Confessions From A Personal Trainer: The Success Story of Rest

True Confession Tuesday:

Where every Tuesday: I confess.

Confession: Success often does not come from the number on the scale.

It took me a long time personally to understand this concept and to give the scale a rest and focus on other aspects of health. But today I want to share with you a story about my client and friend Elaine. Here’s a little bak story about her.

Elaine and I met when she started my Team Fitness class at Lifetime 5 (?) years ago. I will never forget out first day together because I had to break the news to her that the low fat world was gone and she should be eating higher fat foods. To say she was shocked would be an understatement.

She worked hard in class for years, listening, absorbing information, having success with the scale but also fighting the battle with it every day. She was stuck in the “Eat less, work out More” mentality. (Hint – this never works in the long run!)

Elaine is like a lot of my clients and friends – married, two great kids, an adorable dog, parents who live close, a job, activities, running around trying to get everything done AND eat healthy, AND lose weight, AND make an impact on the health of her family.

Then Elaine got formally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. She had struggled with her thyroid for almost 10 years and Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder where the body basically turns and attacks the thyroid.

As with most autoimmune disorders, they don’t really know what causes the body to turn on itself. But there are some suspects – STRESS, hormones, food, environment, sleep problems and so much more.

Elaine and I talked extensively about food choices but a lot about stress. To which she says “I’m not stressed.” How many of us have said that before? And with Hashimoto’s you really need to exercise harder but less often and focus more on relaxation activities. The body can’t differentiate between physical (exercise) stress or emotional stress, etc. Between you and I – Elaine can’t sit still or not be doing something. I’m sure you have felt the same way at some point in your life. 🙂

There’s so much more to this story but I want to share with you some texts and pictures from Elaine the other day that brought tears to my eyes. She is having so much success right now in her health journey. And none of it has to do with the scale.

Elaine has a few big trips per year for work where she can make the choice to load up her own fridge with healthy foods or indulge in all of the gluten carbs, cookies, pasta, pizza and junk. She’s been choosing to be in control of what she eats and she said

“I feel strong when I make the choices I WANT TO MAKE.”

Then a day or so later I get the picture from above with her chillin’ in a hammock and I about fell off my chair. This woman has said to me before “I can’t sit still because I know I need to be doing something.”

This was her text:

I only worked out one day – Monday. It seems that’s how things go. I can work out before I get going on my 12 hour days then when I have free time I don’t want to do it. I have all day off today and I decided NOT to hit the gym. I packed a backpack and walked for about a mile and set up a hammock and am just chilling.

When I got this text I thought to myself. She made a choice to NOT work out after having missed a ton of work outs earlier in the week. This would have never happened months ago. So often we get trapped in a mindset of HAVING to work out a certain number of days per week or putting ourselves in a rigid plan because that’s what will make the scale move.

The next day I get a text and a picture of her at the gym:

I was so worried about not working out and lookie here. All it took was a day of rest. It’s interesting how rest and exercise are related. I feel fantastic and I even feel like I look good. 

Off to work for a 12 hour day but feeling on top of the world.

You may be thinking – well it’s so much easier to make those choices when you’re not at home and have your kids and house and everything to deal with. And I would agree with you. But I can guarantee that when Elaine gets back she won’t forget that experience and she will take that knowledge of how rest and exercise go together and apply it to her life.

I hope you can learn a few things from Elaine. Here are some things I have learned.

  • It’s a LONG road (your whole life) of learning about yourself and making choices
  • Nothing is a quick fix
  • Rest and rejuvination are often MORE important than a day at the gym
  • It feels good to be in your power and make the decisions that align with YOU not what other people are doing
  • Your health matters and if you don’t pay attention, your body will tell you
  • STRESS – you have to deal with it
  • Sometimes you need someone to hold the mirror up to you and show you what an awesome job you’re doing so when people compliment you – SAY THANK YOU!!
  • Always keep working – every day.
I hope you enjoyed your long weekend and are looking forward to setting some time for your health this fall. As always – I’m here to help. I’m only an email, text, or a phone call away.

Enjoy the day!!


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