Cue the eye roll and “I know I know.” I am talking about every person out there that wants a personal trainer or needs nutrition help. I think I can vouch for every trainer when I say it is very annoying when we hear, “I know, I know” when talking about how to eat healthy or if they are coming in on their own to work out. As a trainer, I try my very best to make sure my clients know what it takes to reach their goals. How many times a week they should work out, what they should be working out, and how to put together a proper meal. I will even give them specific numbers for their macros or specific exercises. Some of the times I get clients that follow it to the T and they see awesome results, but most of the time, I get clients that say, “I know what I should be doing but I need accountability.” So, I ask them to write everything that they eat on paper and bring it to me. This should work, right? I would say about 90% of the time, they “forget” or “I didn’t have time.” I get it, life happens, and we get caught up with work, kids, chores, and other things but when it comes to your own health, I see these as excuses. I have seen moms with jobs more in shape than I am.
Here is a perfect example of what I typically deal with; I had a client that got a two-hour massage, 3 days before our session. My reply was, “That’s awesome! I bet you feel amazing?” He looked at me with uncertainty and said “Well…” my first thought was, “Oh great, here comes an excuse.” “I feel like those things make you more sore than better. They can’t be good for you right?” as he looked at me hoping to see me agree with him. I don’t sugar coat things and I am the last person to ask for sympathy. So, you can imagine the look I gave him was definitely not the look he wanted. My reply? With all my will power not to lose it, I simply asked, “How much water did you drink?” Trying to skip the part of me explaining how the massage is beneficial. His response, “Uhh…” and the truth comes out ladies and gentlemen! “Well, I met my wife for dinner after and she was having a drink, so I didn’t want her to drink alone so I had a few beers.” Let me be clear. Massages can cause soreness, but I have never met a massage therapist that has never said, “Make sure you drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins.” Or something along those lines. So apart from my dumbfounded look, I tried to simply explain that yes, massages can cause soreness but the purpose of them is to break up and knots or to relieve tight muscles. This causes your muscles to release inflammation and wastes that need to be flushed out. Doing so, you drink a lot of water after, so you are not as sore and feel a lot better the next day. Before I could finish, I got, “I know, I know.” THIS my friends is the response I get to a lot of different suggestions I make. Holding back my real thoughts, I simply laughed it off and made a joke out of it because at this point, this person is only hurting themselves and there is nothing I can say to change that. And of course, with my humor, I kept making jokes about it throughout our session hoping they would get the hint that it was their fault for being sore.
What do I do with clients like this? Well I put in as much effort as they give me. Sounds kind of harsh, doesn’t it? Well, I create their program and give them guidelines for nutrition, and help them as much as I can, but it’s up to them to actually do it. You cannot help someone who won’t help themselves. There are 168 hours in 1 week, and I am only with clients 2-3 hours out of that week. With that being said, I can only do so much for a client before they realize it has to be them to make a change.
I know for a fact that all trainers deal with the “I know, I know” and it is probably the nutrition portion. One of the first things I ask a new client is, “What is your nutrition like?” “Well, I eat pretty good most of the time but I have a weakness for deserts, and maybe chick-fil-a….and Mexican food…..and we kind of eat out a lot.” It’s like a slow confession. Once a client confesses about one thing, it all comes out. It’s actually pretty funny and to be honest, I don’t care what any of my clients eat. I only care about is if I can see that they are trying really hard to make better choices. I tell my clients to indulge in those cravings but strongly suggest they have to get back to making those healthier choices as soon as possible. The reason for this is because once you let yourself eat that one cookie, it then leads to maybe some cheesy or creamy food and then some alcohol and then we are right back to where we started. “Ok, so we have to start incorporating more protein into your diet and start adding vegetables to ….” And before I can even finish I get the “I know, I know” Well people, I am going to be brutally honest, if you know then why aren’t you doing it?! I hardly ever say that to anyone, instead I try to help them find solutions to making better choices. And cue the excuses. It never fails. We try to make excuses for not eating healthy or talk ourselves into thinking its okay when it’s really not, or we wouldn’t be in these situations. It’s called laziness.
The moral of this story is, if you are wanting to make healthier choices or work out more, ask yourself, how bad do you really want it? What are you doing now to help yourself get to your goal weight. Are you making excuses for eating that piece of candy, or having that dessert?
This post is not to bash anyone or tell anyone they are doing things wrong. I am simply saying, be honest with yourself. You will only get better at anything if you are honest. Because believe me, I try to tell myself all the time, eating a whole bag of yogurt covered pretzels is okay when I know it’s not. I also hope you enjoyed my little stories because I know every trainer can relate and everyone loves a good excuse story!
Have a wonderful weekend!