I ask a lot of clients to keep a Fitness Journal. They dread it because they have to write down EVERYTHING. I hear, “This is a pain in the a_ _.” I understand that but people need to be accountable in order for success. My clients who want to see significant changes in their body must track everything they are eating, doing, thinking and feeling. In my experience when people take the time to write (use paper and pen, not an ipad or their phone or an app), put in the effort and feel comfortable sharing with me – those people have the most success but this is not always the case. Plenty of clients will write very little so then I have to ask questions, inquire more and literally “drill them”. I don’t like doing that but in order to have success with anything, you have to be held accountable. You have to be honest. You must be able to admit what you have done.
So many people will cut me off and say something like ,”It’s nothing” or “I can’t remember” or “It was no big deal”. They always say it very defensively to which raises the “red flag”. Thats when my radar goes up and I feel like my client is hiding something.
At one point you will be held accountable for your actions. If not with me, then with someone else or some higher power. We all answer to someone or something. It’s called your conscience. You must be be honest with what you do. Could you watch a video tape of yourself and be proud of what you saw? You have to be okay at looking at who you are. Can you look in the mirror without criticism or cynicism? You have to be accepting of answering to those who care about you. Can you talk vulnerably with your loved ones without being defensive? This my friends is called being accountable.
Around this time of the year people are always telling me that they are waiting for the “1st of the year” to start their diet, to join a gym, begin yoga, hire a trainer, etc. I hear, “It’s the holidays so I just want to wait.”
Guess what? Thanksgiving and Christmas are TWO days. There will always be some day or some thing that will come between you and your goals if you let it. Why give the holidays the power to alter your health or how you feel about yourself? Why give up the control over your life?
I am here to tell you that saying, “I am waiting…” Is just another EXCUSE! Think about all the things in your life that are on hold because you are “waiting”. How long have you been waiting? Maybe you are “hoping” things will change. Some of you are “wanting” it to be easier.
Waiting, Hoping, Wanting are words that give you permission to do no action. They will hold you in a state of purgatory. They are EXCUSE words that release you of responsibility and give all the power to the unknown. In other words you are powerless and the goals you have will not be met if you keep saying, “I am waiting” or “I am hoping” or “I am wanting”.
I encourage you to take a look at what you NEED right now that will make you healthy and then do it TODAY! No more waiting for the 1st of the year, the next month, this week to be over or tomorrow. Stop excusing yourself for being essentially unhappy and unhealthy.
Instead of waiting for the 1st, tell yourself that you will have your goal in place by the 1st. Write down three things that need to be done to make your goal happen and have them all checked off before the 1st. Meaning you will already have had 40 plus days of working towards your goal instead of 40 days of waiting, hoping and wanting.
It’s been several days since I have been to the gym. I know, I know- I work at a gym. I even have a gym at home. Don’t get me wrong. I have exercised. I have gone for runs. I sit on my bike at work and get all my emails and paperwork done. I stretch, foam roll and do yoga all on my own. BUT – nothing is like going to “the gym”. It’s my escape!
As soon as I park my car I put my headphones on. I sing as I strut myself into the gym. Entering the gym I feel as if I am walking into my childhood home, “I am home.” Lock my stuff up and head to the gym floor. I find a
piece of cardio equipment available and jump on. I am not picky. Look through my playlist for the ONE inspirational song of the day to repeat 3-4 times so I can get a quick 10 min warm up. That song is my mantra, my chant, my theme. After that I literally check out. I stare off into space. I look pass people. I feel nothing but my heart rate getting faster. I hear nothing but my music and breath. I see nothing but sweat dripping off of me. I have escaped!
So now you have my secret. I head to the gym to escape. It’s healthier than a cocktail. It’s cheaper than a vacation.
Sometimes when I am training a client the exercises I am giving them aren’t working. Sometimes when I am offering nutritional guidance, my suggestions are not working. Sometimes I feel like I am at a loss, like I just don’t know what to do. One exercise gives them pain. Another exercise they don’t feel it in the right place. One diet makes them tired. One diet makes them hungry. Why isn’t it working?
So I follow these three guidelines to things that aren’t working.
1) When I am not sure – I retreat
2) When I don’t know – I research
3) When I can’t do anymore – I refer out
When my efforts are not working I step back. I look at the client carefully – their gait, their posture, their movement, their stillness. I take a birds eye view of what is going on. I try to see a different perspective. I look at myself as a trainer and see how I might be missing something.
When I am not sure what to do I ask. I ask the client. I inquire. I go through their entire day and diet again as if they were a new client. I seek advice of others. I read. I write. I study.
When I feel that I have exhausted my means, I suggest they seek a different professional. I am confident that I give my all and work diligently to help but sometimes what someones needs is not better but just different.
I don’t know why it isn’t working but I do know that I won’t waste your time. I will retreat, research and refer out if needed. In other words – I will walk away, get help and say “Goodbye” if it isn’t working.
When you walk into LisaFIT it’s because you want me to help you, that is a vulnerable place to be in. When we start talking about why you haven’t met your goals on your own, it is a very emotional discussion. When you start training with me it is a very intimate setting because it is just you and I. The whole process is challenging and it requires compassion, empathy and a lot of sensitivity on both of our parts.
Recently I was told that I am “too sensitive” and it was not the first time nor do I think it will be the last time. I use to take offense to those words. Now that I am older I take it as a compliment although it is never said to me in a kind voice. I grew up being called “too sensitive”. I was sad watching “Charlotte’s Web”. It made me sensitive to what happens to animals in order for us to eat them. My parents said, “Just don’t think about it and eat your food!”. At school I was bullied from second grade to seventh grade. My sister would yell at the kids. My parents would tell me to ignore them. I was hurt because people were mean. It made me more sensitive to the words that I say to other people and how much they can hurt. I used to watch the news in the morning and hear about the deaths, accidents and illnesses. I felt terrible for those people and anyone who had to endure such pain. I was told in a matter of fact sort of way, “Death happens everyday”, which to me seemed an insensitive thing to say even if it is a fact. Still today if the song, “Same Love” comes on I tear up because I cannot imagine being hated for who I love.
So I understand that to the rest of the world I am “too sensitive”. I am affected by they way we treat animals. I am hurt by the words people say not just to me but to each other and behind close doors. I pause my breath every time I hear of a death. I let things effect me which makes me “too sensitive” by majority but who is to say that the majority is right. My sensitivity allows me to be vulnerable, emotional and intimate with clients, friends and family. Can you say the same for you? How many of you choose to “not think about it” to make yourself less
sensitive? How many of you yell through your emotions so you won’t cry? How many of you ignore to manage your hurt? How many of you have become callus to death because you hear about it all the time? How many of you hate what is unfamiliar to you? How many of you still feel the need to hold back your tears so others won’t
think you are “too sensitive”
I am home sick. Since I am not working out or going to work where I get to work out other people, I am watching people working out on The Biggest Loser. I really like this show because it clearly states the mental, emotional aspect of weight gain and loss.
The contestants work hard throughout the entire week before each weigh in. They are eating healthy. They are exercising more. This all results in them feeling better about themselves. Some report their cholesterol is better. Others say they are no longer at risk for diabetes. They have more energy, less pain and an overall better sense of health and wellness. But all of that seems to not matter when they stand on the scale and see their weight. That’s the part I don’t like. The negative feelings they carry when they haven’t lost as much weight seems to out weigh (no pun intended) all their hard work. I know it’s tv but those feelings weigh heavy on a person and that matters.
It’s a sad shame that we see them so down when they are truly in a better emotional and physical state. For almost the entire hour we get to witness their strengths both in and out of the gym. We watch them triumph over struggles. We hear them say how happy they are with themselves. That’s what matters!
If you are trying to lose weight please focus on what matters. How well do you sleep? How much water do you drink? How many vegetables do you eat a day? How strong do you feel? How well do you manage your stress? All of those matter “weigh” more than what the scale reads.
I encourage you to watch the show but understand –
Mayo Angelou said, “Just because you are in pain doesn’t mean you have to BE a pain.”
I had a client tell me he purchased a series of five deep tissue massages. I asked how it was going. He said, “Well I don’t swear and yell at the therapist like I do when you massage me.” I asked him why not. He told me, “I don’t want the therapist to think I am a wimp and can’t handle the pain.”
I had another client tell me that when she use to train at a big gym she never complained or whined during her sessions. I asked why. She said she didn’t want everyone in the gym hearing her sound so pathetic. She said, “I don’t want everyone thinking I am a loser”.
Let me get this straight, with me you can swear and yell. With me you can complain and whine. When you are not with me, you cannot because you don’t want anyone to think you are a wimp or a loser. I am here to tell you that you are not a wimp so handle the pain like a champion. You are not a loser so handle the session like a winner. I know you can because you do it when you are not with me!
Guess what?! You are not alone. We all go through pain. Pain does not give you permission to be mean nor does it give you the right to be a wimp or a loser. In fact pain gives you the chance to prove your strength and understand your weaknesses. It gives you the opportunity to rely on others who care about you and walk away from those who sabotage you. Pain has the amazing ability to create relationships and break up relationships. Pain can motivate change or can also spiral you into insanity. Pain can teach a lesson or promote ignorance. Pain can create a community or cultivate loneliness. Pain can deepen empathy or intensify impassivity . Pain will come in and out of your life so learn to use it to your advantage.
Being in pain hurts – I get it. Living with chronic pain is uncomfortable – I understand that. Feeling like you have no control over your pain is depressing – I have been there. Being a pain because you have pain – you are on your own with that.
I use to teach group fitness classes at various gyms, clubs and studios. One time I was “subbing” for another instructor last minute so there wasn’t enough time to add my name onto the website as a sub. I was checking people into the class when one guy stops and asks me, “Are you teaching this class?” I told him that I was filling
in because the regular instructor was ill. He looked very upset. He quickly said, “Take me out of the class.” As he walked out he mumbled to the other people waiting in line to sign in, “I don’t like that instructor”. His words raised eyebrows and I immediately felt hurt. A person in line asked, “What did you do to him?”
I know not everyone will like me. That guy who left my class probably wasn’t the first student to not like me. Not everyone likes the way I teach. My classes are intense but not because I make up hard exercises. It’s because I am in your space. I make sure you do it right. I hold you accountable for your actions. I don’t let
you cheat yourself. I call you out when I know you are holding back. You can’t hide in the back corner. You can’t stare at yourself in the mirror. I don’t let you lose any bit of the 60 minutes you signed up for. I believe in hard work when you step into my class. Not everyone will like that – I get that. What I don’t get is this:
I genuinely care about people who come into my space. I honestly put your needs in front of mine when I am helping you. I am consistently there for you when you need me. I don’t compete with you. I don’t judge you. I won’t lie or cheat. So in the game of life, all the people that come in and out of your life, how many can you say
will be like me and genuinely care about you?
What did I do to you? I cared about you. I know you don’t like me. It’s because I hold you accountable. It’s because you can’t cheat with me. You can’t fool me. You can’t lie to me. You can’t compete with me. It’s because I see who you are.
Today was “Walk To School Day” for my children. We, I mean “I” was thrilled to walk but my kids were not so happy. They complained. They moaned. They whined. It was ridiculous.
As we were walking up to school, there was a woman holding a sign that says, “Wine Needed for Gala – Please Donate”. I just so happen to have a very nice bottle of Petite Syrah straight from Napa. Guess where that bottle is going … To the schools gala.
I get to school and they are asking parents to buy a class shirt for their child. The cost is only $5. I have a $20 bill and the office asks, “Do you want change?” I am reading the shirt flyer and it says, “If you cannot afford a shirt your child will still be provided one from school funds.” After reading that I tell the front office lady to apply my change to the funds to help pay for the children who cannot afford a shirt.
While I am walking away from the school I stop and talk to a mother who wants to know if I am going to “Coffee with the Principal”. She says she wants to talk to the principal about a fitness program at recess. She tells me about it and says, “Hey – would you want to host maybe once a week at lunch a little fitness activity for the kids? This way the school doesn’t have to pay an outdoor vendor.” I say, “Sure – I can do that.”
So today I walked to school with my grumpy kids, gave away a bottle of wine you can’t get in SD, donated money so kids who can’t afford a shirt can get one AND offered to volunteer once a week hosting a fitness class for children to be more active. This walk cost me a lot today!