Hello my friends. Congratulations on all that you have learned and thought about so far! We have reviewed so much already: weight bias, the inherited appetite system, the power of our weight promoting environment, and the importance of a healthy relationship with food. 

You have also touched in on your “best value” – the compass you can use to navigate the terrain of behaviour change. So today we are returning to this pillar of obesity care called behaviour change.  One of the things we know about the journey into changing our behaviours and our habits is that it is really hard!! If they weren’t hard to change we would have already changed them! 


So something we would work with you in a clinical situation is exploring how ready you are to change a certain behaviour. We start with something called a readiness assessment.  We ask permission, ask the questions, and then score your answers as “red light, yellow light, or green light.”  You could even do this for yourself by thinking of something you are thinking about changing and it is Simply 4 Questions.

Let’s take an example:  Jane said that she has thought about trying to reduce her night time snacking. Here is the readiness assessment:

1. Jane, do you see night time snacking as a problem? 

2. Jane, does night time snacking bother you?

3. Is it something you are ready to change?

4. Is night time snacking something you are ready to work on now?

And here is the rub!

  • Green Light: If all 4 questions are a yes – then Jane is a green light and ready to work on that particular behaviour. It is time to get to business. I

  • Red Light:  If all of them are no’s then this is a red light situation and we need to take changing that behaviour off the table.

  • Yellow light: Now if any of them are “yes buts” then these questions are coded as red. If there is mix of yes’s and no’s then we are in the yellow light situation.

In the next lesson we will review this idea of readiness again with a bit more detail.  There is a PDF file you can download that takes you through this exercise.  One of my hopes here is that you know what “we” know. The skills around behaviour change shouldn’t just be clinical skills – but your skills –  so that down the road you can apply this in whatever area of life you wish. It doesn’t really matter which behaviour we wish to work on changing – it is the process that matters. We just need to start somewhere.

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