I recently had a client do her scheduled weigh-in to check her progress since starting at the gym I work at. This is all very routine, they don’t even complain when they get on the scale anymore. She was down lots of inches and even lost a few pounds. Nothing but smiles and high-fives. But the story she told me after. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it. But no matter how many times I hear it, it makes the same impact on me every time.
It goes a little something like this: “I almost didn’t even come into the gym that first day. I pulled up extra early but then sat in my car. I had to talk myself into walking in the door that first day. I finally was able to convince myself that the only thing I had to lose was fat, after all it was free for those first 30 days. So I took the plunge”.
I’ve had no less than 10 clients tell me this exact same story. Breaks my heart every time, because it’s a story I carry as well.
Let’s go back to that first day. We had a grand opening celebration. Everyone was there. Super fit women who had lost 10 to even 80+ pounds working out at other gym locations. Lean, strong, fit, and stunning. I suddenly felt like I didn’t belong. That I was going to be laughed at. Sure I’m strong but let’s be honest, I’m no bikini model. I was super self conscious and felt immediately like a fraud. I remember thinking no one was going to take me seriously, how am I going to motivate people that already look better than me? How am I going to stand at the front of a room and expect people to believe I have the knowledge or skill to help them in their journey when I can’t even get my own shit together to look the way I want to?
These feelings creep up often lately. Many of my clients are dropping fat like it’s their job. I’m amazed, impressed and again, I sometimes feel like a fraud. I’ve been super stressed with my change of career choices and it’s been causing me to forget to eat, over eat, stress eat, emotionally breakdown eat… you know the usual reasons we eat outside of being hungry. Yeah, I make less than the poverty level right now as a coach (real life right here people). But I am not in this business to be rich. It’s my passion. It energizes me, gives me meaning, purpose and seriously lights my soul on fire. It is my oxygen. But I often feel like I don’t have what it takes to be good at this long term. I absolutely HATE being salesy. I typically want to give everything away for free because I truly believe that everyone deserves to feel f’n fantastic, all the time! No one should be afraid to walk in a gym or get judged for walking into the “healthy” grocery store or get crazy looks for taking a few minutes to read over an ingredient label.
My perceptions are quite honestly holding me back, but I refuse to let them define me. I am strong. I’m a damn good coach, and I’m 100% committed to helping others reach their goals and achieve great health. My clients often pull me aside and ask me how I got such strong arms and how they can build their ass to look like mine. These were all the things I was worried about people judging me for in those first few days.
I’ve had online training clients tell me that even through injury they are able to maintain their exercise and fitness levels and weight. Considering my workouts are only 15-20 minutes each, I had started doubting the methods. I started thinking well this method works for me but maybe not everyone.
I’ve had clients walking up to me and tell me that my meal plans make their life easier and it’s why they can continue to eat healthy without going crazy, even though I was convinced they weren’t really helping anyone.
What’s the point of all of this? We are our biggest critics. We often have these insane, intense conversations where we convince ourselves that we are not worth the end goal. Somehow everyone in the world besides ourselves is deserving. Our perceptions of what we think is the truth and what actually is, is often clouded with our own self-doubts. We sometimes don’t even let others in to give their honest to God feedback. Push it aside, ignore it, thinking it’s not true.
I tell my ladies if someone gives you a compliment, you better take it, own it, and respond back “thank you” with a big confident smile. It’s not our job to be self depreciating and let the person complimenting us know that we are not “perfect” yet so therefore don’t deserve a compliment. When exactly in your life have you ever felt perfect?
I often look back at old pictures and say “damn I looked so good there”. I have a feeling that in 10 years I will be looking back at the pictures of today and be thinking the same thing. As for now, I will look for others to inspire, lift me up and help me find the positive when all I can see is flaws. I must insist that you do the same thing.
What About You?
- Have you ever talked yourself out of something because of the story you’ve been telling yourself?
- What about the opposite. Have you ever overcome the story you’ve been telling yourself and done it anyway? How did it turn out?