This question is similar to one I just posted an answer to, so I am pasting it here as well.
This sounds like an opportunity to change client perspective. I would approach the client as cheerfully as I could (some times you have to fake it a bit, but if you put in a sincere effort you will end up cheerful anyway). Something like “Hi Donna (using their name is very important, as is a big smile)!! I just noticed that it is time to update your measurements. I would be happy to help you with that. (If they get grumpy) If you don’t feel like it right now, I understand. But this is a really good time for me to help. It will only take a few minutes. (Smile and wait for a response. It is important to keep smiling and waiting.) If they continue to resist, ask when they would rather update their measurements. (Again smile and wiat.)
And remember you can’t reach everyone on the first attempt. So, try again later and often. (If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.) On subsequent attempts I would initiate with something like, “I know measurements are not your favorite part of changing your fitness, but they can be useful to your achieving your goals (Smiling). I am willing if you are. (Smile and wait.)
When I come across clients similar to yours, I don’t push any measurements on them. But, I do need to go over any medical issues they might have and also their health history. Beyond that, I start them on a slow easy program and try to build up their fitness level. To me it’s more important they get involved in some type of activity because it’s the first step in working towards a healthier lifestyle. I set short attainable goals which I know they can reach and then slowly I push the bar a bit higher. Measurements are not as important as achieving other more functional fitness goals. Clothes are a good way of measuring their progress especially if they are very conscious about their weight and BF%. Also, the fact that they can workout longer after a few weeks of training comparing to when they started, it’s also a great measuring point. Once you have gained their trust and they are feeling better about themselves, they might let you take all the other necessary measurements.
Hi Kerry. Actually, I never weigh or measure my obese/overweight clients. I want their focus to be on how they’re starting to feel, both physically and mentally about themselves. I tell them to ‘monitor’ how their clothes fit. When they start getting looser – they’re making progress. I even wrote an article about this once entitled “I Love It When My Clients’ Pants Fall Down” after observing one of my clients one day constantly tugging at/pulling up her pants during our session. They were the same pants she had been wearing since we had started training together 🙂
I hope that this helps.