It's All in the Words

The doctor-patient relationship is an important and essential component in successfully helping your patients form and live a healthy life. As a healthcare professional, it is important that you learn to feel comfortable bringing up uncomfortable topics, such as weight management.

In a growing trend, many patients say their doctors don’t talk to them enough about their weight. A sensitive subject, many professionals say they don’t bring it up because patients become defensive when there is the slightest mention about their need to lose weight.  

So how can you broach this sensitive subject in a helpful, non-offensive manner?  The International Journal of Obesity believes that it’s a matter of terminology. Words like morbidly obese, obese, and fat are some of the most often used terms by doctors when talking to their patients, but are also some of the most stigmatizing and blaming words that can be used, resulting in a patient’s unwillingness to hear what you’re saying. Instead, use world like unhealthy weight or overweight, as they are more encouraging and have a more positive connation in the patient’s mind.

We’ve all heard the saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” As a professional, try to make the situation as comfortable as possible in hopes that they are more responsive to what you’re saying, especially in the matter of their weight.

Do you have any other ways of talking to your patients about their weight and discussing this topic with them? Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comment box below.



Don't Let Bullies Define You

On my drive in to work yesterday morning, I listened to and laughed along with the hosts of my favorite radio show as they discussed how they were enjoying a pizza. Minutes later, I cringed with disgust as a caller was put through and proceeded to tell them that they shouldn’t be eating pizza at this time because “half of them are overweight.” And then I was proud of them as they stood up to this bully and didn’t let her nasty comments about their collective weight get them down, or worse yet, feel negatively about themselves.

Their plight, and response, reminded me of a video I had seen earlier this week (below), of CBS News Anchor Jennifer Livingston responding on air to a viewer letter telling her that, because of her weight, she can’t possibly consider herself a “suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular.” And in her eloquent response, she implored, “To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with their weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face… do not let your self worth be defined by bullies.” However, for every person who is able to stand up to these negative comments and thoughts, there are hundreds of others who don’t or can’t, who are hurt by them, whose self-worth is deprecated by them.

I come to work every day, to a company that was built on the foundation of helping individuals find motivation, improve their self-esteem and self-worth, be proud of who they are, and ultimately live long, healthy, happy lives. And comments such as these make me, make all of us, angry. Angry to know that there are so many people out there who find delight in hurting others, of knocking them back in all the strides they’ve already made. It’s bullying, and it’s not right.

As I’m sure you know, it’s National Anti-Bullying Month, so we here at Robard would like anyone who has been made to feel bad about themselves, who has been called names and has been hurt by the hatred of others, to know that we stand by you and support you. Please know that these people do not define who, and how great, you really are.


Fall Into a Healthy Diet

Summer is now in our rear view mirror and fall has arrived.  School is well underway, vacations are a distant memory, and the summer sun has given way to an autumn chill. As the temperatures drop, you may find yourself spending less time outside and more time in the warmer confines of your home.  This year, don’t let living a healthy lifestyle fall victim to the colder weather and shorter days. Whether it’s continuing your summer diet or starting one now, here are some helpful tips:

  • Work while you watch: Fall is loaded with premieres of new television shows. Instead of sitting down, be active while you’re watching. From walking or running on the treadmill to doing exercises with resistance bands, make your TV time a calorie-burning event.
  • Enjoy seasonal crops: Autumn brings a crop of seasonal, healthy foods. Winter squash, pumpkin, cranberries, and parsnips are all in season and can be found at your local grocery store of farmer’s market.
  • Get outside and enjoy the foliage: Fall brings cooler temperatures and crisper air, but dress appropriately and you’ll find being active outside can be more comfortable than it is during the sweltering summer months. Try biking, hiking, or going for a walk to enjoy and enjoy the weather.

If there were things that you did in the summer that worked for you, carry them over to the fall. However, you can also use the season change as an opportunity to try new things and start anew!

Have more tips for losing weight or dieting in the fall? Leave it in the comment box below and help someone else fall into a healthy diet. 



Be Proud of Who You Are

A little over two weeks ago, I lost my grandmother, a woman I have loved for 26 years with my whole heart, someone who played a big part in raising me to become the woman that I am today. I’m sharing this with you because in the past weeks of gathering pictures, watching old 35mm films of her younger years, and of thinking how within earshot that I was her granddaughter, she has taught me one more lesson that I would like to share with you all. Be proud of who you are and of what you’ve accomplished.

There were hundreds of times where I sat at her kitchen table, negative thoughts swimming through my head as I reflected on the meal she just fed me. And as I told her, “Grandmom I’m stuffed. I can’t eat anymore. I’m not hungry,” she would respond that I needed to “sweeten up my mouth” or that the little piece of dessert she had set before me “wasn’t enough to dirty my mouth.” And ultimately I’d give in, have a bite (or five) and end up hating myself for it. But therein lies the problem! So many of us look at ourselves and only see the flaws: numbers on the scale that we don’t like, an extra pinch of skin that we’ve deemed unacceptable, how we measure up in comparison to the Hollywood Elite, or the one meal where we went astray. We dwell on the negative, of not being where we want to be or who we wish we could be.

We aren’t proud of ourselves and are plagued with such self-doubt that when we have these slip-ups, when we give in to temptation, we sink further into the negative hole we’ve already placed ourselves in. We don’t give ourselves credit for all the positives, for the strides already made, the pounds lost and calories burned. We only see the negative, and never stop to look at ourselves as (someone like) our grandmother’s do: with pride.

So the next time you have a re-lapse, slip from your diet, or have any sort of negative self-doubt, I’d like you to learn from my grandmother and turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. How? Use the following steps:

  1. Stop. When you notice a negative self thought, stop it in it’s tracks. Recognize it – and write it down if you need to. 
  2. Ask. Ask yourself whether it’s helpful right now. Chances are, it’s not! 
  3. Choose. Choose a new thought to replace it. Think with pride. 

With time and practice, you’ll start to notice that you are changing the way you talk to yourself and the things you think about yourself, until you’ll eventually be able to stand before the mirror, look back at your reflection, and see nothing but pride shining back.


Dining Out on a Diet

On a typical day in 2012, it is estimated that the restaurant industry brings in approximately $1.7 billion in sales; that’s $630 billion for the year, up from just $42.8 back in 1970. With what we know about the current obesity epidemic, it isn’t hard to understand how this increase in sales has played a major part in the growing waistlines of many Americans.

So while eating out is clearly here to stay, it doesn’t have to mean letting your diet fall by the wayside. Instead, use these tips to choose healthy options and turn eating out into a healthy, guilt-free experience:

  • Pay attention to detail: Know the different ways that your meal can be prepared, the ingredients involved, and what else comes with it. Look for options that are grilled, broiled, or baked instead of those that are pan-fried or deep fried. If you don’t know, or would prefer a substitution, don’t be afraid to ask the server!
  • Don’t be seduced by the descriptions: Menus are made to entice. Words like “velvety” or “juicy” can prepare your taste buds before the meal even reaches the table. Don’t let adjectives and descriptions of meals deter you ordering something within your diet.
  • Reduce snacking before your meal: Appetizers and other types of pre-entrée food are often loaded in fat and take away from the healthy meal you just ordered. Be sure to eat moderately before your main course. Can’t resist the temptation of the basket of bread or free nachos that have been placed in front of you? Ask to have it removed.
  • Order a salad: Dining out is often used as an excuse to eat unhealthy, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, order a salad as a healthy alternative. However, remember that toppings and fattening dressings can quickly pack on the calories and fat, so stay away from the cheese, eggs, croutons, and other fattening toppings. Ask for dressings lower in fat such as vinaigrettes or even a squeeze of lemon. 

Dining out can be a diet’s worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your diet in mind when ordering, eat in moderation, and never be afraid to ask for a doggie bag or leave food on your plate once you’re full. Restaurant portions are generally larger 2-3 times larger than you need in a meal, so it’s OK not to finish it! Have any other tips for dining out? Leave them in the comment box below and help someone maintain their while dining out.




Five Facts from the 2012 Weight Conference

2012 Weight Conference

Each year in mid-July,we support a continuing education conference, The Science and Business of Weight Management for the New or Experienced Practitioner, to help healthcare professionals focus on strategies to start a new weight loss business, as well as grow a current program’s census and revenues through new operational and clinical strategies.

Through the one day pre-conference and two-day CE conference, industry professionals covered everything from developing a business plan, getting started with web development and social media, using counseling and exercise strategies to teach patients to modify behavior for long term health, medical insurance billing and reimbursement, and more. Unable to attend? Here’s a few points we learned:

  1. Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) programs have long-term effectiveness for obese individuals when combined with behavior therapy
  2. Leads generated via web sites, blogging, and social media cost 62% less than traditional snail mail, television, and radio marketing tactics
  3. Men and women are wired differently, which affects the purchasing process and ultimately how you should market your weight management program to each sex
  4. Encouraging patients to figure out strategies to deal with barriers to success is better than the counselor solving the problem
  5. Obesity and its resultant diseases are the drivers of chronic illness which consumes 80-90% of our entire health care budget 

Interested in finding out more about these facts, the weight conference, or starting a weight management program at your center? Visit www.robard.com for more information and to register to gain access to conference presentations, staff training information, and more.


Say I Don't to Temptation

Say I don't to temptation

During the road to weight loss, temptations can arise on a regular basis. How you deal with one temptation can have an effect on how you deal with the next. Researchers from the University of Houston and Boston College conducted a study that showed people who respond to temptation by saying I don’t are more likely to stay on their diet as compared to people that respond with I can’t.

According to a journal news release published by the researchers:

This insight is based on the notion that saying 'I can’t' to temptation inherently signals deprivation and the loss from giving up something desirable…The ‘I don’t’ strategy boosted people’s feelings of autonomy, control and self-awareness. This strategy also created a positive change in their long-term behavior, such as renewed dedication to weight loss.

I don’t displays the confidence of willfully resisting something, whereas I can’t makes it seem as though you want to, but something is holding you back. Mindset is a big part of the weight loss process and being fully invested in all aspects is vital. If you have any more ways for people to say strong through their weight loss process or resisting temptations feel free to comment below.

Source: http://news.health.com

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    Weight loss, nutrition, diet, exercise, education, support, maintenance. Whether you're a professional looking for information about Robard's weight management programs and products or a dieter looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, read on for interesting, informational, and entertaining entries to meet your weight management needs.

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