I don’t normally get too personal here on the blog unless something truly remarkable takes place. Well. . .something truly remarkable took place that is worth shouting to the world about! This conversation I had with my client though, it deserves a write up all to itself. It’s all about self love!
Last week a female client came up to me to discuss some nutritional issues she was wrestling with at the time. She’s lost a considerable amount of weight already and has reached a point where she’s sporting some pretty killer “girl muscles”, as she so refers to them ;). You know, those defined arms and sleek physique, that’s who she has become. It’s been such an honor to see it unfold before my eyes!
Suddenly though, I was caught off guard by a question she asked me about intermittent fasting (IF). First, let me rant here. There has been enough talk out there about how women should NOT partake in intermittent fasting for the long term. I suggest taking a look at this article as well as this one to understand WHY that is the case. In short, female hormonal make up is sensitive to nutritional stress and appears much more sensitive to nutritional stress than the hormonal make up of a man That’s not mean to sound sexist whatsoever, but is just plain scientific fact. My client had inquired about my thoughts on using IF to get to a lower body fat percentage. I DID do that in my past, but it wasn’t for the right reason and believe me, I paid a hefty price for it.
It was time to dig a little deeper.
I flat out asked my client WHY she wanted to reach a lower body fat percentage. “Girl, you’re looking pretty lean these days!” I said. “Why be less when you can be more awesome?”. We laughed a bit, but my client would go on to tell me that she felt that reaching a certain number would make her feel better about herself. Hmmm. . . .interesting. As I continued to ask why the lower number mattered, I began to hear a lot of negative self talk my client was unraveling. She woudl go on to tell me that she once had an eating disorder and spent years in therapy to overcome her trail. “”I’m ok now, but I just seem to be struggling with forgiving myself for all that”
Ok, I’m no therapist, but there IS something truly therapeutic about eating smart and training hard. The question you have to ask yourself when it comes to venturing out into a new found healthy body is WHY you want to be leaner and stronger in the first place. My client had a serious dichotomy of the heart here. She was about to beat herself up physically over a previous problem she had but didn’t take the time to appreciate all she had already over come. I pointed this out to her too, saying how beautiful and strong she already was! “Be more! Not less!”
That day, I didn’t’ give nutritional advice to my client. Instead, I gave her another exercise to do that would require her to set aside some self love time for herself. I instructed her to write a love letter to herself and then read it back to herself out loud so she could see all she had overcome and appreciate herself for that (I had to do this as an assignment myself for Precision Nutrition too, and man! Lots of healing came from that assignment!). “You don’t need to change how you are on the outside, you just need to appreciate who you are on the inside” Seeing your client cry tears of joy when you say something like that makes your job all the more worth while, believe me. She even wrote her own blog post about the meeting too, and I encourage you to read it here.
Be sure to spend time understanding and appreciating how amazing you are so you know that you are changing your life for the right reason. It can be easy to get hung up on numbers, body fat percentages, weight classes, or what have you in order to feel affirmed. What’s important is to love yourself now so you can enjoy life as your journey towards a stronger and healthier you. Loving yourself is not about basking in pride. It’s about loving who you are, no matter what, and constantly refining your character to be the best person you can be.
Until next time. . .
Master your instincts!