Hi, Ben here, and I’m embarking on a mission to not be fat when I turn 42. To do that I’ve partnered with Profile by Sanford and I want to take you with me on my journey.

I’ve discovered that one of the best parts of my Profile journey is the coaching. When you join Profile by Sanford you get the opportunity to have one-on-one coaching. The certified Profile Coaches have training in nutrition and healthy lifestyle skills to help members get the most out of the program.

The basics of how it works are that I have an appointment once a week with my coach at a Profile location. We sit and talk about my progress for about half-an-hour. It’s a simple friendly meeting.

As I continue on my Profile journey I’ve come to really love working with my Profile Coach. Its part of Profile that really sets it apart from other diet plans I’ve tried and researched

The Amazing Erika, Profile Coach
The Amazing Erika, my Profile Coach
Photo: Ben Kuhns

Most plans tell you what to eat. Most have meal replacements of some sort and tracking methods. Some of the plans were developed by physicians, like Profile was. Some even let you work with someone or be part of a group system, for an extra fee. Or as a means to sell you something more.

But, what’s different about Profile is that the coaching is built in, the support system is there from the beginning. You get questions answered. You get help based on your own personal experience and circumstance.

Another part that clicked with me is that you are not standing in front of a group; you’re not sharing your struggles with strangers. You’re given a chance to focus on yourself.

When I started I thought I was above needing anyone’s direct help. Or any help at all. I was embarrassed about the weight I’d put on and the myriad of reasons that I’d done it. Fighting the self-hatred brought on by the weight created a wall of shame in me that I did not want to share that with anyone. Even if the goal was to tear that wall down.

Luckily, I was self-aware just enough to see that I needed to do something, so I went with the flow, for a change and decided I’d do whatever the Profile program required.

Quickly I realized that the coaching was the chief part of weight loss and healthy living that I was missing. You see, any other time I tried to lose weight I’d be full on into it, for awhile. But, my initial enthusiasm would fizzle out. A stressful situation would develop, as they do in life, and I’d fall back into familiar coping patterns. When I was on my own it was very easy to talk myself into, or out of, most anything. I wasn’t accountable to anyone, except myself. And it’s pretty clear I didn’t take myself seriously at the time, I didn’t even like myself all that much.

Sure, my beautiful wife has always been very supportive of my efforts to get healthy. She and the rest of my family and friends had never been enablers. I was never surrounded by people that gave me a hard time if I stopped at one helping or ordered a salad. My wife has always been happy to buy, help fix, and eat non-trash food with me. She has often held my hand and told me I’m OK, and she’s down to do whatever needs to be done. We long ago figured out that if something is good for one of us it’s good for both of us. However I was always the biggest saboteur in my sea or support.

But, being my therapist and nutritionist is not my wife’s job (or anybody else close to me). Especially when I am not holding up my end of things. Even worse is that at my lowest points I would use other people’s good advice or support as a springboard to rebel against anything good.

“You don’t tell me what to do! I’m a grown MAN. If I want to eat a pizza, a bag of chips and most of that ice cream for breakfast I will. I make money, why work hard if I can’t eat the dish of enchiladas that money allowed me to make?!?.”

Yea, I was pretty dumb.

What I needed was a coach.

"No Ben, you are not a python. You can't eat 10,000 calories at once and not eat again all day."
Photo: Clipart

My coach is a little bit of a therapist. She listens to me spew my self doubt, and helps me talk through my problems of the week. Just the act of talking about my feelings (ugh, I feel dirty saying that) to someone is a huge help. Even if the answers are usually some variation on “No, you’re fine, it’s OK, what can you do next time?” It seems so simple, but just talking to my coach bleeds off a lot of my anxiety.

Plus, I’m accountable to someone. I have to go in every week and talk about why I’m only done one pound. Or if it happens, why I went up some. What did I do? What did I eat? Did I have some problems, is something happening? The we can come up with a strategy to be successful.

Just hearing my thought out loud helps. The addition of someone who has ideas and training to my journey makes finding solutions to the problems that come up so much easier.

Coach 2
"No Ben, you're not any weirder than anybody else."                                                          Photo: Clipart


I won’t discount the effect of having someone to impress (or disappoint) either. At my core I am fiend for genuine praise and approval. If I’ve earned it. I have a real fire burning in me that is stroked by being recognized as the best at something. If I know that at the end of the week (that’s when my coaching sessions usually are) that I’m going to be told “good job, you’re amazing,” that can be enough motivation to skip the doughnuts in the breakroom that day. Hey, it’s a silly part of my personality, but I might as well use what I got for good instead of evil.

Each week it becomes clearer that that was the missing piece in other weight loss plans I’ve tried. My coach is there for me. There to remind me that I didn't put on the weight in two months, so I won't lose the weight in two months. It's marathon, not a sprint. She's there to tell me to pick myself up after a failure, to remind me that stuff happens, it's how you respond to that stuff that matters. She's there with advice, guidance and ideas.

Accountability, assistance and acceptance; that’s what Profile Coaching gives me, and why I think it is a better system.

Keep up with Ben's journey by bookmarking Ben's blog. Got a question or comment? connecting on Twitter or email at ben@hot1047.com.

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