In this series we are talking about what to do when a new diagnosed health issue comes up, and what are the things you are going to need to do to create the best plans of action, in order to create the best outcome for your health as possible. 

You’ve Gotten a New Diagnosis, What Next?

At some point we move on from pre-contemplating to a stage called contemplation. This is the stage in which we actually start to think about the steps we want to take to move from the grief and pain into the let’s find a solution stage. That is the time where someone stops and says “Okay, I am done with this now. I am so done feeling like this. I want to be better. Those feelings like we talked about at the beginning could be  anything from how someone is feeling physically, to how a person is feeling mentally. We have a tendency to be our own worst enemies. The process, the time it takes is different for everyone. Some things are in our hands, some things are out of our hands. While there are some things that we need to leave to the professionals, some things we need to sit on for a while, this is something we can do in the interim that is within our grasp right from the word go, and that is the food that we put into our bodies. That is where we can make the greatest change, the fastest without having to wait for appointments, blood tests, therapies, or make huge life altering decisions of any kind. The wait and see results are something that can vary, and a lot of things that take time for us to make decisions on, before we can really put a long-term plan into action. Of the stages of change motivational interviewing is most helpful. 

While we are in a contemplation stage a person with cancer may only have hours or days to make a decision in regards to their treatment, and in cases like those you don’t get the opportunities to grieve your sickness, and work through the stages of pain to reconciliation and finding a solution. For others with sicknesses that don’t have a definitive length of time, we have a tendency to slack on ourselves and give ourselves too much time. That could be weeks, to as much as 6 months, or a condition that will be lifelong. It can also depend on the amount of pain and discomfort we are in that causes us to be able to make that leap to say enough is enough. 

When we get sick or when we are diagnosed with a new illness, we feel like nothing is within our control. That is why it is so important to take control of what we can. This serves two purposes. When we feel like we have some semblance of control in our lives, we then can make decisions that aren’t based on fight or flight but rather on well informed decisions while we are thinking clearly. Symbiotically the second one goes hand in hand with the first because if we do with what is in our control, and that is the food that we eat, not only are we taking control of our life back in the blink of an eye, but we are also feeding our bodies what we need to get us out of fight or flight and move us into a state where we can think clearly.  

Many Registered Dietitians are experts at using the stages of change motivational interviewing to help you make decisions about your health. 

Your One Key Question: How Do I Do This?

Like leaving writing a prescription up to the doctor or you save your heart to hearts for your counselor, you want to leave the food up to the experts. Making a dietitian a part of your team can be the perfect add on for you, because this is the kind of expert that will allow you to remain in control of your life. They are more like your guiding source for picking the right foods for you, for your illness, and creating an eating lifestyle that works for you, that nourishes and feeds your body to make it do what you want it to do. Thereby putting you in the driver’s seat and keeping you there. 

The Transtheoretical Model (TMM) of the Stages of Change

The Transtheoretical Model (TMM) of the stages of change is used to help people move from pre-contemplation into a contemplative stage. Instead of focusing on the behaviours like quitting smoking, drinking or overeating, you are supported in developing confidence in your ability to make the changes.  With the TTM, we know that health changes are a journey, and change is rarely immediate. Once you understand that we recognize progress is a series of stages that takes time. Your Registered Dietitian understands that the negative feelings that come if immediate change does not happen is normal because we will recycle through the stages or regress to earlier stages from later ones.    

The pressure is off!

Stay tuned for our 2nd blog in the Series – Contemplation with a New Illness.  You deserve straightforward, easy to apply, personalized nutrition information that helps you stay healthy so you can live the life you want to. Till then know that whatever is coming down the road, You’ve Got This!  

Book a FREE Discover Call

Ready to boost your health with personalized nutrition recommendations? Book a FREE discovery call today to get started!