Heather has been a client on and off since 2014. She and I have trained together in person for most of that time. However, about eight or nine months ago she decided to join the online coaching program.
Heather has run the full spectrum of fitness. When she first began, her goals were centered around weight loss. After reaching her goal, she transitioned to a more strength-focused program. After giving birth to her daughter, Heather decided to focus on learning how to balance taking care of herself and taking care of others.
The most recent iteration of her program was getting back into the routine of her good habits, and eventually learning how to step away from the meticulous food logging to follow a more intuitive eating approach. (Listening to her natural hunger cues to tell her when she’s had enough food.) For this, she enrolled in the online program.
Many people are a bit skeptical about how an online fitness program will work to keep them accountable. Heather was no different. During this call, Heather was great about opening up and sharing her thoughts and experiences.
Alex: This is so exciting! You mentioned you’re ready to try continuing on your own. Tell me more about that.
Heather: The things that were most helpful in the beginning were the daily check-ins, the accountability, and the game planning. And I think those things are still challenging. Like there are challenging days, or weeks even.
And I feel like I’m sort of getting ready to tackle it on my own.
Alex: That’s exciting!
Heather: Yeah! And I think that one of the parts for me was getting away from the food logging and following a more intuitive approach. Because now I’m like, “Wow, I really am accountable to truly myself now.”
I feel like this time I’ve spent, it’s been very transformative. To work all through COVID and to get where I feel like I am now, it’s just… I’ve been really happy.
Alex: That makes me so happy to hear.
What do you think was the most helpful thing about the online coaching program that surprised you?
Heather: I think it was the daily check-ins to be honest. I’ll admit I was very skeptical going into it just because I was very used to our face-to-face workouts. I remember feeling like, “who knows if it’ll be great?” But it was definitely the accountability that surprised me.
And I’ve said before, the behavior change aspect of it is really the most helpful for me. I feel like that’s where your help really shines because that’s hard stuff to do. With the online program, it made it easier to start that behavior change.
When we were working out in-person, let’s say even two times a week, it was like, “that’s only two times a week. What was I doing the other five days?”
Alex: It’s funny with the daily check-ins. When I’m talking on the phone with people about joining this program and I share this part, I feel like almost every single person responds, “But like, really every day? Like, REALLY?” [Laughter]
Heather: I will say that I feel like someone has to be in the right place to start the program. If you’re not in the right place, then it could be too much.
Alex: I think you’re right. If someone isn’t ready to tackle the challenging stuff, if someone really isn’t ready to make a change, that constant reminder can be daunting. Do you feel like there’s any point in time where the daily check-ins got to the point where they became overwhelming?
Heather: Not really. They’re unobtrusive enough. Sometimes it’s just like, “How’s it going today?” And them I’m reminded that I shouldn’t be having this cookie right now. [Laughter]
Alex: You mentioned the fact that you were a little skeptical coming in. What do you think you were most skeptical about coming into this program?
Heather: I think I was skeptical about how the accountability would work without any form of in-person interaction. What is there to truly keep me accountable to this program?
At the end of the day, it’s you, right? You need to keep yourself accountable. But I feel like you created a nice mix of ways to provide that support and keep people accountable to themselves.
Alex: Great! Do you feel like the support you did get, and the accountability that was built in, was enough?
Heather: Yes. I can’t say that I’d do anything differently. I feel like the daily check-ins, having the workouts, and knowing you’re always looking at the food logs is really helpful. And every so often when you drop something in there it’s like, “Oh, Alex really is looking at it.” [Laughter]
Alex: That is really good to hear. One of the benefits of this program compared to in-person coaching is that it forces you to have a little bit more responsibility on your end and a little more autonomy. It builds those qualities so that as you go you feel more prepared to do it on your own. With in-person work, I think sometimes people just relinquish all the responsibility to those few times that they’re in the gym.
Heather: It’s very true. I remember one time at the very beginning, when we were working out at the old place. It was before I started doing private sessions with you and I was asking, “What’s the purpose of hiring a fitness coach?” Is it just to tell you what to do?
In my mind I was like, “I don’t really need to hire someone to tell me what to do.” With this program, you guide us in the right direction and help with the stumbling and roadblocks. The encouragement is a big piece of it.
Alex: I’m really happy to hear that. I have a really weird question for you. Ready? What advice would you give to the version of you that was a little skeptical coming into this program?
Heather: I’d say it’s a super great investment. I mean, it’s a GREAT investment.
It can also feel like a lot of money, right? But I would say that investing in yourself is so important. And that’s what you’re doing.
I remember when I had those free sessions with you when you were first starting your online program. It felt like you were the impetus that made me remember, “Oh yeah, you have to invest in yourself.”
It’s important to think about your health and to think about the foods you’re eating. That can be hard to do sometimes without a push.
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