The Dogsled Analogy – Part 2

If you missed part 1 of our ‘Dogsled Analogy’ story, click here to read it first!

Continuing our conversation:

Nutrition Coach: “Ok perfect, now we have a destination that we need to get all of these sled dogs to pull together to help you move in that direction. Your ultimate goal is to be HEALTHY + HAPPY and to have a positive long-term relationship with food. We want to make sure your food choices move you in the direction of great health and abundant energy, and move you away from chronic diseases like diabetes that run in your family. The numbers on the scale are just mile markers along the way, but there are so many other things that can tell us if we’re moving in the right direction. Can you think of any other indicators that you’re moving towards your goal, letting go of what you weigh on a scale as the only sign of success?”

Client: “Well, my energy levels are huge. If I’m low in energy, then I know I haven’t been eating that well or exercising regularly. I guess consistency with my food prep is also a good sign if I’m on track or not.”

… and with that, we had just pushed through how to help this client mentally deal with a weight loss plateau, while giving her the visual analogy of a dogsled team working together to achieve her goal of being HEALTHY + HAPPY.

I even had her draw out “dog boxes” on a piece of paper attached to a rope down the centre, and label each dog that needed to be attached to her personal sled helping to pull it along. I also asked her to assign a number ranking out of 10 to assess how much each “metaphorical dog” was helping out right now.

It was clear where some of the dogs were doing most of the work, and where other sled dogs weren’t helping out nearly enough.

This visual exercise, and using motivational interviewing during our nutrition counselling session, was just the right way to meet my client where she was at this morning, and reframe what a plateau meant in her world.

Recommitting to her WHY, looking for other indicators of success (beyond the scale), and revisiting other healthy habits (i.e. more sled dogs) to help pull her metaphorical sled along, made our check-in session this morning such a great success!

Feel free to try it out with your own nutrition clients if they’re feeling stuck, or if nutrition or exercise all by itself isn’t helping them to get to their goal fast enough. Most likely, they just need to add a few more sled dogs to the pack, so they can work together better as a cohesive team to achieve one common goal. This is also why we talk not only about building healthy nutrition habits, but also the importance of a supportive environment and resilient mindset, when it comes to achieving success and great overall health.

If you’d like to work with one of the Registered Dietitians directly as a nutrition client, learn more here:

Interested in improving your nutrition coaching skills, so you can feel more comfortable and confident teaching nutrition to your own clients? Learn more about our motivational interviewing and habits-based Nutrition Coaching Course for nutrition coaches here:

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to be sure you dont miss any of the valuable content we publish, just subscribe here.

If you'd like to continue the conversation with us, simply hit reply to the next email that hits your inbox. We love to hear from our followers!