I’m in a bad mood…I haven’t posted an article or workout or even a recipe in three days and I’m feeling like I’m letting you down as well as being lazy. That I only average about five hours of sleep a night, train clients approximately forty hours a week, work out about eight to ten hours a week, spend about two to three hours a day researching material or making videos to populate the blog and the rest of my time trying to maintain a single parent household are all inconsequential, I still feel like I’m letting you down.
So, with that in mind, I’m writing tonight’s article. Some might call it a motivational article, while others might find it to be an accusatory observation. Regardless, I guess it’s my turn to rant, after all, it’s my blog, right?
Recently, I had a client (who subsequently is no longer with me) who after a month of training, showed up one morning and indignantly confronted me with, ” It’s been a month and I haven’t lost a single pound! What are you going to do about it!?”
Now normally, I’m a pretty laid back kind of guy. But every now and then, someone will use just the RIGHT combinations of words to activate the reptilian part of my brain which has an uncanny way of bypassing the “polite” filter and go straight into Jack Nicholson “The truth? You want the TRUTH? You can’t HANDLE the truth!” mode.
I began by pointing out that maybe canceling five out of the twelve sessions that we were supposed to have completed might have something to do with it. I also threw in that of the remaining seven sessions, that they were late for five of them. Twice, they had to leave early, and then just for giggles I added how they made a regular habit of breaking their fast on… Wait for it… McDonald’s hash browns and some funky orange drink that they have there! The response to this was, “You don’t understand, I have a lot of things to do! I work, I have to go to the grocery store, I have to pick up my child from school… blah, blah, blah…” They lost me at, “You don’t understand…” because actually, I do! I have to do all that sh*t too, plus MAKE time to work out! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying I’m any better than anyone else, far from it… BUT, I realize that the responsibility to adhere to a healthy lifestyle rests on me. No one else can make that decision for me. I can get assistance, information, guidance, whatever… but if I don’t CHOOSE to follow along, I’m out of luck.
I know some of you are thinking that I’m making this up, and I wish I was, but its the honest truth with no embellishments. The really sad part of this is that this client had been given all the resources and attention that I afford everyone that decides to train with me. That means that I take time to explain what they can expect from me and what I expect from them. It means that I’ve asked them to document a food diary so that we can figure out how best to manipulate their diet in a way that they can still enjoy food, while making choices that will help them achieve their health goals.
It means that I’m there, waiting for them at the specified time and prepared to give them a safe and productive workout and not just be a “counter”. It means that I’m going to continually try to challenge them so that they are always progressing towards whatever goals they have employed me to help them attain.
The way that I look at it, this is a partnership between a trainer and a client who both are working towards the same end. So, you can only imagine my frustration and disbelief when you rewind to, “what are YOU going to do about it!?”
Here’s the deal. Even if I was the most Uber trainer on the planet, it makes no difference unless you’re willing to accept your share of the responsibility for your health and well being. You can’t expect to cut corners, cheat on your diet, disregard instructions and show up when you feel like it.
What I ended up telling this client was this. “If this was a job, and I was your employer, I’d fire you. If you we’re late more often than not, called in sick or busy thirty percent of the time, I’d fire you. If you didn’t perform your job as it was outlined at the beginning of your employment, I’d fire you. If after calling all this to your attention at your “performance review”, you failed to make any adjustments, I’d fire you.
I guess you can probably figure out how this played itself out…
Ok, that’s out of my system now. Sorry, I didn’t mean to complain. I know how blessed I am that I can make living doing something I love AND go to work in a tee shirt and shorts. At the same time though, your health is ultimately YOUR responsibility. I think it’s fantastic that some of you would want to utilize a personal trainer to make your journey more effective and structured, but in the end, they are only facilitators. You are in charge of your time, your mouth, and your commitment. Like Spider-Man’s Uncle told him, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” And we all know how THAT turned out, right?
Stay Fit Forever