I hope you all are well!
We had an interesting conversation over on my Decoding and Non-Diet Counseling Skills FB group recently about clients who are struggling with weight gain and their clothes not fitting.
Before we dive in, I want to do a quick disclaimer and if you don’t read any further I know you will have gotten something today.
None of our clients will want to get a bigger clothes size.
And they are not going to share our enthusiasm for taking care of the body they have if it means gaining weight.
Now that you have that loving reminder, my mini-supervision session for you is going to include these steps that I often follow as I discuss helping clients integrate the need for choice with food with the reality that honoring the body’s needs doesn’t always result in a culturally acceptable body.
Let’s begin from the client’s perspective.
C: My pants are feeling too tight. Ug, I don’t want to gain weight.
NT: Uncomfortable, uh?
C: Yes! I like the clothes I have and I don’t want new ones.
NT: It’s tough. We definintely are taught that weight gain is the worst thing ever, even though all you did was eat based on your body’s needs (or in the case of binge eating, to help yourself)
C: yeah, it’s just hard to accept that to be a more normal eater I can’t be smaller. I like my cute clothes.
NT: What about these cute clothes? What do they mean about you?
C: That something about me and my life is consistent. That people won’t notice me and think worse of me.
NT: Consistency……. and that if you change clothes sizes people will think worse of you?
C: Yes, everyone will notice and think I let myself go and talk about me behind my back.
NT: Aww, so it’s sounding like it’s not that you can’t find cute clothes. How old is it that if you are different people talk about your behind your back?
C: That’s what my family does. You gain weight/lose weight; change your job, etc the list goes on and on.
NT: So there’s dread maybe, I could be wrong, that if you get new clothes to fit and care for your current body people will talk about your behind your back?
C: oh wow, yes. I assume and see the stories in my head that this will happen.
NT: Is it possible that people in your CURRENT life will not notice or care too much or at all that you are wearing new clothes that fit you well and that you could be comfortable in?
C: Yeah, that could happen. My close family now is supportive and work is, you know, work people that might make comments about their own body stuff but not direct it at me. Maybe it could be okay.
NT: How close do you feel to being able to find some cute new clothes? I’d be happy to help if you would like to brainstorm.
This is just a short and one of many many ways a session like this can go.
As you can see, my goal is to NOT give advice unless they asked and or the moment is really right, the relationship safe and lots of trust built.
Tell me, how did reading this feel for you? Do you navigate your sessions this way? If not, how can I help you move closer to have flow like this?
Here’s to your sharing your passions and success,