I talk to dozens of individuals each week who are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed – all the consequence of less than desireable weight loss. Unmet goals. Unrewarded efforts. Does any of this sound familiar – past or present?
I frequently address the importance of goals and setting meaningful and realistic goals (just two components of SMART goals). We often miss the aspect of setting positive goals, unknowingly making goals that present themselves with negative connotations. We do not always consider the power of words and the law of attraction.
Another missing link is one-on-one support.
Working with a trainer
I recently had a second session with a new client. We warmed up with basic bodyweight exercises and she commented on how sore she was from our pushups earlier in the week – and how she had been working out and doing classes for years and doing pushups wrong – never feeling it in her chest. This is all too common. She she stated that this soreness alone made her excited and motivated to see me again – despite the pain she endured in the hour while with me. I laughed at her remark about the pain and said I was glad to hear that she saw and felt the benefit of my technique and form corrections.
She had social support – but never that one-on-one feedback specific to her needs and desires. I managed to fill that gap in less than two hours! Further, I am not declaring that you need a personal trainer to attain weight loss. But would you like to increase your success (J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2009)?
Are your form and technique correct? How do you know?
Unfortunately, not all personal trainers and fitness professionals are created equal. Many of us have aspired to increase our knowledge and experience. Others – not so much. Make sure that your fitness professional is qualified before you waste your precious time and money.
The power of support
We hear it. We read it. And we hear it some more. Social support is critical to weight loss. The importance of support has been recently reinstilled in me. I previously worked for a facility at which we staff cultivated an amazing culture of support and growth. This is too uncommon. Gyms have their cliques. Trainers have their aversive methods. It is hard to find a gym or facility that is safe and positive. Is the impersonal group support of classes enough to get results? If you do this, is it working?
I go to great lengths to make my clients feel safe and supported. Most individuals who have hired me to not have a strong support system – and it is part of my job to help them develop one. I am initially the primary component of this system.
Many of us may call the form of support I am referring to a friendship. A one-on-one relationship that provides us with support and encouragement. I am this for many – and they pay me for it. I have noticed recently more than ever that those individuals which I have maintained the greatest amount of contact with over time have seen the greatest, lasting and continued results.
What does this tell me? That we need more deep, meaningful, and positive relationships. Yes, this is anecdotal. I am not citing any research here, but believe me when I say the research exists.
We all need someone at one time or another – even if just for a season. I consider my relationship with my clients seasonal, until they are able to build support within their own life and relationships.
Filling the gap
There is definitely an awareness of the need for one-on-one support – hence the Wellcoaches and similar health coaching certification programs. Unfortunately, these programs fall short. Having completed the Wellcoaches program – I was awestruck by classmates and how unaware they were of health and wellness best practices – and they were about to be ‘certified’ to coach others towards health! While I understand that a coach is not an ‘expert role’ – you need to be able to guide someone and to do this you need to know what you are talking about! Further, why would I spend my money on a coach who does not have the ability to answer my questions about health and wellness and only answers all of my questions with more questions?
This post is my form of thinking out loud. I believe we are missing intimacy. Relationships. Support. Interdependence. The research surrounding the scopes of social support is abundant – I am more concerned with what is happening right in front of me.
Being overweight/obese is a symptom. Is it a symptom of loneliness? A medical condition? The lack of love? Poor time management skills? Exhaustion?
Supervised exercise versus non-supervised exercise for reducing weight in obese adults. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009 Mar; 49(1):85-90.