There was a time when my sole basis for judging a client’s results was a number, or a few numbers.
In fact, I was extremely good at changing a client’s “vital 3”. These are the 3 measurements that I believe show the right kind of progress. Namely:
- Bodyfat %
- Waist Circumference
- That pesky # on the scale
Truth be told, I didn’t realize that using only these #s was wrong until I was re-measuring a particularly enthusiastic client, Betty. This was her 90 day check-in.
At this time I was very accustomed to people routinely losing 15-25 lbs., 7% bodyfat, and maybe 5 in. off their waist in this time. Candidly, this was in Texas and a lot of people had a lot to lose :).
Betty only lost 8 lbs., 3% bodyfat, and 2 in. off her waist. Her goal was to lose 50 lbs. total.
Since she was investing a solid amount of time and money, there was absolutely no reason to lie to me about doing the right things when she was away from the gym.
I was disappointed as hell. It felt like I had failed her! My mind was racing… What did we need to change? Should I alter our training approach? Maybe she wasn’t eating the right way for HER metabolism.
When I got out of my own head and looked up at Betty, she was wearing a persistent warm smile.
She then told me, “I definitely would have liked to lose more weight but I really don’t care. I feel so much better physically, I mean it’s easier to move my body especially when getting out of the bed in the morning! Not only that, I am so much happier and easygoing. I mean, I have more energy to hang out with my friends on a regular basis and have been dating for the first time in years.”
(She ended up marrying this fella a little over a year after they started dating. a couple weeks before the wedding, she thanked me in tears for helping her get the confidence to make herself vulnerable again.)
During our conversation, the teacher and the student completely switched places. In this moment I realized fully that all people want is to feel good. Sure, losing bodyfat or a certain number on the scale can make it easier to feel good, but it won’t do it for you.
And guess what, Betty ended up losing 40 more lbs. after mere 6 months after this conversation.
I for one and firmly convinced that her attitude was the most important factor in her success, what do you think?