Last week I had a good ‘catch up’ call with a client talking about making some changes to assist in her weight loss journey.
She was concerned that her alcohol consumption on a the weekend may be the issue holding her back from doing ‘better’.
Here’s where the coaching element comes into this.
Does the alcohol provide a net positive for my client or is it a negative?
Of course alcohol is a negative component of any diet but my client is a busy women, she has kids, a full time job and a social life.
She loves nothing more after a long week at work to relax in the hot tub with a few beers and a glass of vino with her husband.
With regards to calories, perhaps sometimes the alcohol puts her over her daily threshold, but not enough to offset the work she has done in the week to achieve her goals.
Would changing that habit, as many coaches will do, hamper her progress?
In my opinion –
This is time for her to unwind, relax and enjoy the things in life that make it all easier.
To share the burden of the work week and enjoy time with her husband.
Cutting out the things that you like to do is a fools plan and something that will lead to frustration, guilt and ultimately failure in achieving long term goals because adherence becomes so much harder.
With that failure comes the likelihood that you won’t try to achieve the goal of weight loss again.
There’s plenty of research to back that up and ultimately it’s one of the reasons why trying a quick solution to fat loss is such a bad idea.
When you ultimately put the weight back on you further progress into that ‘what’s the point’ mindset.
It’s important to make the right choices for your clients and try to assist them in finding a path that will guide them to long term solutions.
To do this for yourself takes a little self critique.
You have to be aware of your emotions, what’s driving your goals, the work ethic towards those goals and understanding some of your own personal psychology.
For example, if you’re an ‘all or nothing’ kind of person you’re more likely to make the large wholesale changes that will make big differences yes, but in the long term you’ll likely struggle to maintain a diet that is aggressive and rigid without the flexibility to enjoy the good things in life.
Ultimately you have to check yourself and weigh up the pros and cons of the decision you’re about to make.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice the short term results for the long term.
You have to ask yourself the questions –
Why am I making this choice?
Will this help me adhere to my diet?
Will this add extra stress to my day or week?
Am I being impatient and expecting results too quickly?
Is what I am currently doing enough to get me to my goals?
Can I really expect myself to maintain this behaviour?
Only after weighing up the options should you consider taking on such lifestyle change.
Perhaps consider smaller changes that don’t impact your life quite so much.
Maybe find some exercise you like and do it regularly. Upping your step count per day. Getting off the phone and getting outside more often.
Coaching is a matter of knowing your client and guiding them to the best decisions for their own personal circumstances. It’s not about making choices that get you to your targets as fast as possible.
P.S. Next time you consider weight loss or making changes to your lifestyle run through the questions above, be honest with yourself and see what the outcome is.