Integrative Nutrition Blog

Do the Work and Trust the Process

September 26, 2013

Michelle was the third client who signed up for my program after I graduated from IIN. As she was sitting across from me writing out a check for the full cost of the program, I was thinking to myself, “I have no idea how I am going to help this woman.”

Michelle was a teacher at the yoga studio where I was renting a small space. She was struggling with allergies and severe PMS and wanted to lose about 10 pounds. Despite being physically active and eating really clean, she wasn’t able to figure out these areas of her health, which is why she decided to work with me.

Michelle later told me that as she was writing the check she was also wondering how I could possibly help her.

Before I meet with each client, I always ask for guidance. Then I release it and remind myself to trust the process. My clients will tell you that that is my mantra for them as well: do the work and trust the process. 

In the first few sessions with Michelle, I felt like my requests for guidance must have gotten stuck somewhere in the Universe and definitely weren’t being heard. 

Trusting the process for both of us was challenging. Michelle was eating plenty of greens and healthy fats and proteins. She and her husband loved cooking so most of her food was homemade. She had work she enjoyed and relationships that were fulfilling. She was very active each day.

We had nine sessions left together and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what else there was for us to explore together. I continued to ask for guidance and wisdom to come through. I continued to bring food samples and do the exercises with her. But I was beginning to dread our sessions because I felt incompetent when it came to helping Michelle reach her goals.

Then, one day when I wasn’t even preparing for our next session together, it hit me.  Michelle had food sensitivities. I had been reading The False Fat Diet by Dr. Elson Haas, one of the books I encountered at IIN, and Michelle popped into my head. I was actually excited for our next session.

When I explained the idea that you can be sensitive to foods – even “healthy” foods – and they can increase inflammation (allergies!) and wreak havoc on your hormones, Michelle listened and looked a bit skeptical. I had a copy of my book there and offered to let her take it. She read the book and it resonated with her. In fact, by our next session, she had already started making some dietary changes.  Within a short time her allergies lessened, her over-the-top PMS calmed way down, and she started dropping weight. Michelle went on to have food sensitivity testing done and found out some of the other “healthy” foods she was eating regularly were inflaming her body.

I keep Michelle’s written testimonial handy because she’s the client that truly helped me understand that when I say, “trust the process,” those aren’t just words. They are a reminder to me that true healing doesn’t come from a pill. It’s not about putting a band-aid on our symptoms. True healing has layers and can take longer than we want it to.

Whether you’re the health coach or the client, the next step isn’t always crystal clear. Working with Michelle reaffirmed my choice to become a health coach. What I learned from working with her helped me create the foundation for the work I do today. My success is based on what I learned sitting across from this one client and reminding myself and her to do the work and trust the process. 

Angelle Batten, IIN Class of 2005 (Live Program) and 2012 (Distance Learning Program), is the founder of AngelleBatten.com, where she teaches moms to feed their family healthier one manageable step at a time. She enjoys hanging out with her husband, three kids, and big black dog Oliver. You can connect with Angelle on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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