Last Updated: March 23, 2015
I’ve worked with many clients throughout the years who had unrealistic weight loss goal expectations and were willing to risk their health to achieve results no matter the cost. When clients came to me desperate to lose weight they were my greatest challenge as a fit healthy lifestyle consultant.
A percentage of those overweight tended to ask questions about fast weight loss that included specialized diets, pills and supplements. I often found myself working to convince them that slow and steady was the healthier and sustainable course rather than fast and furious. However, I had to be mindful of the ‘I want it now’ mentality and sensitive to their particular situation. I didn’t sell them on anything beyond what I considered safe and healthy. But provided other solutions and informed them of risks should they choose a different route.
Certain client types needed an understanding of the results, risk benefit and rewards scenarios to make an informed decision should they decide to apply a specific type of weight loss program. I always made it clear, I would not recommend or sell any product or service that compromised health. They definitely understood upfront their health and safety was my number one priority.
For those who’ve used diet pills to control appetite, or have sought surgical procedure or invested hundreds in dietary supplements – always brought about interesting discussions. As if my job was to lead some to the next weight loss or anti-aging… ‘fountain of youth product fad.’
I have to say, there’s a certain type of client mentality and expectation that contribute to a fitness trainer or consultant burnout factor. This has a lot to do with why I take on very few clients today.
People who are not willing to change bad habits and behaviors can be very challenging to work with… because they often expect exceptional results without working for it. We’ve entered the “I want it NOW,” Willy Wonka World. Where at a finger tip, the Internet can provide you anything you need, want and/or desire.
And to tell you the truth – is why I retired from taking on clients full time. Let me be clear, all clients are not highly demanding and will work for their fitness goals. I had some very good experiences with clients. However, after going through hundreds of client consultations, a good percentage wanted what they wanted, when the wanted it and just wanted a quick fix. They didn’t care how they got their fitness results and didn’t want to work for it
There’s only one way to cheat achieving quick weight loss, performance and strength enhancement results… drugs and unhealthy supplements, diet and herbal concoctions.
I’ve often resisted the temptation to immediately set clients straight on the what, when, why and how – fitness goals and results expectation… realities. They needed time to talk to someone about their battle of the bulge, or other body image flaws they wanted to improve. They needed time to convince me to provide the magic formulae I knew would fix them without investing a lot of exercise time, or changing their lifestyle significantly.
I heard things like, “yah, but I know this guy who took this natural herbal steroid, dropped 30lbs of fat and gained 10 lbs. of muscle in one month. And is having the best sex of his life. Or, ‘this diet pill is amazing, no more hunger and the weight melted away like butter.’ Can you offer me the same program/product and results?” Or, “what do you think about xyz diet plan?’ Linda lost 14 pounds in two weeks on this stuff, can you hook me up?” Oh yes, let’s not forget the most obvious, “can you get me some steroids?” I don’t know how many times I heard that one.”
Yes, “I’d love to make a ton of money at the expense of your health.’ Not!”
What do you think the number one fitness goal females wanted? You guessed it, weight loss. And many of them wanted diet pills, diet meal replacement and high intensity aerobics exercise to achieve the objective. I’d ultimately mention as a matter of fact, over the counter diet pills and restrictive meal practices were dangerous because they can be very effective at reducing unwanted body weight fast. Sounds counter intuitive – I know… but then I’d have to follow up with how quick weight loss increases health risk and is not sustainable in the long run.
I had to get creative in how I responded to each one without cracking up, or resist saying something unprofessional. Or just simply looking board. The insanity of it all.
How little consumers and especially our children know about their bodies. I’ve had many conversations with my wife about these very topics. People place greater value on personal possessions than their own bodies. It’s interesting how so many prioritize quick weight loss diets and muscle bulking formulae’s and not consider the health risk in taking such action.
As a fitness-health educator, I felt a moral obligation to help steer clients toward healthier lifestyle choice and customized fitness programs relevant to their fitness goals. Programs that would help them achieve the results they wanted and could be sustained long term without increasing health risk.
An interesting conversation always occurred when it came to high-intensity aerobic dance programs for weight loss. Why? Because when intensity of aerobic exercise is too high, instead of burning body fat weight, you may gain more weight. That also sounds counter intuitive – “unless you explain the muscle physiology and metabolism behind it.” Simply put, when target heart rate increases to a certain point during high intensity aerobic workout, the body prefers more blood sugar from carbohydrates then body fat to sustain the intensity. As intensity of exercise decreases below a set target heart rate the body prefers body fat fuel.
With regard to manmade products – Some clients believed manufactured products wouldn’t make you sick. Then I’d have to explain, almost every product man sells in fancy packaging is not natural to the organic body and can ultimately harm it.
And when clients brought up natural herbs used to suppress appetite, or increase muscle mass, sexual performance, etc., … I’d state, “even high concentrates or doses of herbs engineered by man to stimulate a metabolic or hormonal change/response is not natural to the body because God didn’t design our bodies to receive food this way.” … but if intent on using a product that increases health risk, you should consult with a medical doctor prior to use, or be supervised through its use if using a product that will harm you in the long run.
In the short term you may lose weight, or gain muscle mass fast. But long term you may break your metabolism and fat burning furnace. And then later experience illness and disease and cancer.
Here is a good point and case. It is a fact – too many young women use diet pills as a convenient and quick weight loss solution. And coincidently is proven scientifically to have negative effects on behavior and health. So the question becomes, why wouldn’t diet pills for example be only prescribed through medical personnel?
I realize there are more questions than answers when choosing a fitness trainer or consultant, and/or products and programs and services to help you achieve your fitness goal. However, maybe I can offer the following advice. It’s always been my contention anything manmade with unnatural chemicals added to it is not compatible in the long run with the organic being and healthy lifestyle change goals.
When we’re not taught to value ill-heath prevention and fit healthy lifestyle at an early age, unhealthy lifestyle is often the result with increased health risk. Then those habits and behavior get passed onto the next generation.
The answers and solutions you need to preserve your good health are dependent upon understanding the organic body within environment to live a long, productive and healthy lifestyle. Don’t let the market hype and fitness product fads put you into a weight gain and unhealthy lifestyle spiral.
If you want to learn how to live the lifestyle you need, want and deserve now, click on the Ageless MirrorAthlete “Overweight and Unfit No More” link above. Read the free book review and consider purchasing a copy of my fit healthy lifestyle book. It’s like a fit healthy lifestyle consultant is in your corner. Especially when you need truthful and honest programming advise most.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.