After 12 years of personal training, I have seen many successes. In fact, I witness successes every week. Whether it’s a a client telling me she is getting better at her weekly tai chi classes or a client eager to tell me how he stretched every day this week or a lower number on the scale, I see it all. I LOVE hearing about how my clients did their “homework” and they see it actually helping their situation. You would think because these success happen every week I would be used to it by now. In someways, I am. But this week marks a success I have seen few, if any, people achieve. Mary (not her real name) has lost 77 pounds in 1 years time AND tracked EVERY. SINGLE. morsel of food she ate for 365 day.
The most amazing thing about the past year is not the number on the scale… although that alone is a huge accomplishment. It is the transformation I have seen in her self confidence over this time. When we first met, she told me that her goal was to lose weight and get in better shape to deal with the puppy she would be getting in the Spring. We spoke extensively about what her concerns were (knee issues, not wanting to lift weights, not wanting to join a gym) and managed to come up with a plan of meeting for 30 minutes twice a week at her home. She was also to log all of her food and allow me to view her food diary.
Things started off great in the food department. She adhered to her calorie goal and rarely, if ever, was more than 100 calories from the goal. Exercise was a different story. She had never really exercised, let alone worked with a trainer, so she was very aprhensive about letting me see her in any position besides standing or sitting. I, obviously, designed workouts to respect her wishes while getting the most we could out of the 30 minutes.
During those early months of workouts, I could see her lack of self confidence effect her opinion of whether or not she could perform an exercise at each one of our sessions. She said she would try different exercises but only did so after I left. About 6 months after we first started, I began to see little snippets of confidence. She had tried to get down on the floor early in our sessions but it proved too difficult. Now, six months later, she was emailing me about how she felt when she was doing her floor exercises and about different exercises she wanted to try! During this entire time she was losing weight consistently. Every 10 days she would weight herself at the same scale at her work and every 10 days she would report a drop in her weight.
Fast forward to today, 365 days after the first food was logged and the first exercise attempted. She is still logging her food and we are still trying new and more difficult exercises. Her confidence has grown so much in 1 year. She feels better about herself and is happy with the lifestyle changes she has made. When I brought up this milestone to her, she didn’t seem as impressed as I was. I think it is because she has finally accepted this as her new lifestyle. I think she wakes up in the morning knowing that her day consists of keeping track of her food and doing the prescribed exercises. Today was just another day to her. But to me, it was an accomplishment a year in the making.
I wish the general public could see stories like Mary’s. I wish they could see that to really lose weight and keep it off takes a lot of time and dedication. Shows like Biggest Loser are so popular because they show the quick fix that everyone seems to want. They make losing weight seem easy, fun and quick! Although losing weight can be easy and fun, the quick part is just dead wrong. You will only see results if you put in the time like Mary did.
So, congratulations to Mary. I couldn’t possibly be more honored to have joined her on this fantastic journey!