Where do you go for information?

When I was a little girl, I spent hours turning through pages of our World Book Encyclopedias in the family room. I loved the “canine” section with pictures of hundreds of dogs, each breed with their quirks and unique anatomical features. As I take a deep breath, I can literally smell those pages right now….

Of course those books became obsolete the minute they hit the press. And we moved on to “periodicals,” daily newspapers, 24-hour TV and now the Internet where we get up-to-the-moment news on everything from almost daily mass shootings to the latest and greatest weight-loss practices.

It leaves us to wonder, what can we believe? Because even things that seem absurd turn out to be true, and the truth ends up being absurd.

I bring this up because I ran into someone yesterday who made me question something that I had believed to be true. After the conversation, I went home and consulted “Dr. Google” to find that she was right. Well, for the most part. Because practically nothing is cut-and-dry. While the facts supported part of what she had said, there were loads of opinions regarding the nuances. Things like what actually worked for different people (never the same story), deconstructing the subject to show evidence of support for the opposing opinion, and current research that is now taking place that might … just might … disprove the entire theory by tomorrow.

It’s damn frustrating!

But you know that gnawing little feeling you get when you think you’re right, even when the whole world seems to think that you’re wrong? It’s not just your ego afraid of being bruised. It is the nuance of truth. It is the reality of the unknown. It is the vulnerability of being human and not being in control of our lives.

Health Coaching takes this into consideration, because coaching is client-centered. Traditional healthcare relies heavily on diagnosing and prescribing. There is definitely a place for this and we can find many answers this way. However, the nuances are frequently overlooked. For example, a person is gaining weight because she is overeating. However, she is overeating because of a need to fill an emotional void that was created decades ago. We can “prescribe” a diet plan so that she loses the weight, but that does not fill the void.

When I work with my clients as their health coach, I pay attention to the nuances. I listen, support, and guide them to evidence-based research, but I will not force them into a corner. Because that gnawing little feeling is what makes each of us unique. And we never know what truths lie around the corner.

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