I had the pleasure of meeting a beautiful woman the other day. She was ready to make some healthy changes to her lifestyle. As a trainer, I’m required by law to go over my clients’ health history to identify any risk factors that may be present. I’m also required to help them develop a workout plan and discuss nutrition if necessary. But I quickly learned, those are merely boxes to check off. Now, of course they are important, but helping someone make lifestyle and behavioral changes goes far beyond a few health related questions and demonstrating a few exercises.
If you’ve read any of my blogs or Facebook posts, you’ll quickly discover that I am a goal-driven individual and I also believe in the important of working through goal setting steps with my clients. When I meet with someone for the first time, we delve right into this.
1. What are your top 3 goals you would like to accomplish?
2. What 3 obstacles might hinder your progress?
3. List 3 tasks you can perform daily which will pave the path towards total achievement
The #1’s are pretty standard – strengthening, weight-loss, toning, etc. Most of the time, the #2’s are fairly standard as well – work, travel, TDY’s, visitors, busy schedules, etc. But one struck me the other day – “Self Sabotage.”
Mark Tyrrell explains the main reasons for self-sabotaging behavior:
The familiarity of ‘failure’. Maybe we’re so used to situations not working out or to being around ‘dysfunctional people’ that it feels easier to ‘put a spanner in the works’ by behaving in some way that either worsens or destroys something promising – a kind of ‘better the devil you know’.
An unconscious need to be in control. If we feel something is bound to fail because it’s ‘too good to last’, we might engineer its failure somehow so as to maintain a sense that we are still in control (because we caused it to fail).
Feeling unworthy. Low self-esteem may drive people to feel they ‘don’t deserve’ success or happiness.
Bad habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, or uncontrolled anger.
Need for excitement. It might be an otherwise perfect sunny afternoon and seemingly out of the blue, Joe picks a fight, goes into a silent mood, or drags up some unrelated contentious issue from the past. Suddenly, the afternoon turns into a battleground. The desire for ‘excitement’ can take different forms, not all of them constructive.
I just finished a blog about fit/fat shaming. Why in the world would we do it to ourselves? “Just call me thunder thighs!” “I’ll never get rid of my saddle bags.” “I look disgusting!” These are all comments I used to hear my clients vocalize during their sessions. Now we have ground rules! If you would dare say it about me to my face (and I dare you! J), then you can say it about you. And who would ever dare put someone down when they are working hard to improve? Exactly!! So constructive comments are encouraged. If it will motivate, inspire, push past comfort zones in a positive manner and vocalize positive changes that are taking place, then bring it on! “I’m not where I want to be just yet, but look! You can see my tricep popping out!” “I slipped up a little on vacation last week, but I’m back on track now and looking forward to moving on.” “My progress is a little slower than what I would like, but I know I’m doing it.”
You are what you speak! A healthy body begins with a healthy mind. God created us all so beautifully and uniquely! Embrace your strengths and use those to overcome your weaknesses. If you say “I can’t,” what are your chances of making it happen? If you say, “I’ll try,” you may surprise yourself! If you say, “I can,” you’ll push through boundaries and obstacles and possibly accomplish things you never imagined possible! Thank you “Client M” for trusting me and sharing. I know you can do this!!! Sandi~