Hiring a Coach: My Worst Decision

Disclaimer: I know this is just my story. I have heard so many great stories about people who have hired coaches. Before I hired mine, I asked around and heard just as many not as loudly told stories to the contrary. But I wanted to believe it could be true, it would help. And maybe I just got a bad match in a great company. What I think is I got sold that a company I formerly trusted would have something different. It was just a sales job. And here’s the kicker. I lost so much ground, got hurt, lost all momentum, and GAINED weight. Yes, the weight I worked so hard to lose soooo slowly. All of it is back now. Plus some. It brings tears to my eyes.

This is my story.

So, I’d tried it all. Calorie counting, low car, keto, paleo, primal, autoimmune protocol, fasting. It’s been a terrible roller coaster where I lose some, gain more back. And now I’m at a point that even with extreme fad diets like keto and fasting, I barely lose, and I plateau quickly, then start gaining. Go off, gain more back.

So I’d quit fad diets. Beginning of last year that was my resolution. No more diets, start walking. And I did. And then I got dumb. About May I saw the ad. I was at a point I thought, I’d like to add something else in. But I’m bored with all the stuff I’ve already done. Maybe a coach could customize something for me. They even touted not doing diets, but customizing to your genetics, lifestyle and preferences. My genetics? How did I not know this was a scam? Someone kill me.

Anyway, I signed up, and I tried to explain my food issues. My tendencies to be obsessive and extreme. That I didn’t want to track calories because of this. So he has me take pictures of my food, then starts asking about my food. So then I get into this disordered eating shame space and try not to eat at all. I was miserable. Tired, frustrated because I knew I’d broken my resolution and spent this money and was ready to quit, and hungry. I was fucking hungry.

Called my mom. She told me to eat whatever I want. Then tell the coach I did and this isn’t working.

So I did.

It was like I’d talk and talk about my issues but he never seemed to “get” it. He’d prescribe workouts that were boring and slow progress and I could do them but they were so basic. After I’d said I was burnt out with weight lifting but whenhe asked if I could try again. Yeah, I can try whatever. I guess I paid for you. But the fitness was supposed to fit my interests. This wasn’t interesting. And the one thing I was enjoying, I now wasn’t doing to fit in these uninspired workouts. Did I have time to walk? Sure. But I was so overwhelmed with the eating situation, I didn’t want to walk. Or workout. And I wanted my money back.

And he wanted to check in though chat.

I did finally negotiate quick weekly calls. Only they were during work. I don’t want to meet during work. I don’t have an office. I have to go sit in my car because I’m not talking about diet and exercise and how I feel in a shared space. Only every single call i was on time, and he was late. Not like hours late. But five or ten minutes late. So I am sitting in my car for my entire lunch break WAITING for him to call. And then he’d say pretty basic stuff. I thought, well, maybe this is like therapy. People say therapists say the most obvious stuff. But it never helped. I still hated “reporting” my food to him, and now my head was in the “on or off” diet mode and if I was off, I was binging, and if I was on, I was starving. Which, by the way, I finally quit this mess in, I believe November, and I am STILL in this mode and can not get out of it. To say I’m full of regret is an understatement. I’ve gained fifteen pounds since then. I had to buy some bigger clothes. I’m miserable at this size.

And all I can think is, “If I had just kept doing what I was doing, I would have been fine,” why do we think we need help? We don’t. These coaches give us the very basic advice, only they don’t know us, and don’t really seem to want to. They give us workouts that are either easy to get going and don’t challenge you, or are way too hard. And have you do all of this pre-work – videos, answer questions, etc., then don’t really seem to do anything with that information. I know that walking is working, so I continue. That’s my only plan. To walk 2-4 miles 5-7 days a week. If I want to ride a bike instead, I will. Go to a cycle class, I do instead. Add in some weights, I do. Dance instead of walking because it’s raining? Great! Hit up kickboxing? Sounds fun today! Maybe I want to lift once or twice a week, so I do. Maybe some weeks I don’t left at all. If I want to go for a bike ride, I do.

I now appreciate my body’s capabilities. I try to challenge it some days, and other, enjoy the simplicity of the walk.

As for eating? I think partly it’s tied to the depression of the weight gain. I put on the workout clothes I bought this time lest year and the loose fighting stuff doesn’t fall as flatteringly. The leggings are too tight in the waist. My work clothes are less flattering. And I remind myself I’m not what I look like. And my value doesn’t come from my weight. And I keep saying it. And some days I eat fast food three times a day. Others, I crave steamed broccoli, chicken and roasted potatoes. I’m trying to be patient. To slowly get back where I was. To listen to ME because I was on the right path before, and I lost it by making someone else’s uneducated opinion a priority over mine.

I still have some nagging injuries I’m working on. But even those are slowly improving now. I try to say I don’t regret it because I’ve learned. Now I know:

1. Diets are only short term successful for me. If I want to think about my lifetime, I will NEVER go on a diet again. Ever. No matter what.

2. A coach doesn’t know me better than me. I’ve been doing this health stuff for nearly twenty years. I know my body, my needs, my brain better than anyone.

3. No matter what I look like, I’m worthy of love, acceptance and success. And if I never lose another pound, that’s ok.

4. I can be the best version of me at this weight I can be. Someone who is active, capable, strong, independent and compassionate with myself! And being the best me isn’t a destination. It is endless. I will stay active today, tomorrow, forever. Only goal is to keep moving.


Peripheral Artery/Vascular Disease and Hypertension – My Scary Realization

Disclaimer: I know nothing about either of these subjects other that what I’ve researched the past few weeks. Don’t take any of my ramblings to be any type of medical advice. Rather, the point of this post is what was finally my wakeup call.

Last year around this time I went to the doctor for my annual checkup. The waiting room was really stressful with a screaming child, someone talking about throwing up all night, and a nasty cough. After sitting for over 45 minutes, I was annoyed I had waited so long, stressed out by the screaming child, and felt like I was for sure going to get the cough and stomach bug in the waiting room. In short, it seemed silly to go to the doctor only to become more stressed and get sick. So when I was finally called back, I wasn’t in a good place mentally.

When the nurse took my blood pressure and saw it was high, and then looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to explain how stressed I was, I was even more frustrated. I hate that people can’t understand the situation others are in.

Anyway, the nurse wanted to talk about my high blood pressure. I went home and took my blood pressure several times a day for three or four weeks. It always came in around 105-115/60-75. So definitely low enough. The only time it was high was when I was SUPER-stressed at work. I’d check it and it would be in the 140-150/80-95 range. So obviously stress triggered high blood pressure but it returned to normal when I was relaxed.

Until it didn’t. More

Magnesium – My Dirty Mistress

Magnesium… Oh, magnesium. You’re the one I love to hate. Hate to love. Zac Brown said it best:

And I love you but I leave you
I don’t want you but I need you
You know it’s you who calls me back here, baby

Of course, he was singing about a girl. And I’m singing about magnesium.

So, how did my magnesium get so depleted? I’m not sure. For a long time on and off, I’d randomly get charley horses. In high school I’d occasionally get them in my calves, but more commonly the arches of my feet, during volleyball “hell week.” That was likely mineral depletion due to long practices, tons of sweating in an un-air conditioned gym, and over-working my muscles suddenly. More

Week In Review

I just finished doing Cardio Sculpt, and even eight years later and all the workout videos I’ve bought since then, this one’s my all-time favorite. I hopped on the scale before working out to see where my weight was, and after an especially sweaty (it’s been unusually warm here, and I refuse to turn on my AC in APRIL!) workout I weighed myself again. I dropped over three pounds in water weight. Sheesh. And now I feel exhausted. Which hopefully means I’ll sleep well tonight, Sundays are the worst sleep-wise for me. I know it’s the combination of dread of starting the work week along with sleeping in over the weekend. Anyway, point is, Cardio Sculpt is done. And it was a struggle. Probably partially because of the humidity. But mostly because I’m so out of shape.

After tonight’s workout, I’ve worked out 297 minutes this week! Three days (including today) included weights, otherwise it’s been mostly walking either outside or on the elliptical. I’ll be interested to see if/how much weight loss I see this week. Hopefully a good drop so I stay motivated!

And I’ve only eaten out one time this week. So you’d think the two in combination will result in success!

Couch to 5K Progress

So, today I’m starting week 3 of the Couch to 5K program. Have I done all of weeks 1 and 2? No, but there’s so much changing between walking and running that it’s painful on the joints, calves and whatever the heck shin splints pains come from… Muscles? I need to check on that.

Anyway, week three there are longer stints of running, which will be hard on the lungs, but the lungs recover faster and don’t hinder workouts as much as all the stop/start of jogging/walking. We’ll see how it goes. For the record, here’s how week three pans out:

Warmup Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 90 seconds
Walk: 90 seconds
Run: 3 minutes
Walk: 3 minutes
Run: 90 seconds
Walk: 90 seconds
Run: 3 minutes
Walk: 3 minutes

Total: 23 minutes

Plus, it’s a relatively short workout. Anyone can power through something for 23 minutes, right? Yeah, hopefully. If I’m not rendered unconscious, I’ll check in later today or tomorrow.