I don’t understand why you have shifted away from fitness and are focusing on the mindset side of wellness…
This has been a frequent comment I have received recently. It’s true. As a fitness and nutrition coach, I have began shifting my coaching focus more heavily on the mental side of wellness. First, and the most important reason for myself personally and in turn for my business, it’s what I feel most passionate about. Is it the right approach? I truly don’t know the answer. But what I do know is why this is a growing passion of mine.
In 2009, I began my career as a certified personal trainer and registered massage therapist. For the next 12 years, I worked with a variety of clients from senior citizens living in assisted living, busy parents trying to lose weight, women in their 50’s/60’s going through hormonal changes, athletes looking to level up, and pretty much everything in between. I have helped people lose 50, 80, 100 plus pounds and completely change their lives, overcome brutal injuries, and I have helped athletes, adults and kids, achieve national and international success, and overcome barriers they did not believe was possible. Let me be very clear, I HELPED people. As an early personal trainer and fitness coach, I wanted to see success so badly and had created a personal mantra that my client’s success was my success. While this sounds inspirational to a potential client who is wondering about the level of effort, I would put into achieving their goals upon their large financial investment, I eventually discovered it was an unfair stipulation to place upon myself. If my client’s success was how I would measure my own success, that reciprocally means that my client’s failures, setbacks, and struggles also become my own personal failures, setbacks, and struggles. I can tell you firsthand, when you are working towards anything that means anything to you, you are going to face more setbacks, failures, and struggles than wins and successes! This was a recipe for disaster...
As I continued to pour hours and strategies into helping my clients work towards their goals, I continued to observe, learn and experiment with different techniques, diets, and training methods for achieving the various life-sized goals in front of us. I have so much respect for every person who has committed to working with me or any other trainer. I have pushed every client I have ever worked with to exceed their physical expectations when entering training. A person who came in on day one informing me that there would never be a day they did a burpee was a challenge I accepted with excitement, and a challenge I can proudly exclaim that I won more times than not. The reason though, that I highlighted the fact that I HELPED people, is because I want to explain that I don’t for a minute believe that I created their success. They did the push ups and squats, they took those bites of nutritious foods, meal prepped, grocery shopped and went for their walks. They are the ones who showed up for their sessions each and every time, and they are the ones who repped out those final sets. Yes, I followed along. I corrected their form, and I found them alternative movements to use when their body rejected the plan. I was a cheerleader and motivator for them. But the work; the sweat, the physical part- That was all them!
Rarely have I worked with someone who has not enjoyed the experience of working out. Pushing your body to the limit, feeling your body get stronger, lifting heavier than ever before, running faster and sweating more, these are things people tend to appreciate and dare I say, enjoy. Those who have gone through the process know that this is the easy part. The hard part goes on between the sessions. It’s what goes on inside your mind. The uncomfortable part about finding your success is figuring out why you don’t want to get to the gym, why you want to quit, and why you are struggling this week more than last week. It’s easy to put your head down and grind through another session once you’re there. That’s why so many people start and stop. We all hold the ability to push, to work, to hustle, but we often lack the skills to go deep within ourselves and explore the inner working to our process. I spoke about the clients of mine who lost 50-100 pounds, achieved international success, and more. I didn’t yet mention the numerous clients I have worked with that started eager and motivated and quit. The number of clients that achieved goals and then stopped showing up. The numerous motivated individuals who got swept up in other life priorities, fell into their excuses and began to move further away from those important life-sized goals. Losing 30 pounds and then gaining 40 back is a heartbreaking experience. As I have reflected on my career, and the people who I have worked with, I realize there is a difference maker between these two narratives.
It’s the deeper work that people do that makes the difference. Taking the time to understand yourself, explore the harder questions, see the new perspectives, and express yourself in new ways. My most successful clients over my career thus far, have been the ones who were willing to explore these areas of their lives. They were the ones who dug deep mentally, got uncomfortable with their thoughts and emotions and challenged their core beliefs. It’s far too easy to separate the physical work with everything else that goes on in your life. We tend to separate the workout when we are in the gym and the difficult conversation we had with our boss before we left work. The argument we had with our partner the night before is in the past, right? Dealing with high or even subtle levels of unaddressed stress has a dramatic impact on the habits we carry out on a daily basis. The habits we carry out daily creates a direct reflection on our lifestyle known as our actions and results.
I’ll ask you a question; why do you struggle to eat well and exercise consistently? So many people ask themselves this question but never actually dedicate real time to explore it. When this happens, our subconscious mind answers for us and it is often not the most productive answers it comes up with- Because I’m lazy, because I’m too weak, etc. I am passionate about guiding my clients to find realizations along their journey, create new perspectives and uncover new beliefs that manifest into healthier and more consistent actions that drives the kind of results most of us only read about. I am passionate about helping you realize your purpose for the goals that you set. Understanding yourself better and changing the stories you have been struggling with, often for most of your life.
My own personal purpose has shifted over my years, and I have noticed myself feeling disconnected to that purpose at times over the years. I am still passionate about helping people work out safely, navigate injuries, and overcome their physical obstacles. Now, however, I feel called to do it in more ways that empower you to create your life the way you want to live it! Mindset cannot be ignored whether you have financial, relational, physical or emotional goals. The mind is the foundation for every step you take. You cannot simply show up and work. The mental piece will always creep in. It will affect your decisions, your actions and the effectiveness of your process.
From the outside looking in, for those who have been with me over the years, it may feel as though I’ve shifted away. The truth though, I am evolving. We are evolving and we are understanding more and more the impact of our mental and emotional state and how it impacts our physical selves. For years, we have understood results as simply calories in v.s calories out, work input v.s work output. While we know this to be true, there is a significant piece of the puzzle that has been ignored here. There are specific scientific equations we can follow to lose weight. The technology is available to us to make the work easier and more effective. But we know there is more to getting into the best shape of your life than the exercise. We know it is not as simple as following the diet or being held accountable – otherwise every one of us would be in the best shape imaginable.
Imagine, if the ability to complete the equations required to achieve the results you desire were not met with as much mental resistance. Imagine if you were able to hold yourself more accountable. When you dedicate time to discovery; exploring why you want what you want, what makes you tick, and the stories you are living by, that’s where you start to take the power back and step into the life that you want to live.