If you are reading this, you are probably curious about my personal approach to fitness training and nutrition coaching as well as how long you will have to work with me to get results or reach your goals. I address how long later in this post, beyond that, here are other things you can expect when training with me.
When you start working with me, I will have already sent your intake forms to fill out — Medical History, Physical Activity Readiness, and a questionnaire to give me an idea of what your sleep, stress, current activity level, work life, social life and more look like. Your answers give me a jumping off point for our initial session. I will have also sent you a Welcome Packet that lays out my policies and procedures.
During the first session we go through a short total-body workout to establish a baseline, to help me learn what exercises you like and dislike, and what exercises are difficult or awkward to perform. The rest of the time we spend talking about what has brought you to me, past successes and failures, current struggles, and your goals and how quickly you want to achieve those goals. Many women that want to look and feel better in their bodies experience lack of time for exercise or preparing meals, lack of energy for exercise or preparing meals, lack of finances for monthly memberships or working with a trainer or purchasing supplements, lack of support from family members or spouses, confusion due to conflicting or unrealistic information, feelings of overwhelm and frustration, feeling stressed and stuck, or are in a cycle of making progress, falling off track, and starting over.
Personal training is a new career for me. I chose this path for selfish reasons, I wanted to end my decades-long struggle with my weight and body image and become a positive influence for my daughters. Becoming a mother added a new set of struggles with my body image and weight. I found it hard to find time, motivation, and energy to change my body and my habits and take care of my family and work. I also resisted spending money on programs and hiring trainers or coaches when struggles were looked at as a willpower or motivation problem or that obstacles were viewed as excuses.
I hold my Personal Training Certification through National Academy of Sports Medicine. I have completed additional certifications in Women’s Fitness (Girls Gone Strong & NASM), Pre and Postnatal Fitness (Girls Gone Strong), Corrective Exercises (NASM), Fitness Nutrition (NASM & Precision Nutrition), Youth Exercise (NASM), and Behavior Change (NASM). Completing these specializations taught me that my struggles were not because of lack of motivation or willpower, but very real roadblocks that many women and mothers encounter.
To help you overcome the roadblocks you are facing to improve how you look and feel in your body, we sometimes focus on habits unrelated to what you are eating or how often you exercise. Coaching has a forward focus — habits, behaviors, thinking patterns, etc. that can be altered or changed right away. In order to move forward, we do spend some time discussing past experiences and how they factor into what you are currently doing or what is keeping you stuck.
Through my training, I’ve learned principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy that have been adapted for coaching. CBT is about changing how you think and act in order to live a more fulfilling life (not solely focus on exercising and eating) AND reach your goals. ACT encourages us to become more aware of our thinking, feeling, and behaving, and note how this either helps or hinders our efforts to meet our goals. ACT helps us determine if we need to give a habit our immediate attention, or if we can accept it for what it is while learning to make behavioral changes.
CBT and ACT are part of the puzzle for creating change. Research shows it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to create a new habit. If you were to practice one habit daily, it could take roughly 8 months to make that habit stick — EIGHT! The reason it may take upwards of eight months is because our habits are influenced by money, time, our personality traits, our attitudes, our upbringing, the amount of support we have, the roles we occupy, and so on. I recommend starting out with one or two sessions per week, or at most, one session every other week for three to eight months.
I am a proactive and collaborative coach, versus a do-as-I-say coach. This may seem counterintuitive to collaborate with clients, but I want to gain insight to what is holding you back, understand how you operate, or simply understand your world before assigning meaningless or unrealistic tasks for your situation. Tasks may include getting outside and playing with your kids for 20 minutes, it may include creating a self-care practice, it may include bringing awareness to your daily habits, it may include asking your partner or family members for help, exercising for additional 5 minutes, etc.
My personality works well with people who are introspective and ready to take steps to learn and grow. I work best with clients that have multiple or competing priorities, those looking to create a healthier lifestyle, and mothers of three or more children — this last one, because I’m raising four and I survived having a baby and a toddler at the same time, twice. I use humor to get through hard situations. I do not take offense or judge you for complaining or venting — in fact, I encourage you to get it out. I share my insights and interpretations readily to see if they resonate with you. I offer in-person (temporarily suspended) session in the lower level of my home or we can do sessions virtually or we can choose a hybrid of in-person and virtual. If you need a more cost-effective solution, I offer virtual challenge groups where you can surround yourself with others that also have a goal of improving their wellness (and hopefully find encouragement and support). I run these challenges a few months out of the year, based on interest.
Hopefully this post has been useful in explaining my personal approach to wellness coaching and training. If I sound like a good fit, please reach out! Until next time, I remain the Woman that learned to love myself through fitness and says, Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Also, like my facebook page for updates.
This blog is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis and should in no way replace consultation with a medical professional. If you try this advice and it does not work for you, you cannot sue me. This is only my opinion, based on my background, training, and experience as a woman, mother, personal trainer, and coach.