Saturday, February 13, 2010

The secret to weight loss

I'm never going to get rich. The truth is there is no big secret. There is no perfect personal trainer and there is no perfect workout or diet to help you lose weight.


I was with a client yesterday who suffered a MAJOR health blow, has a small child and isn't a spring chicken. He's always been active and generally health conscious. But his eating was a little out of hand. Now he ships in wild salmon and blueberries and plans out his meals better than I could've coached him to.

Over the last 18 months or so, he's gotten himself down to a healthy body weight which will greatly improve his chances of surviving his health condition for quite some time to come. He's worked with a variety of trainers over the years and has always been knowledgeable about eating. But it was only after this major health scare that we was willing to get himself down to a fighting weight. It has NOTHING to do with any of the trainers or coaches he's worked with. It has EVERYTHING to do with his own desire to be healthy.

I've been working for years with clients to help them lose weight. At first I was a bit pushy and tried to scare people into buying into my advice. Doesn't really work. I recognize my clients are SMART, knowledgeable and independent. They know that they would feel better losing weight. People generally know how they could improve their diets and with a little guidance and accountability and a strong desire to change they can. I used to try using diet plans. You can give someone a fish or teach them how to fish. Diet plans are band-aids.

The part that I have NO control over is "the strong desire to change". Anyone can lose weight whether they have a trainer/coach or not. As with my client above, he had an extremely strong motivation to change.

When my clients lose weight, I can't take any real credit for it. I'm merely facilitating and guiding their desire to change. But one thing I know doesn't work in the long run is a paternalistic approach to weight loss or an approach that is too formulaic. We are all individuals and we approach change differently, biting off challenges at different paces and in a different order. And anyone looking to lose weight should ask themselves very seriously, is the desire strong enough in me to justify a large financial incentive because you can't buy desire and no one who specializes in weight loss should pretend they can provide the motivation for you. Your weight loss just won't stick. It's like weight loss fast food style. It takes a while to cook a beautiful meal as does it take time to lose weight in a lasting way.

The secret to losing weight is in you. It doesn't cost anything at all. You just have to want to feel better in a BIG way.


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