By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
There is a meme I’ve seen several times on social media that I’m sure many of you can identify with. Maybe you’ve seen it?
Yes, it’s funny. But be honest – has this thought crossed your mind? It has crossed mine in dealing with some of my clients – but I don’t want to know what would happen to me if I followed them around and snatched pizza, donuts or other indulgences right out of their hands as they were about to take a bite.
I don’t think I’d live very long!
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
All kidding aside, if you have specific fitness goals (I’m guessing most of you do since you’re a member of this website), you have to know your own boundaries. It is crucial for you to be as honest with yourself as possible about what you can or can’t handle and what is realistic for you and your life – or else you will be miserable and unsuccessful.
I will use myself as an example. Do I want to compete in a figure competition again? Yes, absolutely. But I know it may not be realistic for me in the near future because of all the other priorities I have in my life right now, such as my family and my personal training career.
My family is supportive of me competing, but I know that my responsibilities to my nine-year-old son make it difficult for me know with absolute certainty that I will be able to – and be ok with – making all the sacrifices I need to make in order to dive into a competition prep with my entire mind, heart, body and soul.
I know myself well enough to know that whenever I do make the choice to compete I will be all in. This requires a sort of self-absorbed tunnel vision and nothing else is as important as giving the prep my all. Right now, I don’t want to have to choose between making sure I get all my cardio sessions in or helping my son study for a test.
Don’t get me wrong, I have known many women who are great moms and also successfully prep for competitions. But I personally don’t want to choose between those two priorities right now. And that comes from knowing myself, knowing what my limits are, and being realistic about what I feel I can handle.
YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR WEAKEST LINK
Competing is an extreme example, of course, but this can be applied to anyone with any health or fitness goal. Here’s another example: You hire a trainer to help you build muscle and lose body fat over a three-month period so you can sport a bikini on the beach.
As part of your fitness plan, you strength train with your trainer twice per week, and are assigned a third strength-training workout to do plus cardio on your own. You also have specific calories and macros to hit, as well as a general healthy foods list to choose from.
Your first week goes great! But then you get an invitation to go out with friends for dinner and drinks on the weekend. Or your mom comes to visit and she always brings unhealthy foods that aren’t on your meal plan. Or you start coming up with excuses as to why you can’t get your cardio in.
A trainer can only do so much, – the rest is up to you! You can have the most solid fitness plan, the best trainer, access to the healthiest foods and all the guidance in the world. But if you can’t learn to self-coach, none of that will matter.
HELP ME HELP YOU
I have trained and coached countless people over the last 12-plus years and I will tell you that my most successful clients have all learned to ‘self-coach.’
I tell them how to reach their goals, give them all of the information and tools they need, but a trainer/coach-client relationship is 100% a team effort. There is no way your trainer can help you unless you also help yourself.
Self-coaching includes the following:
• NutritionKnow what your temptations and weaknesses are and have a plan on how to maneuver around these temptations and stick with your plan
• Assigned Workouts Such as extra strength-training or cardio workouts on your own. Plain and simple, just get your butt to the gym and do it. Put your workouts for each week in your calendar and do them, even if you don’t feel like it. Give yourself a lecture if you need to (I do that often).
• Recovery Tactics Stretching, foam rolling, yoga, massages, chiropractic care, etc. This is up to you to take care of. If you know you are tight in certain areas, you need to make appointments for proper recovery or else the strength-training sessions with a trainer could lead to more tightness which could eventually lead to injury.
• Self-talk: Staying positive, including positive self-affirmation, positive thoughts, supportive friends and family, etc. I can’t tell you how important this is. You can have a ton of support telling you that you are doing a great job and giving you all the encouragement and positive feedback you could want, but if all you think is negative, then all you will have is a negative outlook on the whole process – and yourself. Remember to stay positive!
Tip Me Tuesday: Weight Matters
Tip Me Tuesday: Do The Best With What You Have
Tip Me Tuesday: Push Through Barriers With Fitness Therapy
Tip Me Tuesday: A Little Structure Goes A Long Way
Tip Me Tuesday: Why Isn’t This Working Part II
Tip Me Tuesday: Why Isn’t This Working Part I
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.