Three Steps to Spark Story Sharing in Lifestyle Counseling

Early in my career as a dietitian, I answered a panicky phone call from a participant in my weight loss program. Pat (not her real name) said, “Jean, I have a problem and really need to talk to you.” She had been a “perfect” participant: never missed class, her food diaries and exercise log showed stellar compliance, and her weight loss Continue reading

What I Learned from the Accidental Thief

After herding my three rambunctious and exhausted kids out of the ski chalet, I discovered that my skis were missing. In a panic, I alerted my husband, and we searched high and low … to no avail. As I went inside to report the (probable) theft, he did some sleuthing and noticed that close to where I’d stored my skis Continue reading

How Will the Animals Read? Watch Out for Communication Blind Spots

One day, when my daughter was about 6 years old, my husband was helping her get ready for a Brownie Field Trip to the Humane Society. After signing the Permission Slip, he was ticking through the checklist of gear she needed, including old newspapers for animal bedding. I was upstairs on the landing supervising our son’s bathroom routine and getting Continue reading

Change is Not a Light Switch: The Grief in New Year’s Resolutions

Bernie joined the Cardiac Rehab program where I interned in grad school. He was angry and resistant to the lifestyle changes we promoted. I remember him standing in the back of my nutrition class, making jokes and snide remarks under his breath – he was distracting and made me feel uncomfortable. He sent his wife to represent him at his Continue reading

Beyond Spreadsheets: The Storied Side of Persuasive Communications

A year ago, my lay-off and retirement from General Mills triggered the need for my husband and I to find a new financial planning service. The process of gathering all of our financial data, interviewing financial counselors, and grappling with the uncertainty of our future was daunting and depressing. For me, personal financial planning and money management is similar to Continue reading

Success Can Be As Defeating as Failure

When I launched my career as a dietitian with an MS degree in adult fitness/cardiac rehabilitation, I was filled with passion to transform lives. I created a weight loss program, called NUTREXERCISE, and thought I had the tools to help people lose weight. A woman – let’s call her Pat – joined the program and soon became the perfect participant. Continue reading