Monday, July 7, 2014

Momma said there'd be days like this...

Ok, so momma wasn't talking about weight loss, or working out, or nutrition, but I am.

I texted with a client today, checking in on her since we missed a workout last week due to the 4th of July and me taking a day off.  She was excited, as usual, (she has an awesome attitude and a great smile) to jump into a new week of training.  I reminded her to bring her new playlist so we could blare it in the gym.  Then, she replied to me with this:

"I went really off track this weekend with my eating, but I'm even more motivated now to do better.  I know I'll feel it tomorrow.  It almost feels like I gave up on myself and that it's totally not worth it."

Hold up.

I wear a lot of hats as trainer.  I create awesome and challenging workouts that push my clients farther than they believed they could go.  I motivate, always with a smile and tough love.  I help my clients stay on track with nutrition and diet and give them tips to keep eating healthy.  I'm tough as hell on them, but I want them to reach their goals as much as they do.

But somedays, I'm a friend and a listener.  I have to remind my clients how worthy they are of the life they're working toward.  Today, I had to fight the urge to have a knee-jerk reaction and spout motivation and just listen and ask questions.

So I replied to her, "What do you think caused you to go that far off?"  If I were sitting with her in person, I would have leaned in and given her my full attention.  

She told me this, "Just the struggle of always being good, July 4th and not feeling like what I'm doing is good enough.  I just completely gave up on myself this weekend.  It's so easy to give in when everyone else is ok with it."

Just a few thoughts here.  This young woman is remarkable.  She's building a successful career and getting married next year (I'm so excited to attend her wedding).  She had already lost 50 pounds before we started working together by making changes to her diet and moving more.  By the time we connected,  she was ready to work with a trainer who would hold her accountable but also push her and help her reach her goals.  She wanted to lose more weight, tone up, and feel and look amazing in her wedding dress (which she will, she's beautiful already).

If this gal was sitting in front of me, this is what I would tell her.  If her story and feelings are similar to yours, I would say these things to you, too.

1.  You are beautiful, worthy and enough. Do not give up on becoming the healthiest and fittest you for the fleeting feeling of doubt that will come and go as you continue on your journey.

2. Do not ever second-guess your decision to get healthy.  You are making an investment in your temple.  You are improving the vehicle to live your best life.  Never feel bad about that.

3. You will have set-backs.  We are human and fallible.  We need support sometimes to keep going.  If this is you, find someone who supports you and your goals that you can reach out to when you're feeling bad.

Ok, so after that text I wanted to wrap my arms around her. I hate that we (speaking for myself here too) only feel validated or worthy by the numbers in our jeans.  I tell clients all day long to never forget how much progress they've made.  I'm human, too.  I have days where I look in the mirror and pick myself apart.  But, then I pull out my before photo, and remind myself how I used to feel and how far I've come, and I instantly smile.  That is what I'd say to her; just remember, smile and keep going.

She continued to tell me some other things on her mind, and then we got to the heart of the matter: she tried on some clothes at a trendy store on a shopping trip and was disappointed by how she looked and that she wasn't quite comfortable with how she looked and fit in them yet.

Now I really wanted to hug her.  Ladies, this is especially geared toward you so listen up.

It is going to take time for your mind to see how you really look.  Our eyes are so used to seeing us a certain way in the mirror. Even as we become smaller and more toned, we will always be our biggest critics.  It doesn't matter how many people tell us how great we look and how much progress we've made, we still don't quite believe it.  

The thing I want to tell you is you have to start believing that you are beautiful! You were beautiful when you weighed a little more, and you're beautiful now.  

Homework assignment:  stand in front of the mirror and say aloud something you like about yourself.   Say it until you believe it.  I know it sounds cheesy, but every day I tell myself how awesome my big butt it is; I love it! Ok I'm being a little silly, but I do! And I'm proud of how fit my body is and how many things it can do.  I also have a great smile (thanks mom and dad for all the dental work lol).

What do you love about yourself, physically or otherwise? Only say good things about you. No negative talk.  Don't leave your mirror until you believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.   This is not narcissism.  This is self-love.

Ladies (and guys too), love yourself.  Love your amazing body.  My client can now do three sets of regular push-ups.  When we started working together in January, she could barely do one.  That is amazing!

Change takes time.  Be kind to yourself.  Don't get so caught up in the end result that you miss the journey.  Reflect on the changes.  Love yourself.

Yours in health,

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