B: Lilly Hills
I hired my very first personal trainer when I was in my mid twenties, 65 pounds over my ideal weight and desperate to lose it. His name was Mark and we had an instant connection when we met in San Francisco at 24 Hour Fitness. I was feeling uber excited after our first meeting that he was going to whip me into the best shape of my life. I sensed he knew about everything about getting into peak shape from a physical perspective and our workout sessions were always intense, but immensely gratifying afterwards.
He was a pro and I trusted him completely. However, in spite of his significant expertise, the one area where he couldn’t help me out was in my overeating habits. To be fair, I never told him I was a food addict. He didn’t know that even though I wanted to lose weight, more than I wanted to win the lottery, I simply couldn’t control my appetites. I didn’t admit that after a sweaty session with him, I’d head straight to the refrigerator to “treat” myself for all of my hard work.
I trained with him for over a year, and although I did build some significant muscle mass and improved my strength and stamina, I didn’t lose a single pound. And so, depressed, frustrated and confused, I quit working out with him.
The truth is, I would have stayed with him much longer had he known how to address my overeating issues and worked with me at each of our sessions, to gradually overcome them. I would have stayed with him and been a walking billboard on his behalf had he known how to help me lose weight by giving me not just the ideal workout routine, but equally important a specific and effective approach for turning down the volume on the voice in my head that made me overeat, in spite of myself.
As pretty much all personal trainers know, you’re way more than a fitness coach. You’re a life coach and a quasi therapist too. So knowing how to guide your clients to overcome overeating (a.k.a. eating more than they are truly hungry for) is an invaluable tool that will not only keep your clients with you longer, but also drum up new business as your delighted transformed clients rave about how you got them into the best mental and physical shape of their lives. Training your clients in developing new “mental muscle” to accompany their new physical muscles will put you in an elite category of the best trainers in the world.
So how do you train your clients in moving beyond food compulsion? Or using food to deal with stress, feeling of being overwhelmed, depression, boredom, confusion or as a form of entertainment, all of which are at the root of excess weight?
As I learned after fifteen years of failed dieting attempts, it’s all in the mind. The key is to give your clients peak performance trainings in mind management to help them overcome overeating and educate on the mechanics of eating in “alliance” with their bodies. What does eating in alliance mean? It means eating in harmony with your physical appetites rather than eating for emotional reasons (boredom, overwhelm, depression, stress, confusion, hopelessness) or as a form of entertainment.
Eating in alliance is “natural” eating, starting to eat when you are physically hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. It’s how most babies or young children eat by nature. Their bodies communicate its needs through specific signals for physical hunger (i.e. grumbling stomach) and satisfaction, and they eat within that healthy model. They haven’t picked up the stress eating habits that are largely responsible for the obesity epidemic, and instead they stay tuned into their body. This is where you can either shed excess weight, or maintain your natural weight, without strict dieting
However, as we all know, this is easier said than done. That’s where the mental training comes in. After your client understands the model for eating in harmony with their physical appetites rather than their emotional appetites, the next step is to get them to overcome the old overeating habits and establish the new and improved eating habits.
This involves supporting your clients in learning how to get their mind on their “team” by teaching them how to consciously direct their thoughts in ways that bring them, either immediately or gradually, to states of emotional equilibrium (calm) so that they don’t reach automatically for food they’re not hungry for. Because uncomfortable emotions are often driving your clients overeating habits, guiding them in learning how to change their emotional state or find alternatives to food to deal with stress are key behavioral modifications.
First they need to understand how their one of a kind mind works, specifically in relationship to food, and what drives their emotional appetites. Then they need to understand the biochemistry of stress, and train specifically in sitting in the “stress soup” that the body creates when a negative or worry producing thought arise. And third, they need to know how to manage their emotions and actually dominate them by redirecting their thoughts with navy seal precision.
The fact is, you can choose your thoughts, just like you choose your friends, but it takes time to develop this valuable, but hard earned skill after years of repeat behaviors around overeating. Training the mind takes work. It’s as time intensive as physical training. But it’s worth the investment, because a trained mind is more valuable than a PHd and a million dollar bank account combined, because not only can you achieve both with a mastered mind, but you can create higher levels of joy and satisfaction along the way.
The Master Your Mind Master Your Weight online training will give you the most powerful peak performance training tools in the world for overcoming overeating so that you can serve your clients on the highest level.
Your clients can lose extra weight, and you can show them exactly how to do it. And it all happens one day, one meal and one thought at a time.