Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Rumors Are True-- I'm Not Your Fairy Godmother.

It has come to my attention recently that my job description may be a bit mis-understood.

Well, I tried.

Here's a few descriptions of what I do, as a personal trainer:

-I motivate people.
-I design customized workout programs for each clients' goals.
-I teach people how to train efficiently, effectively, and pain-free.
-I teach proper form.
-I help people get stronger and more mobile and more comfortable in their own skins.
-I crack the occasional (OK, maybe not so occasional) bad joke to lighten up the sessions and make people realize that life isn't all that serious a business.
-I give people a reason (or 20) to get moving.
-I give people the tools and education they need to eat right for their goals.
-I make myself available for questions and concerns at all times.
-I help people progress to places they never thought possible.
-I go above and beyond the call of duty (I've been known to drive clients to farmer's markets and teach them how to pick and cook healthfully, and more).

Here is what I don't do, as a personal trainer:

-I do not lose your weight for you.
-I do not do the work for you.
-I do not let you get away with half-assing anything.
-I am not anyone's babysitter (unless, of course, they are actually a baby, and I volunteered for the job).

Training with me twice a week is not going to magically melt your troubles away.  You need to do your homework.  Your diet needs to be spot on.  Seriously.  This is 70% of the equation.  If you're not willing to change your diet, if you're not willing to move your body when you're not at the gym, if you're not willing to take accountability for your own role in your health, you're not going to see the results you want to see.  Period. 

I would love to be your fairy godmother.  Truly I would.  But in the end, you need to grant your own wishes.  All I can do is give you the tools you need to get there.  You are the one who needs to use them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Dog Ate My Workout...

I swear I've heard every excuse in the book for not eating right, for not staying active, for not making health a priority.  So here are my responses to some of those I hear most often.

"...But it's so hard."  Of course it's hard.  You're making a full-on lifestyle change.  There is nothing easy about that.  However, if you really want to make a change, you'll find a way to make it happen.  I used to drink maple syrup when I couldn't find anything sweet to eat in the house.  I quit sugar last year.  Was it hard?  Hell yes, it was hard.  But if I can do it, anyone can.  I have no willpower.  This was a big move for me.  And you know what?  Not only do I feel better, look better, and perform better for it, but I don't have my sugar cravings any more, and I can actually have one bite of cake and be fine (instead of eating the whole slice and wanting more like I used to).  

"I don't have time/money."  I start work at 5:30AM and finish at 8PM (with a 4 hour break in between, more or less depending on the day). I go to school 9 hours per week, am working on a research paper and a book, sing in an a cappella group, and take care of 4 furry children.  And I am not a rich woman.  I still manage an extremely healthy diet and regular exercise.  Staying healthy doesn't mean expensive gym memberships, hours of training, high grocery bills, or being a gourmet chef.   It means prioritizing your health and making it happen.  I've become the master of the slow cooker, as well as the 10 minute meal, and the food is always really good.   Sometimes I have 10 minutes to work out, and sometimes I have 30.  I make the most of the time I have and just get it done.   It's amazing what multi-joint exercises like squats, kettlebell swings, pushups, burpees, pullups, lunges, and so on can do in a very short amount of time.

"But I like (insert name of crappy food here)"  If you like said crappy food more than you like your health, and if eating said crappy food is more important to you than the fitness goals you've set for yourself, then by all means, eat it all day long.  No one's going to stop you.  But if you want results, you have to make the change.  No one says you can never, ever eat the things you love.  Just save the junk for very special occasions, and learn to love foods that promote health instead of detract from it.

I'm not anything special, and I am most certainly not a natural athlete or naturally thin.  I just make time for what's important.  If you're reading this blog, I assume you're at least somewhat interested in making a change for the better in your life.  So instead of wasting your time finding reasons why you can't, why not compile a great big list of reasons why you can, and how you will?

You really have no excuse.