When I take on clients, I know that the toughest part of my job is not necessarily teachings them how to lift, what kinds of exercises to do, or even how to eat well. The toughest part is helping them to see how their inner beliefs may be limiting their best efforts.
Us trainers repeat our mantras about the importance of ‘commitment’, lerning how to ‘prioritize’, and staying ‘on schedule’, but these things can conjure up more feelings of pressure and guilt.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
The successful client is the one that sees her training and clean eating from another perspective: an empowering one that says it’s good – no, necessary – to train and eat well.
I made this shift awhile ago…yes, I had always been interested in good health but it was also about looking good. But when my son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy years ago, I was struck with the undeniable truth that he would soon lose all function with time.
Despite my fit body and clean lifestyle, I was overwhelmed with fear, sadness and guilt – guilt at being able to strengthen my body while I watched my son’s muscles slowly deteriorate. How dare I be so selfish? I didn’t train for a full five years.
Then, one night while he lay sleeping, I sat beside him, stroking his tiny chest, and I made him a vow – to do whatever I could to support him in his journey.
And that’s when it shifted for me: I had to stay healthy for him, in order to help him through his years of declining strength. My being able to train was a gift to him, to all of us. I got rid of the guilt and replaced it with something greater: if good health was my gift, then I could use it to help him.
Today I teach women everywhere that training is the greatest act of self-love you can practice. Park your guilt at the door, nix the excuses, file your doubt away and go in and ‘love yourself into health’ with every lift.
To love yourself means being healthy, whole and all you can be. And that means committing to keeping your body strong and capable.
Do it for them. But mostly, do it for you. And know that you deserve it.