Friday, February 13, 2015

My advice isn't worth anything!

I started my weight-loss “journey” on Jan. 5, 2004. I reached my weight goal, learned new activities, led Weight Watchers meetings and became a Certified Personal Trainer. I reached a point where I had learned and changed so much. People asked for my advice a lot. And, I gave it to them. It even prompted me to write a book a few years back. I have written a whole entire book. Done. But, it’s full of MY advice. What worked for ME. Not what works for you or motivates you to change. It will likely remain unread on my flash drive forever. 

I finally realized that my advice wasn’t going to get anybody anywhere. There are zillions of people out there who’ve lost weight successfully and know about nutrition, health, workouts, etc. You can read any book you want about other people’s advice on these topics. But, it won’t necessarily work for you. I love this article because it explains why not everyone is an expert. For example, "I don't think someone who has been a passenger on a plane is automatically a credible source about how to fly one. I don't think anyone who has driven over a suspension bridge necessarily knows how best to build one. I don't think someone treated once by a neurosurgeon gets to offer expert commentary on the nuances of brain surgery."

This is why I decided to get into coaching. I love coaching because the focus is on YOU. I’m not the expert on you. I get to be a part of helping people create their own goals and succeed at them because they are making the rules. Not me. This change of perspective has been wonderful beyond words. Coaching isn’t a “thing” you do or buy or a pill you take – it’s an experience.

Do you know how a coach can help you? This is a great description from the Mayo Clinic where I was certified as a Wellness Coach: "Wellness coaches are experts in establishing relationships and practicing core coaching skills that assist the individual in identifying values and desires, transforming them into action, and maintaining lasting change over time. They partner in dynamic collaboration with individuals, respecting the client as the expert in his/her own life, using a strength-based focus and strong grounding in best practice." - Mayo Clinic   

I also enjoy this story from Dr. Michael Arloski that describes the relationship between a coach and a client: 

Mountain guides do not climb mountains for people. Nothing is accomplished, really if you hire me as your mountain guide and pay me merely to plant your flag on the summit while you sip martinis and observe me through a telescope down at the lodge.

As your guide, I help you plan the climb. We assess your readiness for the climb, examine what you have and what you need in equipment and resources. Together we determine a route to take. We plan how long the journey will take and allow for elements we can’t control, be it the weather or a family crisis. We examine what your personal goals are. Are you a peak-bagger, or more into the sheer experience of the high country? We get clear on what a successful and fulfilling climb will be for you.

Mountain guides do not make people climb mountains. The motivation for the climb has to be within the climber. During times of discouragement I may lend support, or even challenge you to reach a little deeper for strength I know you have. I also know that your chances of success are far greater if your motivation is internal. You WANT to climb this mountain! You are excited about it, and you anticipate that the journey will in itself be a large part of the pleasure of the experience. It works best when it is not fear-based motivation. You are not climbing the mountain because you are afraid what will happen if you don’t!

Most importantly, your chances of success are far greater just because you aren’t doing it alone. Knowing that I am there with you on the journey shifts your entire mental approach. You push through the temptation to turn back prematurely (as you may have done so often in the past) as you look over at me climbing beside you. You know I will hold you accountable to yourself to do what you said you have come to do. You also know that you retain your freedom, and if you choose to turn back you will not be criticized for it. When we do summit, it is your flag that is planted, not mine, for this was your journey. It was you and the mountain. Your coach was like a good solid rope – a support.  Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change – Michael Arloski, PhD, PCC

Is coaching for you? It may or may not be. 6 Signs You Need A Coach If you want to find out, feel free to reach out to me.


  1. Love it. you have your own success story and your own experience and you have learned and grown so much from it! I bet you are an amazing coach! I think it's awesome that you want to guide others to reach their own full health potential!