I have a client who hired a dozen different personal trainers before she found me.
She tried just about every diet you can think of too.
Every time she "got on a kick" she'd tell herself, "This is the time I'm finally going to get in shape and lose the weight."
HOW SHE GOT OFF THE "WEIGHT-LOSS ROLLERCOASTER"
In hindsight, it wasn't hiring someone excellent at exercise prescription that changed her life.
What made this time different? A lot actually. You can see her remarkable story here.
In short, it wasn't until she changed her thinking and started going to work on herself, that she started getting real results.
CAN YOU RELATE TO ANY OF THESE?
You hired a personal trainer or nutritionist and wound up with little to show for it?
You followed the advice of your doctor and ended up you're right where you started?
You assume those who maintain a healthy weight must have won the genetic lottery?
You wonder if being overweight is meant to be?
A BIT OF ENCOURAGEMENT -- DON'T YOU DARE GIVE UP
If you've made investments that didn't pan out, chin up, you're an action taker.
You're not one to just sit on the sidelines, and live with the regret of not trying.
You know a better life is possible.
You've seen the stories of people who've changed.
You instinctively know the worst thing you could do is not invest in your health.
Before I give you some tips to invest wisely in the next specialist you hire, let me first make...
A HUMBLE ATTEMPT TO OFFER SOME PERSPECTIVE
Your body is not the problem.
Check out this picture. It's a crowded beach in the US in the year 1976.
Besides noting the fact that men's bathing suits have definitely improved (sheesh!), can you find an overweight person in that picture?
Now, compare the above image to your memory of your most recent trip to the mall, or airport, or your church?
It's striking isn't it?
HERE'S THE REALITY
Human physiology didn't dramatically change in the last 43 years.
Human nature is still the same. We didn't stop caring about our health.
We were born into a world that changed way faster than our bodies could keep up.
We were also born into a world where specialization and good marketing wins the day.
What's blocking your weight loss is you haven't figured out 1) what has changed, 2) who to listen to, or 3) how to "opt-out" of bad systems.
In today's world, the more mysterious a problem seems, the more we default to looking for a specialist to help us find our way. The problem is, specialists tunnel.
WHY YOUR SPECIALIST HASN'T GOTTEN YOU RESULTS
Don't get me wrong, specialists like trainers, doctors, etc. have an important role to play.
But, most health gurus spend their time fixated on a very small part of a much larger puzzle.
Spending your time (and hard-earned money) with the hope that a specialist can illuminate and solve what's blocking your health, is to give them too much credit.
A specialist (like a personal trainer, nutritionist, or doctor) can't solve your weight-loss problems any more than a sheriff can cure crime.
Because there are just too many variables outside his or her awareness, skill set, and control.
Here's what I'm talking about:
Creating a health breakthrough requires a skill set most specialists are not trained in.
THE THREE THINGS IT TAKES TO CHANGE
For the longest time, I was under the illusion that to become a successful weight loss coach, I just needed to specialize more, to learn more about the body, and become a better teacher.
As it turns out, what I really needed was to take all the specialized knowledge I worked so hard for, and marry it with two other things. 1) a deep understanding of human nature, and 2) a system for helping people who are ready, walk through the process of change.
It turns out, the way to become an effective weight-loss coach, was to become a master generalist.
To be successful at fostering body transformation, I eventually realized, I have to focus on the whole human.
In other words, I have to help people not just address the biology of change, but also the life stuff--the systems, motivation, excuses, overwhelm, the glitches, the accountability, and the education gaps.
The real-life issues are where weight loss always gets bogged down.
INVESTING WISELY IN SPECIALISTS
None of the above is to meant say a specialist is a bad investment.
But, what it is meant to say is that you'd probably do well with some expectation management, and some careful interviewing before you hire one.
Here are some gut-check questions you can ask yourself to see if you're really ready to roll up your sleeves and put in the work...or if another specialist is likely to be a waste of money.
Am I prepared for the reality that what I think is my biggest challenge to losing weight is not actually the heart of the matter?
Am I prepared for the likelihood that I have some false narratives I've been believing, and that those false beliefs are holding me back?
How much am I really committed to educating myself and becoming a student of healthy living?
If I found out I actually need to renovate my lifestyle in a significant way, am I willing to do it?
If this takes longer than I want to get results am I still committed to the long haul?
What will make this time different from my past attempts to lose weight?
How you answers those, in my mind, should have a lot to do with the timing of when to hire your next guru.
INTERVIEWING A SPECIALIST
If you're in the market for a good specialist, here are a few important variables to try to get a sense of when looking for one:
Do they think holistically?
Are they humble?
Do they see themselves as a member of team you?
Will they welcome your tough questions, or get annoyed by them?
If you don't get results, will he or she blame you, or help you figure out what's missing?
Do they have a track record of success with people like you?
How broad is there skill set and how helpful might their network of professionals be?
While fitness coaching, nutrition plans, or other guidance can be a stepping stone that eventually leads to a healthier lifestyle, if you don't have your eye on the big picture, the piecemeal approach will likely be a long road with a ton of frustration.
Remember the big circle. That's where the biggest breakthroughs are likely to come.
Stay focused on learning what you don't know, and think of the process as an upward spiral.
Start small. Work to make consistency your superpower, and be kind to yourself.
You can do this.
Here's to hiring well, and spending more time on the what will actually move the needle.
Until next time,
PS. Have a comment or question, feel free to hit me up at email@example.com or you can check out a training I recorded where you can see how we approach weight loss differently...and why it works!