The Biggest Mistake People Make with Weight Loss

 

With the rates of obesity and type two diabetes at an all-time high, many people begin to look for ways to lose weight. Weight loss is always an area that most people tend to focus on when they begin training. Though this is such a broad topic to discuss because of all the components that make up weight loss like exercise, nutrition, habits, etc. Many people make this one simple, yet crucial mistake when they begin their journey on a healthier life.

 

What mistake is it that everyone makes when they start? Comparison. Often times people compare themselves amongst others. This is a large mistake that people make when they begin training or better eating habits. They go on social media and see all these “Fitness Guru’s” doing insane exercises and having strict diets. This seems very appealing to those who are new, yet they aren’t ready for these types of exercises or nutritional habits yet.

 

Comparison is such an ugly thing, you often hear phrases such as “I saw on Instagram (Insert IG fitness person) doing 48-inch box jumps followed by 100 crunches finished with 45 minutes of high intensity cardio, so I’m going to do that today also”. If you are new to training or haven’t trained in years, this is going to be very challenging to do. Trying to imitate what you see on social media is very difficult, because most times you just aren’t ready for such activities.

 

When we see fitness based accounts on social media it’s usually very fit people who are barely wearing any clothes (I’m guilty of the last part). We see these people doing crazy exercises or looking at what they are eating and we try to imitate what they are doing. We try to compare ourselves to them, not taking into consideration that they have put hours and years developing these skills and habits. So with human nature we try to imitate what we see and most times become unsuccessful.

 

We must remember that when we are beginning a new journey that we are NEW to it, we have not been doing it for as long as these other people have. We cannot compare ourselves to someone who has been running marathons their whole life, and get upset with running a 13-minute mile. We have to meet ourselves where we are, meaning if we haven’t gone on a run in five years, we cannot expect ourselves to finish a mile in under 10 minutes. Comparison is the unnecessary weight that holds us back from accomplishing our goals.

 

I am guilty of making this mistake also. We are human, it’s easy for us to want to be like someone who is where we want to be. We all have different genetics and different backgrounds. I made this mistake myself and saw my flaws in it, I am happy to accept who I am and where I am. I know that there is a lot of work that must be done to reach the goals I would like to accomplish and the way I can reach those goals is by making the appropriate steps.

 

 

Step One- Stop comparing yourself to people you see on social media. They have been doing this a lot longer than you have. This doesn’t mean you will never achieve what they do, this means you’re not ready yet. Take the time in learning easier exercises and simple eating habits, you must learn to crawl before you walk.

 

Step Two- Be proud of who you are and the fact that you are willing to make a change to better your health. People really miss this part, you’re doing something for YOU, be proud of going out of your comfort zone and wanting to live a healthier life. It’s a very challenging time learning to get into a fitness routine and new eating habits. Take your time and reward yourself with accomplishing small goals.

 

Step Three- Whether your goal is to weigh a certain amount or have a certain physic, love yourself. You are capable of accomplishing anything you want with a positive attitude and hard work. Don’t talk yourself out of going to the gym because you think people will judge you, be brave and experience new environments. EVERYBODY started the same way you did, scared and shy, no one was born in a gym knowing exactly what to do to get to their goals.

 

Hopefully this can aid you in the right direction of health and fitness. Remember you are unique in your own way. Look up to people and avoid trying to compare yourself to others, be proud of who you are and what you are doing. Love yourself and be patient, this is a long journey with no end point, just small stops.

The Curse of Knowledge

 

Beware of the curse of knowledge that haunts new and experienced coaches. Though this isn’t as severe as the Avada Kedavra curse in Harry Potter, it can have some negative consequences. How is being smart a bad thing? How can knowing a lot about something you’re very passionate about hurt business? Allow me to explain this to you from a firsthand experience with the dark lord himself (I’m not done referencing Harry Potter, so hang in there).

 

As new coaches we are so excited to share with the world how smart we are and how hard we have worked to learn these skills. We learn fun super science terms, muscles, exercises, corrections, the list goes on and on. Once we get our first client or group, we get into a routine of wanting to “WOW” these people with our new learned skills. Though this is a proud moment for us as coaches to have earned whatever education it is that we are teaching, we must pump the brakes before we start to lose people.

 

A prime example of the curse of knowledge is over coaching. I’m as guilty as Harry when he used magic outside of school, for being one to have over coached a client. Over coaching a client can be something we may not be aware of, but might be doing. A fine example of over coaching a client is giving them too much to think about when learning a new exercise. So remember how I said being super smart can be bad thing, here is how.

 

We know and understand how an exercise should look like and be instructed. We sometimes get so caught up in how to get a perfect squat or hinge, we end up giving the client far too many cues and end up confusing them. This not only frustrates you as a coach, but frustrates the client and ends up making them feel insecure about learning. So rather than trying to use every single cue you have so they can have a “perfect” squat, fix one thing at a time. This can range from set to set or even week to week or having them do a different variation of the exercise.

Clients do not have the body awareness that we do, they did not spend hours and hours learning what we know. Give them credit, encourage their progress to learning, and make it fun. Don’t be a Dolores Umbridge when you are coaching a client and expect them to have perfect technique and not make it fun. Instead be more like professor McGonagall, someone who expects hard work, but knows that they do not need to master the craft from the very start.

 

The curse of knowledge continues when you are not diverse with your coaching. New clients may find it challenging or difficult to move in new patterns that they aren’t use to, but there is a difference between not knowing how to do an exercise and being completely lost. When a client has no understanding of what you are asking them to do, then you are over coaching or not using the right cues. Not everyone is going to pick up on the same cue you use for each exercise. As coach you are a teacher of movement, as a teacher you need to understand that there are many ways people learn.

 

Teaching the squat may vary from telling someone how to squat, to showing them how to squat, or actually getting them into a position (if given permission) of a squat. This is your auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Be able to adapt your cueing from each of these learning types, this does take time when learning your craft. I advise taking your time watching other coaches coach, this will help with picking up on different ways they teach exercises you use.

 

Watching or learning from other coaches is completely underrated as a new coach or a coach with experience. Continuing to learn is what makes someone successful in any field. Once you get into a mindset of “Oh now I have this certification or this college degree, I am done with learning for good” you have just set yourself up for failure. One thing that I have taken away from every professional I have met is that they all continue to learn. Learn how to coach diversely and be like the bag that Hermione used the Extension Charm on (it’s a bag full of a bunch of stuff, like SO MUCH STUFF) to coach.

 

The curse of knowledge shows up when you try to use terminology used amongst other fitness professionals with your clients. For example, if I approach Ron on his squat and tell him “Ron that was a great squat, but during the eccentric phase of the lift you had some valgus knee going on and also some lumbar flexion, on your next set I want you to focus on externally rotating as you are coming up while maintaining an erect spine”. Terms like this should be used amongst those who know these terms, you know, like other fitness professionals, not clients. Instead say something more of the line of “Ron, that was a good squat, but I want to make it a little bit better. On your next set let’s think about turning your knees out as you are coming up and keeping the chest up to the ceiling.”

 

Talking with large terminology can be a surefire way of losing a client’s interest. Showing them that you know each muscle group and what muscle is causing what action with every exercise will be redundant. As a coach it is good to know these things, and occasionally sharing this information when it is necessary or when they ask you. Most times clients don’t even care, they just want to feel better or look better. Once you start using terms they do not know, they will be disengaged and feel inferior because they don’t know what you are saying. Avoid using terms that your clients won’t know, but from time to time sneak it in as a conversation starter for something.

 

Some clients may actually find the terminology interesting and would like to know exactly what muscle is doing what and why they are doing an exercise, in that case share with them your knowledge. 90% of the time when you work with clients, it won’t be about using cool terms you know or your understanding of the body, it’ll be about how their day has been, how their family is doing, what they are having for supper, etc. Your clients will always come first, do not talk down to them with your knowledge of your practice, instead learn about their life and their interests and talk about that. They are the reason we are here, share with them when necessary and educate properly.

 

In summary, it is great to be smart, but it can come at a cost if we do not know how to properly use this knowledge we have. Don’t over coach a client, not everyone is going to learn the same way, and client’s do not care how many cool words you know. Do not demand perfection, always continue to learn, and always listen rather than “WOW” a client with your cool terms. As you continue to coach and learn more with time, remember that too much information may come with a cost.

 

Five steps to a healthier life

Today we are fighting a constant battle of having a healthier life. With the rise of diabetes and obesity it’s up to us take care of our own health. There is so much information related to health and fitness that it is overwhelming at times. What I have provided is five simple steps you can take to better your health.

 

  1. Love yourself.

    We are our toughest critics; this is just human nature. We are always telling ourselves we are not good enough for this or incapable of accomplishing this and that. Rather than letting ourselves talk ourselves down, work on encouraging yourself and talking yourself up every day. Begin every day with a complement towards yourself, this can range from how you did your hair or reading the first chapter of a new book you’ve been wanting to read, self-encouragement leads to self-love.Often times we are left with the stigma of being selfish is a bad thing. I actually disagree, I encourage people to be selfish to an extent. We cannot make everyone happy, it is difficult to please everyone, so we find ourselves in a constant battle of putting ourselves last to make someone else happy. I’m not discouraging you from helping other people, but it can be very overwhelming pleasing everyone. Gather the courage to politely say no once in a while, this way you don’t always feel obligated to put yourself second.


  1. Move more. 

    There is a term that you may or may not be familiar with and that is “Active Sedentary”, so you are active during your day, but only for a set amount of time. So how can we add more movement into our day without over doing it? I always encourage five to ten minutes of movement every hour. I am guilty of being only active for my training sessions and going home to lie on my couch and read books or sit at my desk for quite some time working on projects or homework. So I began to notice the negative effect it was having on my posture and mobility, so I have combated my Active Sedentary lifestyle with movement every hour.Become more creative with how you can implement more movement into your day. This can be as simple as squatting down to look at the bottom of the pantry to sitting on the floor while you watch Netflix rather than sitting on the couch. Making slight adjustments as to how you do things begin to add more benefit for your health. A prime example is the one above of watching Netflix on the floor, you will be constantly moving around to find a comfortable position and not submitting to the comfy couch of sedentary.

     

  2. Eat for health. 

    Nutrition is such a tricky thing to speak about because everyone has a different approach, different eating habits, different diets, and so much more things. We often look at eating because we are hungry, bored, at a social event, emotional, etc. A factor that we overlook is that eating can be done for our health, the benefits of having a colorful nutritional intake is such an important factor to our health. Once we are able to eat for health and reap the benefits of what dense food and leaner meats can do for us, our lives become easier by ridding ourselves of the foods that give us a gross sluggish feeling after consumption.How can you begin to improve your health with food? Eating more fruits and vegetables along with leaner meats is the right answer, but let’s skip that answer and write in our own. Begin with making baby steps, I mean imagine we are in the womb and we are just kicking, that small of a step. So rather than bombarding yourself with a large amount of healthy foods you hate, just make one meal healthy out of your day and make that a habit for a week or two or until it gets easy, then move on to a new habit. I will be discussing habit changing in another article that will cover the process of a healthier eating.

  3. Hydrate yourself. 

    I’m actually shocked by the amount of water people don’t drink. I can write a whole book as to what the benefits of water consumption can do for you, but I’ll save that for a rainy day. Drinking an adequate amount of water daily helps with weight loss and feeling better. It reduces the amount of extra calories we take in from drinking pop (soda depending where you are from) and also provides energy to the muscles once they are hydrated.If you are someone who despises the taste of water let’s get creative and find ways to introduce it more frequently. I encourage teas or MIO’s to add into your water, this will help you get rid in the water you need, but making it look sexy with a hint of strawberry watermelon. Another way to incorporate more water and keep yourself hydrated is to start your day with a glass of water, this way you wake yourself up and start your day hydrated. Water is an essential and we need to push more into our days, invest in a water bottle and make it your best friend.

     

  4. Do something you love. 

    We are so busy with work, school, family, daily chores, and everything else we can find to put our time into. With our society always being on the go and hardly finding time to ourselves we put things we love doing aside and never get to them. I strongly encourage you to being to get a planner and plan your day out, with your day being planned out find a 15 minute to 60-minute block for yourself. This time block is to be made for yourself specifically to do something you really enjoy whether it be watching a TV show, reading a book, learning a new skill, etc. do something you love for yourself.When you begin to make time for yourself you’ll rekindle old feelings of self-appreciation by doing something you really love. Once you have found a time to make for yourself really enjoy what you are doing. This is a time set aside for yourself to relax and let go of the busy world that you are surrounded in. Doing something you love is like treating yourself daily with something that is needed for essential health.

 

There are many ways to lead a healthier life, but it all begins with you. Take the initiative to be living a healthier life. Having a healthier life doesn’t always need to revolve around fitness, it can also be related to your own mental health as well. Find one of these steps you really liked and begin to incorporate it in small doses to your life.