When we first met Bobby in the Fat to Fit Challenge, we were excited...and could hear the excitement and nervousness in his voice as well. We spent the day with him and his wife, in NY. He was anxious, but this was going to be a major overhaul for both of them. Although Debbie (his wife) wasn't technically "in" the challenge, she was going to play a major role in his change as she was the cook and did the grocery shopping. Fortunately they were both on board and we learned their dieting history, talked about the program a bit more and what our role would be as their weight loss coaches.
We focused a lot on portions with Bobby and his wife. This was a major sticking point they both had to overcome—portion distortion was a big issue with them. We then did a quick "kitchen makeover" and sat and worked with them to see how they could both make improvements in their own lives. We started by setting Bobby up with weekly meal plans and associated grocery shopping lists.
The meal plans were designed to provide around 1800 calories, which is what has been shown to be most effective for long term weight loss and maintenance at his size and activity level. We also spoke with him regularly during the challenge. We really wanted to stress that he wasn't just changing his diet and exercise to win a prize, but that he was creating new habits and behaviors. While meal plans are helpful because they lay out a map right in front of you, our goal was to teach long term strategies for success. We wanted Bobby to be successful long after he became FIT!
We did this by holding group teleseminars once a month with all contestants on the phone call. In these teleseminars we discussed how to handle key problem areas, like strategies to overcome cravings, success tools to "handle" social situations, parties, the holidays, etc. On the "off weeks" from the group calls, we also spoke with him regularly to help navigate around any personal barriers, questions, or situations that may have come up. We were both on speed dial and talked to him very regularly...
As time went on, Bobby began to answer a lot of his own questions and successfully navigate his own situation. It was wonderfully rewarding to hear him break through barriers and accomplish big goals. Bobby was like a fast moving train that kept forging ahead—he would call excitedly with workout updates and tell us he and Debbie had great evening walks on his "off" days, where their routine used to be sitting (and eating) in front of the TV.
So our job was to teach him all of the necessary tools to make clean, healthy decisions in a variety of situations. His job was to figure out what tools to use and when to use them. Not every tool works in every situation; if you're trying to hammer a nail with a saw, you won't make great progress. Similarly, if you're trying to navigate eating at a holiday party, only knowing strategies for making time for exercise wouldn't be effective either.
Over time, Bobby began to develop his own unique strategies for his own situations. He began accomplishing bigger and better things. And that brings us to today, where he lost a total of 62 lbs (and Debbie lost 27 lbs, just "helping" Bobby change like he did).