fitness

Why Nutrition Coaching Could Help You Get Unstuck

Peas_n-Carrots

A big thanks to my peer coaching partner, Robin Tinay-Potter, for collaborating with me and co-authoring this blogpost.  When she’s not hiking the scenic mountains of Lake Tahoe or working up a sweat in hot yoga, you can find her HERE.   Jump down to the bottom of this post to read more about an upcoming coaching project Robin and I are developing for you.


Have you ever thought to yourself: 

    “I really need a nutrition coach RIGHT NOW!”?  

Nope, me neither.

What I did say was:

     “I *think* I am eating right, and I am exercising, but I can’t seem to figure out why my body isn’t changing like I had hoped”

Flashback to 2012.  I has just become a personal trainer.  And I had hired a personal trainer to train me in the gym.  And I was studying to become a nutrition coach.  

Each week, I would lift weights two or three times.  Each day, I would eat several healthy meals based on what I read in my nutrition coaching textbook.  

I kept records and charts of my meals: the food item, the quantity, what time I am, and so on.  I’m a bit of a nerd, so I tracked everything on a spreadsheet and a calendar.   

And I was stuck.  All of my methods of measuring for change (scale, jeans, caliper, mirror) were showing very little movement.  I mean, I had changed some, but I had reached a point where I was not seeing the results.  I was working really hard and was thoroughly frustrated.

Which finally brought me to my next step:  getting over myself and asking for help.  

I needed someone to look over what I was doing and see what I was not seeing.  I needed someone who had some experience (more than me) with nutrition.  And most of all, I needed someone to guide me out of this stuck place and help me find my way to my end goal.

That’s really what a nutrition coach is - someone with knowledge about nutrition, but more importantly about helping you find your way towards making change especially when you are feeling stuck.  

What about you?  Have you ever said anything like:

  1. “I’ve done all the right things, but I’m not getting the results I want.”
  2. “I exercise and eat pretty well, but it isn’t enough and I don’t know what else to do.”
  3. “I know what to do, but I seem to sabotage myself…”
  4. “I know I shouldn’t, but I find myself snacking before bed even though I’m not really hungry.”
  5. “I do great during the week, but on the weekends I go off the rails a bit.”
  6. “I need accountability.”
  7. “I don’t have the support I need at home.”

Maybe you need more accountability or support, or just a another set of eyes on your page. 

A nutrition coach is much like a tour guide.  You are the one in charge of the destination.  They are there to show you the path with options to side roads, scenic detours, the “long way around” and shortcuts.  They help you avoid the major pitfalls, and offer you some tools (a virtual Swiss army knife, if you will) if you do get stuck in one place.  They are up ahead just a bit, so they are able to see the big picture and your potential.  They offer encouragement, support and insight, as someone who is observing (but not judging) your process.  

hiking guide

Okay, so now you are thinking:

“Perhaps I could use a little bit of help here, but what should I look for?”

Here are a few suggestions when making a decision about who to work with when you are looking for a nutrition coach:

  • They have experience, education, and passion for helping others
  • They ask questions specific to your circumstances, goals, desires, and challenges
  • You can be honest, open, and authentic with your Coach
  • They offer unique and personalized coaching practices that resonate with you
  • You feel heard, understood, and are receiving coaching that empowers you to meet your highest goals
  • You feel better after your session than you did when you began

“But wait,” you say, “There are so many fitness experts out there telling me nutrition stuff, how do I know what’s right for me?”

Here are few ideas of what you might be wary of these scenarios when searching for your Nutrition Coach:

  • Specific foods you have to eat or completely eliminate from your menu
  • Canned messages or statements designed to coach to the masses instead of giving you a personalized plan to help you meet YOUR goals
  • Promises that you will lose X amount of weight in a certain amount of time
  • Protocols that require you to use supplements
  • Complicated recipes or workout routines in order to comply with their program
  • Feeling worse after your session than you did when you began

The biggest difference is product vs. process . . . sales vs. self-efficacy.   Other coaches may just be focused on selling you products or cookie-cutter programs. A reputable Nutrition Coach’s focus is on helping you change your behaviors to reach your highest version of yourself through an interactive conversational process. 

Others may want you to develop dependence on them and their products.  A professional Nutrition Coach wants you to develop confidence, self-awareness and autonomy.

Still wondering if having a Nutrition Coach might be right for you?  Ask yourself these questions:

>What do I need right now to move forward?

>Do I need support, accountability, encouragement, solid information, guidance through a plan?

>How would I feel if I were not alone in this process of figuring out what’s right for me, my health, my body?

>What might it be like to have an expert guide to help me reach my health and wellness goals?

 

The truth is, there is hardly anything that we truly accomplish alone; we all need help, support and encouragement.

clasped hands

Do you still have some questions?  We have answers for you… FREE!  Come FitChat!

Robin and I will be hosting a LIVE ONLINE Q&A Session about fitness and nutrition coming up on Thursday October 20th at 8:30pm CST.   Please join us!

Click HERE for more details and SIGN UP NOW!

I Triple-Dawg Dare You . . . (From Fear to Clear Headed-ness)

I When my best friend Michele told me about Sky Candy, an aerial gym that offered classes, I never thought that one day it would be my playground.  She had been taking classes for a bit, and her tales of learning, getting stronger enthralled me.  Plus, her newfound confidence was tangible.

I wasn’t sure I was ready, strong enough.  But then the idea sat in my head.  It bloomed, it percolated, it grew into more than a possibility and yet something that scared me a little bit.

Do It Anyway,came a little whisper out of my mind.  Not sure from where.  Most of my inner dialogue voices were usually naysayers, Negative Nancy’s, Debbie Downers or Drill Sergeants who yelled whenever I moved.

So I did what I do best: I kept my promise to my friend that I would try, and I showed up for a semi-private lesson to learn the trapeze.  Michele was there, smiling calmly, and she introduced me to our instructor, Joanna.  The warm-up had not even started but I was already sweating.

“What are you doing here?  Are you sure you are up for this?”  My self-talk critics were alarmed, in protection-mode.  I did the warm-up exercises, trying to listen to my body instead of my mind.  Okay, now I was warm, sweaty and breathing hard.  Too hard to hear any cautionary announcements from my fear.

The trapeze bar looked innocuous enough: a wooden dowel wrapped with grip-tape suspended by rope secured to a I-beam-ed ceiling, about 5 feet of the ground with a big red gymnastics “crash” pad underneath.  For a moment, it took me back to being a kid who liked to climb trees.  It was just a small strong limb awaiting a climber.

“Okay, so you are going to grab on here, then put your legs up here like this,” said Joanna, in her soothing voice.  As the 60 minutes would tick away, I learned that she was the Mother Theresa of aerial arts.  Always serene, a deep thinker, able to prod you to your best with just a kind word.  She wore a form-fitting tshirt, leggings and socks.  For some reason her striped knee-high socks made her more approachable and trustworthy.

First she demonstrated the movement, explaining along the way where your hands, knees, feet or whatever body part needed to be.  She made it look so easy.  She was strong in a different way that I had seen in my experience in yoga classes or weight rooms.  I liked it.

My friend went first and did well.  Her months of lessons were evidenced by her skill level and control.

I could hear Team Negative in my head slipping into comparison and self-judgement:  “Oh, so you think you can do that?  She is so much better than you.  There is no way you can get close to what they can do.”

Fortunately, Joanna’s reassuring voice pre-empted their verbal take-down: “Okay, Laura, are you ready to give it a try?  You are going to be great.”

Sit down and shut up. I am going to do this,” I said to my internal skeptics.

Yikes!  I am upside down.  And it is okay.  Wait, it is more than okay.  It is fun!  A few more coaching cues, and presto, I was up, above the ground, sitting on the trapeze.

“This seemed a lot harder in my mind,”  said my mind to myself.  “But it is not.  Dare I say, it is kinda easy.”

Ponder…ponder….

Back to the lesson:  “okay, lean back, slide back, one foot on the bar while bending your knee, press into that and stand up,” Joanna coached.

Bam!  I am standing up.  On just my toes.  Clinging tightly to the sides of this adult-sized swing, the rope that connect to the trapeze bar.  Looking out over the gym.  And completely amazed.

“You are really doing this.”

“I knooooooow!”

“And you are liking this.”

“I am!”

“And you are good at this.”

“You are right!”

(just a small conversation between my Inner Caretaker and myself.)

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I felt like a little kid and yet a superhero all at once.  Playful yet powerful.  Silly yet cape-wearing serious.

I had clarity:  I was experiencing the unbelievable freedom of trusting my body and its strength to do this thing that I had dreamed about only a few months ago.  Not just trusting, but noticing and celebrating, and even daring my capable machine of muscle, bone and balance to do more.

“Okay, Joanna, show me something else.  I am ready.” I said, certain that I was.