How To Put Your Knowledge Into Action
Why Your Functional Medicine Program Goals May Not Be Working For You
As I have the honour of coaching our patients at The Living Proof Institute day in and day out, I am able to notice patterns and rhythms in what they say they need support with. I find it even more telling when not only my patients but my friends are saying the same words in the span of a week…and last week it was the phrase, “I know what to do, I just need to do it.”
Sometimes, legitimately, we simply do not have the knowledge in order to move forward with our health, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. However, in this day and age with access to reams and reams of information, that is not always the case (can you use “reams” when talking about virtual information? I picture stacks of paper in very tall, precarious piles, Dr.Seuss-esque). Yes, sifting through what is appropriate for your specific health needs can be a tall order, hence why we end up helping so many people who are actually quite knowledgeable and could realistically eventually become functional medicine practitioners or health coaches in their own right.
I find one of the many beautiful aspects that sets our institute apart from other functional medicine practices is that our patients have access to ongoing regular support for their habits and goals in a very personalized and supportive way, because, just like everyone, they fall off track (because, they are…human!). This is why when I start my calls with patients and ask them to let me know what are their top concerns they want us to focus on for the day, and they often say, “Well, I actually don’t need more information. I know what I need to do. I just need to do it,” I know we have to tackle the issue of healing and habits in a different way.
So, what IS the hold up then? So many of us really know general health advice, like: eat more veggies, reduce sugar intake, get in daily movement of some sort, practice mindfulness, chew your food well, get a good night’s sleep, try to de-stress…yada yada yada. Ok, actually, not to minimize those pieces of advice, they are very crucial to the foundation to our health and what we practice at Living Proof. So, how to go from knowing to doing?
There are several key ideas to keep in mind with trying to transition from knowing a habit or health principle to actually putting it into action:
- Timing is everything. For example, I have a patient who has been very hard on herself expecting to be sleeping well at night while she is getting a house ready to sell after her ex-husband suddenly passed away. Meanwhile, she is actually still putting in the effort to practice breathing exercises to help with her stress levels and just left her job where she realized she wasn’t doing something that supported her soul. Obviously, her body is processing what is going on and it might take some time to catch up.
- Realizing you might actually be doing better and/or more than you think. Sometimes pulling back the focus and seeing all the good things you ARE doing might make you realize you are closer to your goal than you think. I just spoke with a patient’s mom who felt badly that she wasn’t able to get the second dose of supplements into her son at night, but she was successful earlier in the day. She already had a foundation to work with and so we started with the success of the morning routine and then translated it to the evening routine. She put the supplements in a bit of orange juice in the morning to mask the taste and then used to make a smoothie for the evening’s dose BUT she had actually been too tired from making a ton of homemade, organic, amazing food for her family. She would run out of steam by the end of it to create a smoothie too. So, we reverse-engineered it and now she will make the smoothie earlier in the day when she has more energy and simply take it out of the fridge at night. I want to add that she was very hard on herself, feeling like a failure, and meanwhile, she wasn’t able to see all the great things she was doing for her family. The routine needed to be tweaked to match her wins.
- Goals Matching Reality Instead of Expectations. I have several patients wanting to jump into eating very differently right away…for example, pulling out gluten, dairy, removing drinking pop, eating organic and reducing refined sugar within a week. For real! It takes a very rare person to make all those changes in a short period of time, particularly when we have emotional and physical attachments to food (and social, cultural, etc.). I usually recommend to patients to go the path of least resistance and start with the change they would find the easiest to implement and then they can gain traction and add in more changes (see point 2 above). This applies to any change, not just food.
A bonus tip! Oftentimes we can get bogged down thinking about the things we haven’t accomplished, but even writing down one daily win can show us that we actually might be knowing AND doing more than we think. And more credit is something we can all benefit from.
Know someone who could use some compassion and a boost right now? Please share this blog and spread the resources and empathy that we all deserve!
Author: Jessica Tucker
Jessica truly understands and empathizes how her patients feel, after experiencing a lifetime of digestive, emotional and immunity issues such as I.B.S., Crohn’s Disease, severe depression, vertigo, arthritis, eczema and migraines. All of these situations are now distant memories, as Jessica is now in the BEST health she has ever been in her life and has more energy and vitality than she ever thought possible, thanks to her journey at Living Proof.
She loves to help people realize their own potential and to feel good using simple and easy techniques, whether it is in the kitchen, practising meditation or making lives less stressful and more fun and enjoyable in everyday life. She fully believes the path to full physical and mental health is through a combination of knowledge of nutrition, digestion, healthy sleep habits, movement, detoxifying the home and personal care products and mindfulness/self-love.
Jessica can be found playing at the park with her family, dancing Lindy Hop with her friends, drawing cartoons, going to hot yoga or practising nature and portrait photography in her spare time. One of her favourite passions is to research the most current information in nutrition, biology, mindfulness and functional medicine coaching in order to help her patients get the lives that they have always wanted.
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About the Author: Jessica Tucker
Jessica Tucker, Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach, is proud and honoured to be part of the Living Proof Team in Mississauga, Ontario.
Our Mission at The Living Proof Institute is to address the root cause of your health issues and restore your health and vitality. Through partnering and education, you will receive the tools and direction to live an extraordinary life.
“As always, I feel heard and understood. The compassion Jessica shows her patients is extraordinary and is a major component in me feeling like I can get better. I appreciate her sharing her personal story as it really resonates with me when people share about their own experiences. Another great factor was that she celebrated my wins, big and small, and I felt like my body is capable of healing. Which I haven’t always believed in the past.” MS