So let me ask you a question, when you looked at this pic, what was the first thing you looked at?
The nicely defined muscles or the red dumbbell weighing about 4 or 5 Kilos?
What went through your head . . . I would like to look like that? That girl looks strong and healthy?
or how depressing I will never look like that?
I pose these questions because I want to tell you a really great story about one of my clients who has
been with me for about 15 months.
When this client came to me, she had given up a lot of things in her life that required mobility and a healthy functioning body, she knew she needed help and was very honest about what she ate from the start. She was gradually open to address this from an emotional perspective as much as the fact her nutrition was just very unhealthy and fully of empty calories.
We worked together firstly to introduce body awareness and connection with mind, to use important stabilising muscles, lengthen upwards without creating added tension, stretch and release areas that lacked range of motion and were restricting mobility, and of course the all important use of breathe. Fundamental functional movements were suggested to become part of her day at the office, every time getting up from the desk, doing 5-10 squats. Learning to feel full body connection and strength with push ups, holding the edge of a table or bench and daily simple stretches that enabled better, safer and stronger joint movement for getting around and feeling less tired.
There have been times it all fell apart, so often the case because life gets in the way, however the last few months have been the game changer and the implementing of a daily 5 minute stretch first thing in the morning (called her Mindful Movement) with a good nutritional breakfast, during her working week in particular. This alone, due to consistency has made a significant difference to her life and she now LIKES doing it! Trust me in the early days, everything was a massive effort!
Next came a special 10 to 15 minute workout that has been progressed as she became stronger - initially 5 times a fortnight slotted into appropriate times in her regular life. It is simple, can be done anywhere and literally requires nothing but a chair. No excuses when away.
Walks of fifteen minutes two or three times a week were added after that. All these steps decided in consultation with me by her, that she WOULD commit to doing. I think I have mentioned and will again, the word 'should' should be banned (ha ha) it has all the worst emotional push back negative pressure in it and a word I would love to ban! Choice is always going to be a happier more flexible method and in my books that is incredibly important in this kind of relationship and process.
Along with this have been nutritional negotiations literally! Getting inside her head as to why she might sabotage good eating and choices, what that might be attached to it emotionally and going back to childhood patterns growing up. The more I listened, the more perhaps the right questions were asked and the more the reasons masked unravelled and were understood and accepted. Then ideas would come up mainly from her as to how that might be tackled to change without resistance or a feeling of punishment or negativity. (so often when people come to me, they describe themselves as being 'bad' and almost like they are waiting for the punishment that follows this admittance)
There is a lot to this story and so much I could share, but what struck me recently was the excitement, pride and by-product of this process that never focussed on weight loss. Even though it was evident to us both and openly mentioned in conversation along the way, a healthier weight would make a massive difference to this clients longevity and wellbeing.
A wonderful message popped through to me recently, sharing the fact she had gone to see her Doctor for a half yearly check up and discovered she was 8.5 kilos lighter than she was when last weighed 9 months ago! It was so beautiful to read, 'I swear I floated back to my car. We both know I probably put some weight on between these weigh ins. Thank you for helping me find the way.'
Anyone who joins APT as a client knows, weight loss is not the focus, 'feeling' and being mobile, agile, strong, happy, healthy and fit is. Work from the inside out - bring the connection of your mind and body together with consistent and regular small changes, is the key. Effort, determination and acceptance, that you deserve more joy in your life is behind it all, not a wish to look like a photo of a body that is not yours and never will be.
When I saw this client last week, I picked up 2 red dumbells that weigh 9 kilos and handed them to her and said, this is what you don't carry around with you any more, no wonder you are feeling better! She could not believe how heavy they were. . . she beamed a little more radiantly with pride.