Being Patient With Your Progress is Harder Than it Looks
In the middle of a new personal training program, feeling tired and craving junk food, I came across this line: Fitness is a lifestyle with no finish line. It didn’t cure me of my fatigue or hunger, but it certainly woke me up.
I’ve always loved working out, eating healthy however has always been my struggle. I found myself in a fitness rut, let’s say. So instead of trying to do the same thing I always did, I embarked on a new journey in August of this year, signing up with an online coach Lui Marco for a 12-week personal training program that consisted of 3 days of weightlifting, cardio and a full meal plan. I signed up with my husband who’s gone through similar training before. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about having a personal trainer in a different city, checking in via email, photos and voice messages – would I stay motivated? Will he be able to cater to my issues? Will I see results? And most of all, can I actually do this and keep it up? One month after wrapping the program, I answered all these questions with a yes, coming away with a better understanding of fitness as a lifestyle and not just a temporary fix when you’re in the mood.
There are plenty of online programs and coaches to choose from out there and it can be overwhelming when you’re looking for help. Here are a few things I learned form my own online coaching experience.
Do your research
Oh, Instagram what would we do without you? A good coach or trainer will share the success stories of their clients. Don’t be afraid to slide into the DM’s of not just your potential trainer, but their past clients. Ask them about their experience, what they liked and why they found challenging, this will surely give you insight into the program and coach’s training style. In your initial communications with your potential trainer, voice your concerns and what you’re looking for, see if they respond promptly, clearly and enthusiastically. With a remote coach, most conversations will happen via email or video calls, either way, you still want to click – you have to feel comfortable that this person will support you as if they were with you in person.
Find a buddy
Having a workout buddy keeps you accountable and helps to bounce questions off of and simply give you support. Signing up with my husband was great, not only was he experienced in this type of training before, he was also not afraid to challenge me when I was slacking and encouraging me when I was down. We meal prepped together, hit the gym together, struggled and saw results side by side. Could I have done it without him? Maybe, but it would’ve been a hell of a lot harder without someone who understood the work I was putting in. Sign up with a friend, and you’ll both benefit – it can even bring you closer.
Yes, hitting the gym after or before work can be a struggle, cutting delicious carbs from your diet can be a challenge, but being kind and patient with yourself and your progress is the hardest lesson of all. At around halfway through the program I emailed Lui and told him that I was lifting heavier and being fully compliant to the meal plan, yet, I’d barely lost any weight and couldn’t see a difference. He emailed me back immediately with a voice message and two photos side by side – my initial photo from August and the photo I’d sent him that week – about 7 weeks in. The differences were staggering. My body was transformed, the scale didn’t show it, but photos were clear I was making progress and I was only halfway done.
Lui gave me encouraging words of wisdom: “we also have to work on our mental”. If I had trouble trusting him before that, I was finally all in then. He may be in a different province, but he got me, he saw what my body needed, what my challenges were, and he addressed them, I just had to get there mentally. It is so easy to support and encourage those around us, why can’t we give ourselves the same love? You put in the work, you deserve to give yourself a pat in the back too – it just takes a little time and patience.
I’m 8 lbs. down, lifting heavier that I ever have, feeling strong, and needing to buy some new clothes to better fit this body that is still a work in progress. Don’t be afraid to switch up your program, the support and expertise is out there if you’re willing to give it a try and why not? Fitness is a lifestyle with no finish line, but there are plenty of wins along the way.