By: Janine Serio
I had a recent conversation with a client who was eager to inform me of a “15 Day Cleanse Program” that her sister was given – by her trainer’s wife (yeah, think about that one) – in an effort to “stay on track” while he was on vacation, and also be ready for her own vacation at the beginning of August.
Janine, this program swears that you will lose 4-8 lbs. by the end of the 15 days. All you have to do is guide yourself through the 20 minute workout videos, for two weeks straight, and follow the prescribed meal plan of 6 meals per day.
I used to feel it was a fine line with expressing my thoughts and opinions when a client would be sharing something like this with me. I would, sheepishly, keep the mindset of “the customer is always right” but would interject when appropriate (and if asked). You see, I never wanted to muddy the waters. Unless I was being sought after for my nutritional services, I knew in the back of mind it was a conversation that would, most likely, be a losing battle.
Why use up the precious energy, right?
Fast forward a few years and, NOW, I view these conversations A LOT differently. I, finally, came to the realization that I am not only doing myself, but my clients, a complete and utter disservice by NOT SHARING how I truly feel.
We are in the TRUST business; in order to build a brand that is reflective of our core values and belief systems, I have to draw that line in the sand. No, it doesn’t have to feel like a lecture, or come off as being too preachy, BUT it is about educating and providing value to our clients and customers.
It’s about showing up as is, being completely authentic & vulnerable, sharing in personal wins and struggles, giving thoughts, opinions, suggestions, and, of course, everything else in between.
I also came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, there is a reason WHY clients were so eager to share these stories of unrealistic plans, programs, challenges, etc. Beyond their own curiosity, or, possible, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), maybe they wanted to hear my rationale for why I am not an advocate, or even give them “permission” to not participate themselves.
Back to my client conversation…these stories of quick fixes are always fascinating. While every individual is different, I still go back to the same question – “How is losing 4-8 lbs. going to change your overall confidence level – and behaviors for that matter – when there is no maintenance plan or TRUE lifestyle change to back it up?”
Take my client’s sister for example. This past month has been tough and, in turn, a lot that has been put on the backburner, specifically when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and even sleep. Understandable, of course, and I can see the desire to get back into a manageable routine.
The problem we run into is this feeling of urgency, and needing to go from “0-60” overnight. Instead of honoring where we are in our process – and in life – we get caught up in the struggle of “Omgosh, I need to do something, quick; only a few weeks left until vacation and I have really let my eating and exercise habits slide.”
Enter a “15 Day Cleanse Program;” a program where you don’t have to think (or trust yourself), you just follow and let it control your outcomes.
This is a program that has you working out for 15 days in a row (Note: My client’s sister, generally, works out 1-2 days per week), eating 6 meals a day (Note: She, usually, is satisfied with 3-4 meals a day), and is now having to completely overhaul her kitchen to purchase all the cooking essentials, and food, that are on the plan.
Janine, have you ever heard of coconut oil? 🙂
The more interesting piece to all of this is what happens AFTER the 15 days are complete? What if you lost the so-called 4-8 lbs. the program claimed, even if you were totally miserable along the way?
I find myself asking this question a lot…
What is so enticing about instant gratification that you are willing to feel drained, fatigued, and downright unhappy in the process to reach a “goal” that, let’s face it, without a maintenance plan will, most likely, not stick.
In fact, you are willing to buy products that you have never even heard of – although healthy – because “someone” is telling you it is a MUST to lose weight.
How the heck do they know “what works” and “what does not work” for you?
Is it to prove a point that you could actually follow a plan, and not feel weak, shameful, or even guilt-ridden? Is it to have that moment of satisfaction when you step on the scale and see a number that you have not seen in a while?
Will you be THAT DIFFERENT of a person in a matter of moments because you achieved what this program PROMISED you would attain, as long as you followed it to a “T?” My guess would be no BUT, I will let you make that decision.
Life has ebbs and flows and, no, nothing is ever going to look, feel, or be perfect. Besides, perfection is a myth and only gets us more and more wrapped up in the struggle. A scale reading, a 15 day cleanse, or a few weeks of being “off track” should NOT define your self-worth, confidence, personality, and so on.
YOU ARE HUMAN…not a robot.
You are doing your best every single day, navigating this journey called LIFE, and honoring your process accordingly.
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