Not everyone who knows me is aware that I secretly have a bit of thing for Mick Jagger and that I particularly love the track You Can’t Always Get What You Want. There’s a line in there that gets me every time:
"But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need"
And that got me thinking over the weekend, what is it that my clients need? As ever, there was no single answer to be had. My clients’ needs are almost as diverse as my clients themselves but a few common themes did emerge:
Some need a space where they can let it all hang out – the kids, the job, the husband, the downright lack of fairness in life every now and then
Some need pointing in a direction that will work for them
Some need someone to be accountable to
Some need to learn how to be nice to themselves, how to deal with guilt and use self-talk to their advantage
Some need help with ideas they’ve had – pulses instead of meat, tofu, green smoothies, more exercise and so on
Some need a confidence boost – someone who believes that they can do it
Some are just looking for a diet nerd – someone who’ll work it all out for them… let’s face it, it’s a jungle out there with fresh (and often contradictory) information almost daily
Some need gentle reminders or a tiny push in the right direction: someone to say that it’s OK to leave food on their plate, to put themselves first… more than OK actually, it’s essential
Some need someone to see the big picture, someone to remind them of the importance of sleep, fresh air, getting up from their desk, eating as a family, looking after themselves…
I never know what a client will need when they first walk through the door or, indeed, at any given point. And the interesting thing is that their needs change as their weight comes down and their confidence goes up. It’s fascinating to watch and be part of.
The challenge for me is to be there without taking over, to set clients up so that when they do fly the nest they’re in a position to meet their own needs. It can be a slow process but generally it’s life-changing stuff.
We are all different and we all need different things. Some will thrive on the advice and support that comes at highly competitive rates from off-the-peg weight-loss groups. Others will need a little bit more… and that’s where I come in.