What is comfort zone?-Weight Management
By Behcet Bicakci, Life Coach (DipLC)
What are comfort zones? How can a life coach encourage a client to move beyond their comfort zone and improve their quality of life in Weight Management?
Comfort Zone is a zone that an individual has familiarity, experience and habits that do not cause any or less stress and anxiety while performing in this zone. For example, if you have a habit of sleeping late at night and not being able to get up early, eating junk food, drinking alcohol a few days a week or every weekend etc. You can practice these habits; however, they can make your life difficult in the long term because it affects your performance at work, relationship with others and not allowing enough time for your personal development. For instance, if you drink alcohol every Friday or weekend, you will have a hangover the next day or the whole weekend. This habit can prevent you from doing your daily exercise, meeting family and friends, having time for yourself, such as reading a book. In the comfort zone, the individual is so familiar with situations, environment and people that they do not intend to change when it is needed. For example, a client might want to lose weight but does not adjust eating habit or making an effort for more daily exercises. The reason the Client is not willing to change is that it requires more effort to lose weight such as starting daily exercises, joining a local gym, changing diet, stop eating junk food, researching about healthy eating and lifestyle. The Client's ordinary lifestyle is easier, less stressful because they have build up a certain eating habit, having fewer exercises, not being at the gym over a long time which causes the client gain weight.
The habits causing gaining weight are: Alcohol, Sleeping habit (sleep late at night), Junk food, Eating late at night, Lack of exercise, Stress
1. Prepare A Client Psychologically:
A life coach can educate a client on the harmful effects of being overweight or obese. A life coach can assess the Client's bad habits, lifestyle and other activities that causing weight gain or prevent them from losing weight. Also, a client can be encouraged to read some materials that authorities have published such as NHS (National Health Service) and watching some videos to show them what causing weight gain and illnesses, how it can affect their life and why they need to change. Furthermore, the Client can be encouraged to read and watch videos of healthy people, how they manage to be healthy and how they enjoy their life. Learning about health and watching videos will visually affect the Client and encourage them to act.
2. Preparing A Client Physically:
The Client can be encouraged to develop new good habits of eating healthy food, doing exercises by themselves. This can help them to build up self-confidence and mindset of 'I can do it'. Alternatively, if the Client can afford to join a gym and to have a personal trainer to help them to do correct exercises, they can get a good result in a short period. The Client can be encouraged to eat more vegetables, fruit and nuts and avoid eating carb or eat low-carb foods. The Client also can be encouraged to have food supplement from good sources which can help them to cope with difficulties of leaving the bad habits of eating junk food.
3. Monitoring the program:
The program can be for certain of time and can be monitored regularly so the Client will carry on and following their program to achieve it. The Client can regularly be contacted or asked to provide progress on their program and how they feel about it. If there are difficulties that prevent the Client from leaving their Comfort Zone, then the Client can be supported by talking and meetings to help they carry on till they obtain a healthy lifestyle and this lifestyle become their comfort zone and a new habit. During the program, the Client will usually experience difficulties and willing to give up. Because it is not easy to change bad habits and develop new good habits for a better life. The Client will need and support from the life coach to carry on with the program.
It is essential to prepare a client psychologically when start-up Weight-Loss Program. The Client should be able to use their imagination and what they are going to gain from the program. In the short term, the Client should be able to see the result of the program in their imagination. Visualisation is a very important part of achieving the goal. It can encourage the Client to do something that they had not done before or tried but failed. After starting the program, it is crucial to keep encourage the Client for physical activities because most of the time the Client will be willing to give up or delay the program and go back to their comfort zone. Monitoring and when it is needed to be involved with the program is critical to lead the Client to success.
Life coach's job is to help and support the Client and walk with them when they face challenges. The life coach is not only leading the Client but also encourages the Client to do their part and be there when the Client needs help and support.