Practice What You Preach
Imagine this: you’re a patient trying to lose weight who has gotten sick and tired of being sick and tired, so you turned to your doctor for the secret answer. Because doctors have all the answers right? They know how to be healthy right? They know.
So you’re sitting there in a paper gown stark naked underneath waiting for this doctor to walk through the door. “My doctor is going to be a super sexy, lean person” because that’s what they’re supposed to look like right?
In walks this slug of a person. His head melts into his chin into his neck into his chest; you can’t tell where his shoulders begin and then the belly.
That huge thing of a belly… It’s like it’s lurking at you.
You think to yourself, “how am I supposed to take this guy seriously!?” He needs more help than I do! This guy is a total joke. Me being here is a total joke!
Have you ever been to an appointment and felt something like this? It may not be in regards to being overweight but something that took you to a doctor’s office?
How can health care workers expect their patients to take them seriously and follow their advice if they don’t do so themselves? If they don’t practice what they preach how can you be held accountable for your actions when they can’t even own up to their own?
Patients need role models more than they need another person lecturing them.
They need support.
They need someone who can lead them in the right direction, not someone who needs help getting there too.
For those of you who are health care providers, we MUST set an example for our clients. Would you listen to a smoker tell you the risks and hazards of smoking and why you should quit only to see them smoking out back when you leave?
So why would you expect the person sitting on that exam table to listen to you regarding diet and nutrition, or exercise for that matter, or diabetes lifestyle changes, if you are over weight yourself?
Our patients need someone to hold them accountable. Support isn’t always offered at home. Sometimes seeking the help of a professional is the last resort because their support system is lacking and telling them to continue living unhealthily.
Don’t make the patient regret coming in. You have to value the education you give your patient and be an example of it for your patients. Hold yourself accountable before you expect your patients to do the same.