By Behcet Bicakci, Life Coach
What are comfort zones? Why and how does 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 does not cause any or less stress and/or anxiety while performing in this zone. The individual is so familiar with situations, environment and people that they do not intend to change or resist to change when it is needed. For example a client might want to lose weight but does not change of eating habit or making effort for more exercise etc. The reason client is not willing to do, because it requires more effort such as making research about food and exercise, joining a gym, making time for it etc. The client’s ordinary life style is easier, less stressful because they have build up eating habit, having fewer exercises, not being at the gym over the long period of time.
A life coach can help a client to start losing weight and be healthier and happier in their life. The client needs to be encouraged to start up losing weight and realising that losing weight is not only eating less food or doing some exercises, but it is more about being ready and determine in mind why they should lose weight and what is the benefit of it and how to put it in practice. There are three stages that a life coach can help a client to lose weight:
- Prepare Client Psychologically: A client can be educated on negative effects of being overweight or obese. Furthermore, a client can be encouraged to read some materials that authorities has 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. Reading about health and watching videos will visually affect the client and encourage them to act.
- Preparing Client Physically: Client can be encouraged to eat healthy food, doing exercises by themselves or if they can afford to join a gym and/or having a personal trainer to help them to do correct exercises so they can get good result in short period. The Client can be encouraged to eat more vegetables, fruit and nuts and avoid eat carb foods or eat low-carb foods. The client also can be encouraged to have food supplement from good sources and this can help them to cope with difficulties of leaving bad habit of eating food.
- 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 client leave their Comfort Zone then the client can be supported by talking and meetings to help they carry on till they obtain healthy lifestyle and this life style become their comfort zone and new habit.
It is important 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 a short term, the client should be able to see the result of the program in their imagination. Visualisation is very important to encourage a client to do something that they have not done before or tried but failed. After starting the program it is important 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 program is very important to lead the client to success. Life coach’s job is help and support the client and walk with them when they face challenges. The life coach is not leading the client but encourage the client to do their part and be there when the client needs help and support.