I fired off an email to a friend/mentor of mine after having an off week. In training people, it is much the same as in training yourself. There are excuses, days where you just aren’t feeling it, and many, many qualifiers. Qualifiers typically go something like this:
Client: “I wish I could lose weight faster. I’m working out regularly. I’m eating right. I just don’t get it. Why is the weight not coming off?”
Me: “Talk to me about diet. What does a typical day look like?”
Client: “I eat a great breakfast and I’m getting a lot more veggies in,”
Me: Silence. Waiting for it.
Client: “…but, I did have just one ____________ (fill in the blank with whatever food they currently deem as ‘bad’) then I went out for so-and-so’s birthday and it would have been rude to not have at least a little piece of cake. My kid had a bad day so we went out for ice-cream to cheer him up.”
Blah, blah, blah. All of the reasons why I didn’t do what I said I was going to do. There is always a “but…” That’s the qualifier.
We then have a great conversation about moderation, how the turtle wins the race every time I read The Tortoise and the Hare. We discuss that foods need no moral judgement. Food is neither good nor bad. It just is. Will some food give you indigestion? Yep. Will others give you energy? Yep. Will still others spike your blood sugar and give you a crash later? You bet. But food isn’t moral. It just is. While we are at it – you are not a dog. Mind blowing, right? You are not “good” because you stuck to a stupid diet. You are likewise not “bad” because you didn’t. People who obtain AND maintain health over the long term do not subscribe to a good/bad philosophy when it comes to food or themselves.
The email I sent described the realization that as a trainer, I cannot walk this journey for anyone else. I’m a signpost holder. I can show you the how, but the doing has to be done solo. I can want it for you. (I WANT IT SO BAD FOR EVERYONE! It feels incredible to be comfortable in your own skin and to have energy and strength to get through the day!) Ultimately, we each have to walk the path for ourselves.
Do you ever encounter people that say something and it’s like, “Whoa. Mind completely blown”? Usually it’s something profound, simple and very direct. I feel fortunate to have a few mind-blowers in my life. The mentor I sent the email to had this to add, “I also don’t allow any clients to give me credit for their health and fitness successes. Never allow them to be in the position to give their power away. They did the work, they take the credit.”
So simple, but very profound.
Getting healthy and adapting new habits isn’t easy. I get that. It doesn’t come naturally for me either. But whether I succeed or I take a detour or two, the power is in me.
And you. You hold the power to do what you want.
Whether it’s fat loss, fitness, parenting, or whatever else – we hold the power to choose.
Success or detours are entirely in YOUR hands.