Recently, I had one of my clients send me an email. I’ve been with this client for a while, watching them progress, watching them screw up, repeatedly. I don’t judge. I don’t step in. Everyone needs to find their own breaking point, that place where it’s either walk away from a healthy lifestyle, or embrace it completely.
Last night that breaking point was reached. This client has been very consistent with their workouts, but every time a life stress comes their way, their nutrition goes out the window. Life can be challenging. We all know this.
Here is a paraphrase of the email(s):
So I’ve fallen off the wagon. Yesterday I ate 4 doughnuts, 3 slices of pizza, and a 100g chocolate bar, 2 shots of rum, plus I snacked on food at a party, and had a can of soda pop, although I didn’t drink at the party because I was driving. I know: WTF?!?!? Probably 4000 calories with 2000 of them being from fat, and I didn’t exercise.
I need to reset in a big way. I need to do The First 30 again. I need to be super strict with myself. I need to not cheat. I need to not tell myself: I can eat this because I worked out today. No. I need to follow some ground rules.
What are my current goals? I love that I am at 170lbs now. I love that I wear 30″ pants. I love the way I look in a tighter fitting T-Shirt. If I’m not careful, those things will go away. I also know that I am not satisfied with where I am now, and want to do even better. I want to have abs, not a gut. It doesn’t need to be a six-pack, but it needs to not be flabby, which is what it is now.
I went through some pretty stressful things over the past 4 months: 2 break-ups, plus losing custody of my daughter. That stress led me off course.
Here’s what I think I need to do to reset myself – 30 brand new days. Starting by going to bed tonight instead of watching Sherlock Holmes, and getting up tomorrow with a bowl of oatmeal, and a TRX workout during the day on my way to the sailing club. Tuesday I have scheduled a 50km ride with a faster cyclist, so I’m hoping that’ll kick my ass.
I know the sleeping may suffer because of the concert lineup for NXNE this month, and if I’m going on some dates, then I’ll likely drink and stay up later. It’s a fucking hard balance when other things in my life are changing so much.
What do you think of all this?
Fuck. I don’t know. Maybe I just need you to kick my ass and tell me: Look, here’s what you need to do. And then I do that and don’t think so much about anything other than just following those rules laid out for me.
Right now I’m going to make an easy decision and go to bed so I can get some sleep.
I was terribly excited that I could be a part of this inner turmoil. It is these defining moments that can forever change us, and this client, out of all the people within their support network, chose me to unload to. That is an honour and privilege. My heart ached, remembering many of my own struggles, challenges I still face every single day. There is a time for sensitivity. There is a time for military discipline. How far do I nudge? How hard do I push? Do I just say nothing and be that strong shoulder to talk to? It’s always a dice roll. My chest hurt. My heart raced.
You’re right about the sleep. That is imperative. You need at least 7 hours per night.
Don’t stress about the workout part. That is only 20% of your battle.
I know you’ve gone through a lot this last little while, and as your friend I care. As your trainer, I don’t give a shit, and here’s why.
There will always be stuff. That is where excuses come from. People don’t just make them up out of thin air. There is always a “legitimate” reason in their mind.
Nutrition is 80% of it. Nutrition is the hardest part of it to be disciplined with. Nutrition is where you shone. Nutrition is where you always fail.
You want my advice? Do whatever it takes. Make your health as important as spending time with your daughter. Make your health as important as finding a lasting romantic relationship. Without your health, you won’t be able to enjoy either of those things to their fullest.
You want outside? Do outside. TRX, biking, P90X, Insanity. Knock yourself out. Nothing bad with those things. As I said, at most, you’re averaging an hour of exercise per day. You eat more than that.
5 – 6 meals per day, Protein and Carbs first, rest are protein and fat. Portions are Phase I using the calculator.
Just stop. No overanalyzing. No angry. No beating yourself up. No excuses. No false promises.
Stop. Do it. Just like that.
Tomorrow night, this client and I are going sailing together. I am excited and nervous. I hope this is a defining moment to look back upon with thanks.