2016 was quite the year. A year of growth, a year of struggle, and a year of helping positively impact and change lives through my health and fitness programs. I pride myself on emphasizing the “personal” in my profession as an Online Personal Trainer. I do my best to provide clear communication with my clients so I can understand their wants, needs, and goals. I create a deep relationship with my clients by listening to them, understanding their struggles, and meeting them where they are at. Reflecting back on the year, I have compiled 12 lessons I learned from coaching client this year.

*Some of these I have already known to be true in the previous years, I just now have more validation that these really work.

1. Eating a sufficient amount of protein really works. Not only does it help with improved body composition, but it helps people feel more full and satiated even when dieting, which makes adherence to the plan consistent, which leads to results.

2. Once my clients start drinking more water, they feel better, they have more energy, they lose weight, and they’re more likely to stick to their nutritional protocol. Who would’ve thought?

3. Meeting people where they’re at when starting their health and fitness journey is crucial. Everyone is different. We are all on different fitness levels and relationships with food. Some are already exercising whiles others haven’t touched a weight in their life. Some understand nutrition while others don’t even know what a good source of protein is. It’s important to listen to my clients, understand where they are at currently, and start there.

4. When they stick to the program, they see results. Every damn time. This program works. And it works extremely well. I provide, educate, and teach my clients the tools and strategies they need to be successful. The hard part is implementation. Any trainer can hand out a workout program and meal plan and send a client on their way. But how effect is it? Not very. We understand that everyone is busy. We are all on different schedules. Life happens, and things come up. This is why meal plans don’t work in the long term. They just aren’t realistic in every day life for most people. My job as a coach is to help mold these healthy habit based nutrition strategies to fit into my clients everyday life. Sure, it’s going to take work and effort. By I help them make this as easy as possible to implement into their daily lives so they can focus more of their efforts on the more important things in their lives like their family, kids, and jobs.

5. Most don’t need to do any actual cardio sessions to lose weight. I have a “step goal” for my clients to hit daily to ensure they are moving around enough during the day to burn extra calories, instead of slaying away for hours on a cardio machine. They simply walk more, that’s it. It’s the easiest way to lose weight.

6. Building strong muscles in the gym builds confidence. This confidence is directly correlated and transfers to my clients every day life. They are more confident with themselves… at work, at home, with their spouse, with their friends, and just all the time. This is much more than just training and nutrition… this program is a healthy lifestyle transformation.

7. When I teach clients that they really can have any food they want, with no restriction and still lose weight, it’s extremely liberating. Once they take the restriction off and allow themselves to have these certain “forbidden” or “bad” foods they have been restricting for so long, the cravings for those foods seem to magically diminish. They develop balance, moderation, and a healthy relationship with food. It’s a win-win.

8. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” You will never exceed your own expectations. Creating a positive and healthy mindset is the most important first step to this program. When you tell yourself “I do so good all day, then I blow my diet at night…” This is a behavior you have come to expect from yourself. Change your expectations of yourself first and foremost.

When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them. When you say “My relationship with food is very poor, I am not in control.” These are not only descriptive statements, but also prescriptive statements. You are instructing your brain in everything you say.

Every thought you think and every word you say is an instruction to your subconscious mind. Whatever you continue to allow, will continue to happen. In our coaching program, we work on feeding the mind with positive, healthy, and balanced thoughts. We work on changing these unhealthy expectations of ourselves to healthy habits.

9. I must be doing something right in the exercise and training program/design department. I have yet to have a client who does not thoroughly enjoy their workout program, and has fun exercising and completing their workouts! Your workouts do NOT have to be toucher or a struggle when the goal is fat loss. We focus on working smarter, not harder to get the long-lasting results.

10. Being 80% compliant to a nutrition approach consistently leads to better results than being 100% compliant to an approach every once in a while. I can give a client the perfectly laid out meal plan that I would 100% guarantee fat loss with.. but if they don’t follow it consistently, it’s not going to work. This is why my program is designed around habit based nutrition. We build sound principles and use a nutritional approach that is realistic, sustainable, and extremely effective. I’d rather have clients stick to an approach 80% of the time CONSISTENTLY instead of sticking to an approach 100% perfect only every once in awhile. The consistency overtime is what produces results.

11. Having someone to stay accountable to is extremely important. We as humans aren’t extremely good at holding ourselves accountable. How many Monday’s have past when you said to yourself “I am going to start eating healthier” or “I am going to pick it back up and start fresh on Monday” or “I’ll get back at it in the gym on Monday”…..? We are great at talking the talk. Not so much walking the walk. But when we share our goals with someone else, and we have an action plan and steps to get us there, everything changes. Having someone to hold you accountable for what you said you’d do makes all the difference. We follow up with our clients with weekly check-in videos to help keep them focused on their goals, get out of their comfort zone to keep them moving forward, and help them keep them making progress toward their goals every week. Something that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish on our own, especially in the same timeframe as we are great at procrastinating things that are tough and challenging. And hey I can relate, I have a coach myself. I have someone to keep me accountable, someone who challenges me, someone who helps me take action. And I’m telling you right now, it makes all the difference in accomplishing your goals.

12. If you’re on the fence about starting your health and fitness journey right now, my advice for you is to just do it. Start now. Start where you are. Stop procrastinating and holding it off until the “time is right.” Spoiler Alert: there is never a right time. The right time is RIGHT NOW. I can’t tell you how many clients have said they wish they would have started sooner. They’re biggest regret was waiting to take action and letting time pass by struggling with their health, with their weight, with their confidence, with their poor relationship with food, and so on… When in reality, by holding off on taking action, they were just digging themselves into a bigger hole. If you have any questions about starting, please reach out to me. Don’t suffer anymore. You deserve to feel and look your absolute best, and I am here to help you get there.

I hope at least one person can take something away from this and implement it into their own life for positive change in 2017. Let’s make this your best year yet!

Happy New Year,