Yes, Heather (if I may call you Heather).
It’s about education. The minute a client walks through my door, I begin to educate. Not that you are not, or did not, with these clients. But you must do more. In the sense that when someone asks me “how long does it take to lose 30 pounds?” My repsonse, “I don’t know.” I have no idea how committed this person is to restructuring their life to achieve weight loss.
Do they know that stress (and cortisol) has as much to do with weight loss as does exercise and nutrition?
Do they know that nutrition, what they consume if they are not stressed out, is 80% of the equation, with the rest being a combo of exercise and sleep?
Have you ever tried motivational interviewing to try to have this people adhere to what you are teaching them? I took a course and it’s fascinatingly helpful.
Keep on changing people’s lives. You have a passion. Pass it on.
Active Concept Training
Any mature, somewhat evolved adult understands that it cannot possibly be someone else’s fault (trainer or otherwise) for not achieving personal goals. I’m sure there is something in any Psych 101 textbook that could explain such behavior….
I guess the issue becomes one of “can I still work with this person?”; “is he/she respecting me and my efforts?; “is he/she honestly putting forth the energy and effort required to achieve their goals?”.
Have you introduced the following into the conversation?:
-why are you coming to see me only once a week? What do you do the other 6 days to contribute to this goal?
-a food diary (a good quantitative source, if he/she completes it honestly!)
-an understanding of what realistic, healthy weight loss looks like i.e., 1-2 pounds a week
-the energy output necessary to burn the necessary “excess” calories
-the necessary frequency and intensity of “productive” physical activity sessions
-WHY does he/she want to lose weight i.e, is it personally driven or a real or felt external pressure?
Thing is, weight is such a delicate topic. So, as you’ve probably discovered, so many layers have to be lifted before you may make any real progress. Still, if this person has come to you, he/she must have some degree of motivation…
I am an advocate of using the Transtheoretical Stages of Change Model when working with my clients.
It is possible that when we brainstorm with our clients to create SMART goals, the goals may be too ambitious. Behavior change is very difficult.
It might be a good idea to work on “thinking” goals first as opposed to “doing”goals so that the client makes the change progressively and achieves more successes as far as behavior change is concerned.
Once we learn that their level of confidence, commitment and readiness are low, particularly after he/she hasn’t be successful in reaching goals they’ve personally set for themselves, it is a clue to use that the goals may be too challenging and that we may need to make the goals more realistic.
It might be an opportunity for the personal trainer to learn a little bit more about self-efficacy so that he/she can learn techniques and strategies to help his/her client improve in this aspect of behavior change.