit fully to the process, and we look at self-care practices and how to improve self-confidence overall
L: Learning, Loving — learning specific techniques and strategies to change habits over time; loving ourselves and others through self-care and forgiveness
A: Accountability, Acceptance — using different approaches to keep us accountable to our own goals and habit change; acceptance of what is
I: Implement, Integrity — implementing practical changes to our food and lives (ie, day-to-day living); integrity in the process, keeping our promises and meeting our commitments
M: Maintain, Motivate — maintaining the new habits over the long term; keeping motivation high even once the program is over
Her goals for the participants in the program are: 1) You will learn to love and appreciate all that is wonderful, great, fascinating, magical and admirable about YOU. And there is a lot!! 2) You will have a clearer perspective on what has been tripping you up, and a clear path that you want to traverse to get to the other side where food is not an issue, you eat well, you feel good, and you have NO worries that you’re going to slip in your healthy eating. 3) You understand your WHY and you use it to motivate and inspire yourself. 4) You believe in yourself and the process, and are willing to take action to make your goals a reality.
Having followed the program, I can honestly say that I have achieved the goals that she set forth. I have more confidence in choices that I need to make for my health. I know what works for me, what does not work, when I can say yes to a request or invitation, and when I need to say no. Somewhere along the line, I realized that no matter how well I eat and how well I take care of the psychological side of myself, that I needed to start moving more. On top of doing this program, I joined a gym in July 2018, and I have been successful at this endeavor when I have failed many times in the past. I believe that what I learned here, and the tools that were provided to me to move forward, have been paramount in my success at the gym and in the way I currently deal with food.
At the end of the day, the journey to health is all about your mind-set. Yes, food is definitely a factor, but if you can change the way you think about food and the role it plays in your life, you can reclaim your health and be the one in control.
If you would like more information on the RECLAIM program, please follow the “clarity” link. To receive Ricki’s weekly email which is chockful of interesting information, please follow the “subscribe” link. Want to just check out Ricki’s blog? The link is listed below as well.