My first reaction would be three-fold: one, what’s happened in her life to cause this 180 degree action? Secondly, congratulate her on taking the first step toward a more active life. Lastly, I would ask her why her life, up until now, has been sedentary (are we talking about a lack of motivation and/or confidence, negative experiences, health conditions, etc..???).
Once we have had a discussion about why physical activity has NOT played a major role in her life, then it’s time to move on to why now is the BEST time to do this!
A SMART goal-setting session would be part of our discussion; an honest chat about when she can do this, what she wants to try first, how often she’ll be able to commit, what type of support does she have….
After all the initial info gathering and one-on-one discussions have taken place, I will be in a good position to create a basic fitness program for her that would include all the basic components, and the “look ahead” view in terms of progressions we can work toward.
Overall, my goal would be to gain her trust so that I can obtain as much info as possible to positively affect her life, while making her feel as though she’s doing the lion’s share of work (which, really, she is!). She needs to feel her confidence building right from that first meeting. It needs to be clear that we are a team: she’s the expert on her body and I am the person who has to decipher what she probably should do, what she can do or will be able to do, and how to make the entire process as challenging and comfortable as possible.
No problem, right??