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Healthy Habits: 1, Personal Trainer: 0

Heather is doing just fine on the whole grain front. 3 servings a day, no problem. But when I started coaching  Heather, she almost asked to postpone our coaching a different month; she hates whole grains that much.

And now, she enjoys whole grain toast for breakfast, and either enjoys some corn, popcorn, or tries a new whole grain recipe for dinner. She’s feeling good, confident, and is a heck of a lot more regular.

But just a few weeks ago, she wasn’t interested. Sort of like the way she feels about seeing a trainer at the gym.

But since she gave me a shot, she gave him one, too. She signed up for some personal training sessions a week ago, and trained so hard she re-awoke an old sleeping giant, several leg injuries. While she was working out, she told the trainer it was too advanced for her, but he didn't listen. “For three days, I couldn’t walk,” said Heather.

She went in for another session; an eating plan. She filled out a questionnaire about her favorite foods, then was handed a pre-printed “what to eat” sheet. It listed foods she should be eating, like brown rice and steamed fish. Heather’s response: “Do you think I’m stupid? If I could eat this way I wouldn’t be here. I have a college degree, you know!” And most distressingly, “I don’t want to go back, for anything in the world.”

So why did Heather modify her behavior to incorporate a new whole grains Healthy Habit (that she wasn’t even interested in), but she’s having such a bad experience with a trainer?

In order to change or modify a behavior that isn’t working for you, you have to build a system around you. Your likes and dislikes, your proclivities, your desires. It makes a lot more sense to customize a solution to meet your needs than to slap a one-size-fits all solution to the problem. You have to plug yourself in for a solution to work.

Heather is eager to make a physical change after her success with whole grains. She has seen how simple it is to incorporate a new Healthy Habit into her life. And now, she wants to add exercise into her routine, but instead of taking an approach that doesn’t work, she’s going to add it the Healthy Habits way.

This month, she’s turning the calendar back to February, when our Healthy Habit was 20-minutes of exercise, 3 times a week. Once she’s comfortable with that, she’s going to increase her exercising, but in a way that works for her.

"I have to make it right for me," said Heather.

Heather is the kind of woman who laughs a lot (she's the @foodhussy, afterall!). Now she knows if she isn’t smiling; it’s not the right solution for her.