I thought that a coach would fix my problems with eating and exercising as long as I trust the process. I knew I would have to put in the work, but I thought she would make it as easy for me as Nutrisystem with a bonus workout plan. (Nutrisystem was very difficult physically, but there was no decision making involved.) I was wrong. She’s always there for me if I have a silly question or want advice on what to make for dinner, that’s not what I need.
I’ve been educating myself on diet an exercise for years now, so I know most of the information there is to know. I can plan a decent workout and design strategies that are more likely to lead to success, but for someone like me, that’s not the difficult part. My issues run much deeper than making a healthy snack before I go out or learning to choose a low-calorie drink option. My roadblocks are not about what I should do, but rather about how I can stick to a plan and be satisfied with it. If any professional could help me, it would be someone with a psychological background to help me dissect my habits. I thought that’s what having a coach would be, but time and again my coach never makes a comment on the innerworkings of my thoughts even when I ask. She can only tell me how to complete an exercise or if it’s okay to work through soreness.
Unfortunately, consistent therapy sessions would cost a lot more than a coach, who is already quite expensive. Fortunately for me, I have this habit of dissecting my thoughts in annoying detail and posting them on the internet, which turns out to be a great form of therapy and self-discovery.
I’m glad I worked with a coach for a few months to know what it’s like, but I feel as though I’ve gotten all of the benefit I can for now.
Here’s the highlights of what I’ve learned from my coach:
1. Macros are more important thank you think. Even though people told me for years protein would keep me full and help me build muscle, I didn’t want to believe them, but they were right.
2. If you want to know why you gained weight, add up the calories you’ve consumed over the time period and take the average. You’ll probably be surprised.
3. Warming up properly makes a workout easier and more effective.
4. If your back hurts after sumo deadlift, you either have poor form, a weak lower back, or both.
5. Doing core exercises can feel pointless, but 5 minutes a few days a week leads to huge progress in other lifts.
6. It’s okay to lift 5 days a week instead of 6.
Here is what I learned in the last month on my own, while pushing myself to do better:
1. I was gaining weight on old diets because I felt restricted, which would lead to binging and frustration.
2. Be kind to yourself. This doesn’t mean making excuses, it means forgiving yourself for the past and finding constructive ways to learn.
3. I’m capable of cooking chicken, salmon, broccoli, squash and so much more. Also, ground turkey tastes good, especially with hummus.
4. Vegetables are your friends, and they taste good if you season them well, even without oil. They reduce the stress around eating too, because I can eat as much as I want without having to measure out and count calories. Especially when I want to eat and watch TV, eating broccoli out of a bowl is great.
I shared this sentiment with my coach last week, and she agreed with me that what I need is beyond her scope of practice. I respect her for being honest with me that she isn’t the best fit for me right now, but I have to laugh at myself for being “fired” as a client. That’s a first for me.