In my experience I have learned that often what many people would consider to be the most challenging cases, can in fact turn out to be the easiest and most rewarding clients to work with, let me explain…
Working with someone who is 6 stone overweight and diagnosed with diabetes is easy.
Working with a professional sportsman who has had a career threatening injury is easy.
Working with a popstar about to embark on a world tour is easy.
They may all sound like difficult subjects to work with, but the hardest problem to face when working with any client is in determining WHY they really want to change. With each of the clients listed above, they simply HAVE to make it happen.
The consequences of a diabetic not losing weight is catastrophic, daily medication, a hindered lifestyle and an early grave, that’s pretty strong motivation there!
The injured sportsman has only ever seen themselves as a professional sportsman, their whole identity is wrapped up in this image, and it’s not just something they do. If they can’t play then they lose a huge part of who they are.
The popstar about to embark on a sell-out tour simply has to be in the best physical shape, to look great, feel great and deliver winning performances night after night.
People that HAVE to achieve their goal generally DO.
The problem is with people that only kind of want to change…
I call these people comfortably uncomfortable. Being a few pounds overweight is comfortably uncomfortable. Losing a few pounds in order to fit into that dress of the pair of jeans would be nice, but it’s not a must. The effort required to step out of your comfort zone for something that you only kind of want often far outweighs the reward. That’s why working with someone 10 pounds overweight can actually become more challenging that someone who is 100 pounds overweight!
Weight may not be your issue but feeling old before your time may be your trigger. Not feeling as though you’re firing on all cylinders is something that we all experience from time to time and something that a lot of us just come to accept as uncomfortable. However, if someone guesses your age at 15 years older than you are, would this move you from kind of wanting to change to having to change?
Your motivation for change may have stemmed from health reasons. Have you accepted that your blood pressure, cholesterol, or even both are a bit on the high side? Do you wake up each morning with a body that aches and is void of any energy? It’s uncomfortable but you can deal with it for now, but what if I told you within the next five years you will be on eight different types of medication, even a short walk will leave you in agony and the quality of your life will completely diminish, how much would you really want to change?
These may all sound like extreme scenarios but they are very common occurrences. Far too many people choose to ignore the extra pounds creeping on, the aches and pains, the slightly elevated medical reports and the constant tiredness. They choose to ignore them or mask them with food, alcohol and medication for a few more years but inevitably this only makes things worse!
I use these stories to emphasise my point that a health and fitness journey isn’t about achieving that beach body in the next six weeks, it’s about being fitter, healthier, more alive and sexier in ten years’ time than you are today. The goal of this programme isn’t just to get you slightly uncomfortable it’s for you to recognise that this discomfort is the first step to making an impactful change. It’s about recognising that every day you make small choices to either lead an inactive, overweight, painful existence or a wonderfully alive, energetic and happy existence. `
The difference between kind of wanting something to happen and absolutely committing to change is the reason why you will fail or succeed with any kind of health and fitness programme.