Trust

School is over. The first powerlifting competition is in two weeks. What next?

I have a good relationship with my coach, so I let him choose. If you don’t have the kind of coach you could trust with your body, find a new one. Seriously. He’s certified, degree’d, and committed to holistic well-being. We’ve spent more than (2 hrs * 4 weeks * 4 months) + (3 hrs * 4 weeks * 6 months) together and he knows me fairly well. He was also spot-on with his lift estimates for my first meet, even with my wacko eating, stress, and sleeping the last semester of school. We committed to eighteen months. If I had eighteen months to spend on a goal, what should it be?

He chose body transformation with a sprinkle of powerlifting for interest. We agreed to blog both sides of the quest over at groundedsc.com, because AO is also my business partner. My blog is about my stuff, the emotional and mental game, and my response to coaching. His blog is about working with a difficult client on a challenging goal, e.g. balancing the calorie deficits required for fat loss while increasing muscle mass and maintaining powerlifting performance.

You’ll be a different person in eighteen months. So will I.

Body transformation is an ambitious goal. In theory and in practice, I understand nutrition, change psychology, habit formation, blah, blah, blah, so AO has stayed out my nutrition struggles. He’s the CSCS, I’m the LMSW. We have scopes of practice, but I’m having trouble settling into consistent eating habits and my weight loss is stalled. He’s gently insisting on a higher level of accountability because as a client I am back to knowing and not doing. I thought I could count macros and cut once school was out and I was so wrong. As long as I am still inhaling chips and guac or treating myself to a burger and fries this often, he can’t do his job. He is very good at his job.

The plan at the moment is to use Precision Nutrition‘s ProCoach system to manage my return to sane, consistent eating. It will lead me back through thirteen evidence-based habits, while I reflect on what’s important to me and any barriers I experience. On the movement side, AO is anticipating an eighteen-month macro cycle composed of four meso cycles, each of which will culminate in a powerlifting meet. Each meso cycle consists of a fat loss, hypertrophy, and strength microcycle. I’m glad he’s doing the spreadsheet because it hurt my brain just to construct the sentences.

We are also avoiding setting any end-game goals. It was his idea to set micro-goals as we go and not look too far ahead. I suspect, however, he will set secret goals. His eyes lit up and he got a vision when he thought about me being a different person, I saw the thought run across his forehead. We don’t care so much about the scale as we do body-fat and tape measurements. The scale will move, but weight loss isn’t a linear process and I care less about how much I weigh than how much weight I can push or pull. I ordered an inexpensive at-home body-fat BIA device which may not have high validity but should have good reliability.

If you can’t do this with your coach/trainer, find a new one. You deserve better.

 

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What’s Holding You Back?

Sunlight Falling On Wooden Fence

Yesterday I had a conversation with a client. There are goals he wants to achieve, he has solid reasons for working toward those goals, and every day it falls apart in the noise of day-to-day life.

“What’s holding you back?” I asked.

“Me.”

“Ah.” He’s flips between insight and haze, like all of us. He knows what he has to do to get the thing he wants, which leads to the larger goal. He’s smart like that. “Can you go 30 days without [the thing]? Just 30 days?” I ask. At this point my own issues are peeking over the therapeutic fence. Could I go 30 days without my thing? There are goals I want to achieve, solid reasons for working toward those goals, and every day it falls apart in the noise of day-to-day life. Then comes the judgement call. Is this one of those points where I draw the parallel out loud, do the self-disclosure, and see where it takes us?

Yep. On the day before Thanksgiving, I committed to 30 days without processed carbohydrates. On one hand, I didn’t think this through. I am making pies today. However, I have eaten cake, fancy coffees, breads, chips, and french fries in the last few weeks. Pies are not that special this month.

Isn’t that the problem? Today is special because I don’t feel well, I feel great, I’m mourning, I’m celebrating, I’m anxious, I’m not anxious. Just like my client.

Today is Day 1.

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