5 Cool Facts About Pedometers and Fitness Trackers

Modern pedometers and fitness trackers are electronic devices capable of tracking your steps, sedentary behavior, sleep, and overall physical activity. Nowadays, most of them work with a website or a smartphone app that enable you to record your progress using figures and graphs. Advanced fitness products can also track GPS related outcomes such as distance, route, and speed.

Best-selling fitness trackers and pedometers from well-known companies such as Jawbone, Fitbit, LG, Garmin, Misfit and Withings can track or measure many routine activities, such as

  • How many calories you have burned throughout the day or after a specific exercise
  • How many steps you have taken today or in a specific time
  • How many hours you have slept

You don't need fitness trackers to be active, however, self-monitoring features of these products can help you track your progress in real time and set realistic goals. Self-monitoring is said to be an effective behavior modification technique. 

Here are 5 cool facts about pedometers and fitness trackers. 

1. Fitness Trackers Are More Effective

Mechanical step counters or pedometers have been around for more than a decade now and their activity levels increase with time. Modern fitness trackers are actually fancy pedometers with advanced functionality and added features that make them more effective.

A study comparing people using modern fitness trackers with those traditional pedometers found that people using modern products were 87 minutes more physically active a week. 

2. Fitness Trackers Are Short-Lived

Many studies have found that a majority of people don't use fitness trackers beyond three months. The reports suggest that the reasons why people soon stop using them include the need to repeatedly recharge, constant wearing on the wrist and regularly synchronizing the device with a website or an app. 

Interestingly, these studies conclude that to promote a lifelong fitness habit, pedometers or fitness trackers need to be part of an overall behavior change strategy.

3. Basic Fitness Tracker Functions Are Accurate

According to several reviews of modern fitness trackers on specific selling websites or online stores like Amazon, most tracking devices provide accurate and reliable tracking of physical activity. However, most reviews show that they are less reliable when it comes to measuring calorie counts, energy expenditure and sleep measures. This is not necessarily a problem for recreational users as most people use these devices to count footsteps.

As the product always under- or over-estimates the same way, some feedbacks also admit that fitness trackers can still assess whether you are making progress. 

4. They Affect Your Mood

Some people suggest that fitness trackers may hurt their relationship with their doctor while others report feeling naked or guilty when they are not wearing them. This demonstrates the strong effects of regular wearing of a tracking device. Many studies   show that increased physical activity (secondary to fitness tracking) can have positive effects on mental health, including improved mood, stress, anxiety, and quality of life.

5. Fitness Trackers Are the Future 

Despite media reports and numerous studies highlighting the financial troubles for the leaders of fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone, the wearables market is projected to expand globally to more than US$44 billion a year by 2021. Fitness trackers are still in the evolving phase as new companies are developing more advanced features to enhance their performance. 

Health professionals are also using fitness trackers for patient groups like people having hemodialysis or recovering from breast cancer. This proves the future potential for fitness trackers to be incorporated into the health care system.

Should Personal Trainers Get Life Coaching Skills?

It's certainly not necessary for you, as a personal trainer, to add life coaching skills to your repertoire. Life coaching may be 100% irrelevant to the kind of work you're doing. 

Some personal trainers, however, have found significant inroads with clients and ways to expand their businesses by getting life coach training.

Here are some examples. 

Example #1: Adding life coaching programs to a boutique fitness studio

A personal trainer who owns a boutique fitness studio on the east coast of the U.S. added life coaching programs to his agenda. He had been offering the standard itinerary: Private training sessions, boot camps, spin and yoga, etc...

When he took his life coach certification training, he did so with a vision in mind. He liked doing life coaching, for one. And he reasoned that he could add life coaching programs to the club's agenda. 

Specifically, he created a 16-week life coaching program that systematically addressed self-motivation, goal-setting, and self-sabotage. Many of his existing members signed up immediately, increasing revenue and adding variety to his personal schedule. 

He also found that, among his new life coaching clients, they stuck to their fitness programs with greater consistency than the average among other members. These life coaching clients become more dependable customers because they were getting more value.

Example #2: Transitioning to an online consulting business

Another personal trainer wanted to transition to an online, work-from-home lifestyle. Since he wouldn't be working out his clients in the gym and did not want to limit himself to building nutrition plans.

So, he registered for online life coach training and began the roughly 6-month process of earning the certificate. 

When he finished the training, he converted roughly 30% of his existing clients into life coaching and nutrition coaching clients and created a plan to market his business online through local Facebook ads (less expensive than a national or international campaign).

Another reason to add life coaching to your personal training practice:

If you think it might be relevant, you should consider that most personal trainers agree that the number one stumbling block to achieving fitness goals has to do with sticking with the nutrition plan. It's not what happens during a training session that kills fitness goals. It's what happens during the other 23 hours in the day when clients are on their own in a world full of delicious, non-nutritious food. 

Life coaching skills reach into the clients daily life and make a difference when they are faced with choices. 

Should you get life coach training?

I don't know. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to move in the direction of a decision:

1. Would life coaching skills add opportunities to your business?

2. Do you enjoy coaching people?

3. Are you bored with fitness training?

4. Are you curious about what makes people tick?

5. Are you already coaching your clients but not getting paid for it?

Just some things to consider:)


How to Get the Most Out of your Workout

Daily workouts become an important part of our lives rather quickly, and once we get into the habit of regular workouts, we may begin to wonder if we are getting the greatest possible benefit out of the process.

There has been a lot of discussion around the most optimal time of day to workout, although our opinion has also been that any time of the day is great, as long as you are working out on a regular basis!

Of course, there are strategies for getting the most benefit out of the experience, and that is what we will discuss today. Have you discovered any strategies that have worked especially well for you, such as exercising with a friend or joining a runners club?

ABCs of a Great Workout Regimen

First and foremost, make sure that you get a great night of sleep before any workout. Pushing your body to its physical limits without allowing it to replenish itself with some restful sleep is a sure way to wear yourself down. In addition to good sleep, also make sure that you are drinking enough water.

This will help your cells to replenish and staying hydrated is an important part of any wellness practice. We love working out, but there are still days when we'd rather just lounge around! Following these tips helps us to push through, even on those days when we're feeling lazy.

  • Find a work out you like. It may sound basic, but if you think it's torture to go to the gym, the chances of you incorporating exercise into your everyday routine are pretty small. Remember that you don't always have to go to the gym to get a good workout in, you can run outdoors, climb stairs, or even set up some circuit training in your home. 
  • Vary your routine. No matter what it is that you do for a workout be sure to mix it up. This will help to target multiple areas of your body and also keep you from getting bored. Consider alternative exercises like swimming and cross-country skiing that will help you to stay engaged.
  • Lift weights. If you are looking for ways to maximize your workout, this is one of the most effective. If you are not a member of a gym and don't have any weights at home, you can use the resistance of your body weight to achieve similar results. Wrist and ankle weights are great, but you will also need to do some work with dumbbells or other weights to really maximize your level of physical fitness.
  • Listen to some music; before and after. Scientists have discovered that listening to music while you exercise is an effective way to stay focused during your workout and also to recover once you are finished. Try listening to a couple of your favorite relaxing songs once you finish working out, this will help you to lower your heart rate and have your blood pressure return to a resting level. 

Follow these tips to help reap all of the benefits of your regular workouts. If you find a strategy that works particularly well for you, be sure to make an effort to incorporate it into your routine. For us it has been weekly runs with a friend.

We've found that we push ourselves harder and run for a longer period of time when we have some company. Try finding a gym buddy to keep you motivated, and don't be afraid to try that new class that looks interesting, variety will help to keep you coming back!






A Vegan’s Take on Honey

By Morgan Bundrant
I’ve been either vegetarian or vegan for just over two years and I’ve dealt with the prying questions from strangers, changes in my palette, and even convinced some people in my life to join me. Among millennials, veganism has a bright future
I also shop vegan, recycle, and try to fit my life to benefit the environment and animals- so I make decisions knowledgeably and with pure intent. But, why do I still eat honey? When vegans see me use honey, I’m usually met with vague, aggressive remarks that, even though honey has health benefits, it's how harmful. They say, “Beekeepers kill bees! It’s unnatural to take honey from the bees who made it!”
This could be the most disputed issue of veganism - whether or not honey is actually bad for bees. Most vegans don’t have a conclusive answer, so they end up avoiding honey because of the mystery around it, and not for the reasons they went vegan in the first place. So, is honey bad for bees?
The answer is no, sometimes. When done correctly, beekeepers can healthily contribute to the bee conservation effort, while also supporting the growth of plants and crops that bees pollinate. 
Beekeepers are a link between humans and bees:
Beekeepers have great incentive to keep honeybee populations high. They foster helpful relationships with farmers that can conserve bees and native plant populations in tandem, and these relationships would be great to support through the use of honey! Just be sure that you support local beekeepers that collaborate with farms that abstain from using pesticides.
By doing this, you’ll be helping your community, and in turn you get delicious, healthy honey. It may not be technically vegan, but if you choose to eat vegan for any reason (animal rights, environmental health, personal health), then you have every reason to eat honey.
Honey turns harmful:
So, if honey is so good for bees, when did it develop such a bad stigma?
Some people think honey is bad for bees because of recent scandals in the honey industry, where cheap imports of imitation honey were being sold across the world, threatening the success of honest beekeepers and hurting bee populations as a result. 
The first cries of declining bee populations warned about monocropping, pesticides, and imitation honey, not beekeepers. For years, beekeepers have been suffering as a result of a negative stigma that developed from dishonest corporations, when they could be the solution to this crisis.
So, what can you do to help the bees?
Buy honey from local beekeepers, plant bee-friendly crops (like clover and alfalfa), call a beekeeper when you find a swarm of bees, and help native bees, too. After all, if you really care about saving the bees, it would be far more effective to protect their environment and food supply than it would be to renounce the industry altogether.
If bees get the nutrients they need, then they will be less susceptible to the diseases that are driving down their populations, like CCD or Nosema.
If you really want to help bees, advocate to end the use of pesticides, grow flowers, and support local beekeepers, but don’t cut out all honey and lose the opportunity to do your part to save the bees. 

Hypnosis for Sports Performance - Six Studies Reveal it's Effectiveness

Hypnosis is known to have many uses, including weight loss, anxiety, depression, pain management, and concentration. Hypnosis for sports performance is another area to consider.

We've compiled a summary of various research studies related to hypnosis for sports performance below. All of these were done by reputable organizations, including universities and legitimate hypnosis research associations. We've also supplied links to the studies themselves.

Here are six studies on hypnosis and sports performance. Enjoy!

1) Staffordshire University

...conducted a study in 2006 on the effect of hypnosis on a cricket leg-spin bowler’s performance. The researchers used hypnosis and self-hypnosis as the first step in the study, followed by focusing on specific techniques used throughout the game.

The final step in the research process was to watch videos of the techniques performed correctly. The findings reported major positive changes in the performance of the players, and with continued use of techniques they had continued success.

Using Hypnosis, Technique Refinement, and Self-Modeling to Enhance Self-Efficacy: A Case Study in Cricket: The Sport Psychologist: Vol 20, No 1. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/tsp.20.1.94

2) In 2005: Washington State University

...conducted a study measuring the effects of hypnosis on the performance of basketball players. The researchers took a group of basketball players and taught half of them muscle relaxation techniques and the other half hypnosis. The findings report significant progress in performance from the hypnosis group, specifically with dribbling, defensive techniques, and shooting for three points.

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://research.wsulibs.wsu.edu:8443/xmlui/bitstream/handle/2376/401/b_vasquez_090805.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

3) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

...published an article in 2003 about a mountaineer who had sustained several injuries during her hikes through large mountain chains, which compelled her to learn self-hypnosis as a way of dealing with not only the pain in those situations but getting out of them. After finding success, she learned to channel her self-hypnosis toward bettering her performance in future hikes with great success.

The Hypnotic Belay in Alpine Mountaineering: The Use of Self-Hypnosis for the Resolution of Sports Injuries and for Performance Enhancement: American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis: Vol 46, No 1. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.2003.10403564?src=recsys

4) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

...conducted a study in 2000 on the effects of hypnosis on a sports player’s performance by prompting the player to imagine specific techniques, and concentrate on the imagery while under hypnosis.

They used hypnosis as a way to enhance the imagery in the player’s imagination for half of the research process, and the other half just imagined the techniques as they normally would without hypnosis. The findings suggest that the use of hypnosis while studying mental imagery of techniques while playing strongly influences the player’s ability to incorporate the techniques into their real sport’s performance.

Enhancing imagery through hypnosis: a performance aid for athletes. - PubMed - NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11022364

5) In 1993 the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

...conducted a study taking male gymnasts from the Stanford University gymnastics team who had been working on extremely difficult tasks for over a year, that they had not successfully performed yet.

The men were administered hypnosis as a way to study imagery of performing the tasks correctly and successfully and were able to tighten up their performance and fix the issues they were having. After hypnosis, they were finally able to successfully perform the tasks they had been working on the year prior.

Enhancing the visualization of gymnasts. - PubMed - NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8434565

6) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

...surveyed 59 parachutists on their experience during the process of freefalling, what they did in preparation, and how they felt afterward. Many parachutists experience an unconscious trance as they are falling triggered by the stress, which is known to cause accidents and harm to the person freefalling.

After being taught self-hypnosis and consciously seeking a state of trance during free-fall, it was found that the parachuters had success maintaining a sense of calm and clearheaded-ness during the fall and afterward.

Stress and Trance in Freefall Parachuting: A Pilot Study: American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis: Vol 33, No 4. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402939

Research is positive that hypnosis for sports performance is a viable option for people who are interested and capable of undergoing the process. Will it work for you? There's only one way to find out!

How to Breathe for Balance and Stress Reduction

How do you stress yourself out without knowing it? Why are you exhausted by early evening? How come fitness clients have low energy? It could begin with unconscious breathing patterns. 

Stress and fear can alter breathing patterns and keep you from getting the oxygen that will allow your body to remain in balance. When you are stressed or fearful, you tend to hold your breath, which only creates more tension.

When you unconsciously hold your breath or your breathing is too shallow, you begin to deprive yourself of much-needed oxygen. This throws your body even further off track and can lead to headaches, fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed.

Learning to Breathe Deeply

Learning how to breathe through stressful situations allows you to think more clearly and your body to function more efficiently. When you begin to feel your muscles tighten and your mind race, quiet yourself and take a few deep, sustained breaths. 

This helps to restore sufficient levels of oxygen to both the brain and the cardiovascular system. As your blood travels through your body, the oxygen is much easier to utilize providing the muscles and soft tissues with the elements they need to function efficiently.

Tip: Notice how many times during a typical day that you stop breathing for a few moments. Then, take in a long, deep breath and feel waves of relaxation. 


As you inhale, you bring in much-needed oxygen. Exhaling forces out wastes and contaminants that are eliminated through the lungs. The steady rhythm of your breathing helps you to begin to re-balance yourself. 

Long, steady, deep breaths combined with the even, measured beat of your heart, will slowly re-establish the necessary rhythm that will keep your body in its naturally balanced state.

Balancing Your Body's Energies

Conscious breathing refocuses the energy in your body towards its natural purpose and optimal health. The additional oxygen that's brought in nourishes the body and mind, providing additional energy and facilitating healing processes wherever they are needed. 

Deep breathing re-establishes blood flow to areas where that may be depleted and expands the ribcage, stretching the muscles, and making it easier to breathe more fully.

A few deep, conscious breaths every hour will re-establish balance in both the mind and body. They will clear the mind and energize the body, giving you what you need to function effectively and efficiently throughout the day.

Three Critical Ways Neuro-Linguistic Programming Helps Fitness Clients Stay Motivated


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a coaching method developed in the early 1970's at the University of Santa Cruz. Since its inception, NLP has systematically made its way into nearly every profession and continues to develop as a robust field. 

Originally defined as the study of the structure of subjective experience, there are much simpler, easier-to-understand definitions of NLP

Given how critical it is for fitness and weight loss clients to stay motivated, most personal trainers should become experts in communication skills. Through the added influence high-level communication skills provide, motivating clients to stick with their programs becomes more obvious and successful. 

I understand if you're one of those fitness trainers who says: I tell people exactly how to succeed in getting fit and when they come to their appointments, they get world-class training. But if they don't stick with it, there's nothing I can do. 

I get it. It's a simple philosophy and you don't have to dig a little deeper into the workings of their mind. Yet, if this is your philosophy, you're missing opportunities to retain many of your clients. Not all, but enough to make learning how to motivate people worth your while. 

Here are three ways you can use NLP to motivate your clients:


1. Build an inner timeline.


An NLP timeline is how people picture the past and future on the inside. How we structure the past and future (with our own imaginary timeline) has a dramatic impact upon motivation. 

If a client plans to work with you for six months, with NLP skills you could simply and easily invite them to construct a motivating inner timeline that will be there 24/7 to keep them on track. For more info, check out the iNLP Center article: NLP Timeline: An Up-to-Date Overview | Here's How it Can Change your Life. 


2. Draw out their inner resources. 

We all have goals, but how often do we specifically identify the inner resources we will need to accomplish them? The NLP Outcome Specification technique is a series of the most useful goal-setting questions ever developed. 

One of those questions is, "What inner resources (that you already have) will you need to draw upon to reach your goal?"

Identify that most helpful mindset or emotional resource up front so that when the going gets tough (and it always does) clients are ready. A solid NLP practitioner would identify that resource and give the client a method (through anchoring) to call upon it at will. Think about it: What if your clients were systematically prepared to encounter every typical obstacle by drawing upon their most powerful inner resources and not becoming a victim of circumstance?


3. Reframe bad eating habits.

Many fitness training clients fall prey to sudden attacks of food cravings. No matter how badly they want to get in shape, when cravings hit, it's like another mindset takes over - one that is definitely NOT interested in fitness or healthy eating. 

You'd never attempt to treat a true eating disorder, but what if you could hand clients a way to effectively separate themselves from food cravings? This alone might skyrocket your client retention. When people "blow it" because of food cravings, they often become discouraged and...say goodbye to that client. 


Working in this way with clients isn't every fitness trainer's thing. But for those who have the capacity and the willingness to learn how to do it, the rewards are enormous. 


Health & Fitness Tracking: Bane or Benefit?

There are a multitude of ways to lose weight and to succeed, it's a good idea to track your progress. Enter a myriad of cool devices! But do fitness tracking devices help in the long run?

With the advent of wearable tracking devices (think FitBit, AppleWatch), you can receive constant, minute by minute feedback on your heart rate and pulse, the number of steps you’ve taken, your calories burned vs. calories ingested, your blood oxygenation and sugar levels - even how much sleep you get.

With the ability to set goals and monitor progress with frequent feedback, many people find these devices extremely helpful in staying motivated and moving towards their exercise objectives.  

And yet, many others fail to gain any significant or lasting benefit, and some even report that the device feels like ‘the enemy’, resulting in feelings of stress, guilt and a lower motivation to exercise.

Beyond the quality of the device itself in terms of usefulness of data, ease of use, look and feel etc., let’s take a look at what other factors might play a role in determining an individual’s success or failure with these devices:


This is a biggie.  Motivation is one of the primary selling points of these devices.  Then why do some find them motivating while others do not?  The key is individual motivation style.  While the devices prompt you to set goals and provide plenty of feedback, that feedback isn’t neutral and can be positively or negatively motivating depending on how a person interprets it.

For example, if you fail to reach a particular goal for the day, does that push you to try harder tomorrow, or do you feel discouraged and reach for that tub of ice-cream for comfort?

Another key point to remember is that if the underlying motivation is not meaningful or sustainable, then neither will the fitness gains be.  A tracker can be a catalyst in someone who is otherwise already motivated, but it cannot exercise for you or give lasting motivation of its own accord. 

Behaviors and underlying beliefs need to be worked with and adjusted to spark lasting personal discipline.  


Another key selling point of trackers is the data and information they provide the wearer, via actual physiological feedback, and also through integrated online nutrition and fitness information. 

Knowledge is power, and many individuals with little to no knowledge of fitness and nutrition guidelines will find the devices a wealth of new and helpful information to guide and inspire them in their battle with the consequences of obesity

Conversely, many knowledgeable athletes will find the devices extremely helpful by providing them with a known starting point and a measurable plan to achieving their fitness goals.

However, too much information and a tendency to get caught up in over-analysis of the numbers and data constantly streaming in front of you can cause some wearers to become obsessive and anxious.  According to fitness coach Eric C. Stevens, this can lead to “Analysis Paralysis…  sometimes information and analysis can distract us from getting to the important emotional construct of our behavioral patterns”.

Fascination with the data can quickly become a compulsion for some, causing them to constantly compare and push themselves to improve, but at the expense of fun, relaxation and enjoyment, the benefits of which cannot be measured by a tracker. 

Health and fitness can quickly become stressful for some as a result.  Since chronic stress is linked with increased carbohydrate cravings, over-eating and weight gain, this factor alone could account for some failures.

One tracker measurable worth mentioning in more detail is the calorie-counter.  Simply counting calories in versus calories out (burned during activity and exercise) may be an oversimplification of the complex set of factors that determine an individual’s metabolism and resulting weight gain or loss.  The same amount of calories can have very different effects on people — especially when it comes to weight loss. 

Unfortunately, most trackers do not currently measure the quality of the food calories being consumed, leading many wearers to focus on consuming fewer calories at the expense of good nutrition, possibly leading to disappointing results in weight loss goals.


Being accountable to someone (or in this case something, the tracker) means having to answer to them for either accomplishing or failing, an assignment or goal.  Trackers provide an excellent platform for accountability by incorporating goal-setting with extensive, frequent feedback on how near or far you are from accomplishing those goals. 

Accountability typically yields positive results in business and personal goal setting, and so it seems logical that it would provide similar benefits for health and fitness. People who need that extra little push in getting active and staying on course will find this feature very helpful.  

However, this high level of accountability may lead some individuals to feel anxious, stressed, or guilty when they do not meet their targets (negative motivation). Having clearer data also may not prevent people from lying to themselves or their personal trainer, either!

Long-term Vs. Short-Term Success

Studies on the use of fitness trackers are revealing that, though their inherent motivation and accountability seem to benefit some wearers, the majority of the gains are short-term, and don’t result in the long-term lifestyle changes necessary for lasting good health and fitness.  (Reference)

As happens with popular new diets and the latest exercise fads, unless the individual’s underlying behaviors, beliefs, and motivations are addressed, most people will experience some short-term success only to slip back into old patterns once the novelty wears off.

John Jakicic, a physical activity researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, says. “These activity trackers really don't engage people in strategies that really make a difference in terms of long-term lifestyle change.”  

Success with health goals may boil down to simple caring. Many, many Americans do not care about their own health, according to the statistics. Fitness trackers can't touch this issue, can they?

Other References:

Have you Ever Lied to your Coach or Personal Trainer? This Could Be the Surprising Reason Why


After writing this post on why men lie, it occurred to me that lying to coaches and trainers is probably a significant issue, so here we go!

I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of such lies:) So, there’s no condemnation here, only thoughts - some surprising - on why we lie to coaches and trainers - and what effect it has.

FYI, I’ll just use the word coach in this post to avoid having to continually type coach or trainer:)

What we lie about…

#1: Compliance. Yes, you’ve been great on your diet.
#2: Knowledge. Oh yeah, you know all about nutrition and stuff.
#3: Satisfaction: Of course you’re happy with how your trainer works with you!

The obvious rationale for being 100% honest with your coach is that you’re paying for his or her help. You had a good reason to hire a coach, and when you don’t give honest feedback, your coach won’t know which adjustments to make in your program. You’re shooting yourself in the foot by rendering your hire less effective.

Why would anyone lie to the person hired to help?

The reasons go beyond wanting to appear compliant, but this is one reason. You want your coach to think you’re a good client - on the ball and still very motivated.

You also don’t want your coach to feel bad - to take your non-compliance personally - as if he or she isn’t doing a good job.

Ok, so you’re protecting your image and that of your coach, but is there more to it? You bet. If you take a look deeper, you might be surprised at the hidden motivation involved.

The Deeper Reason for Lies

Typically, we lie to avoid things. We lie to avoid conflict, for example, falsely agreeing with people in order to avoid an argument. We lie to avoid being punished. No, I didn't eat the dessert out of your lunch!

What are we really avoiding when we lie to a coach about compliance with our program?

My answer: You’re avoiding the self-sabotaging part of you that wants to be miserable.

Bear with me now:) For me, and ALL of my clients, there is one important reality to deal with when we lack self-discipline. Deep down, we don’t want what we think we want. And what we do want is often pretty ugly.

This is often the case when follow through is relatively simple, but ends up being impossible to pull off. Sticking to a certain diet and avoiding junk food. Simple! And totally doable on a behavioral level. Just follow your diet, period.

The problem occurs on a different level. It’s not that it's physically impossible to keep the Twinkie out of your mouth. The issue is, a part of your psyche doesn’t care - at all - about being healthy. This part of you is probably more comfortable being fat. A part of you wants to be fat and is willing to embrace the misery! And this inner demon comes out around 9 PM, right?

This is a psychological issue - not a behavioral one. Deep down, we crave familiarity more than anything. I often suggest to clients and remind myself that we would choose a familiar misery over a foreign happiness nine times out of ten.

So, part of you wants to maintain the status quo and resist change, even when change will make you happier and healthier. This is known as self-sabotage. It’s more common than most of us realize. Now, self-sabotage doesn't have to be a deep, dark, scary issue. It's normal. When we see it and are honest, ithe tendency nearly evaporates and we can get on with our positive goals.

Back to the lying issue.

We lie to our coaches to protect our self-sabotage - to avoid having to deal with it. We spend our conscious hours wishing the issue would disappear, but never really confront it. Ironic, isn't it?

Then, the lying catches up to us because, well, our gut is not shrinking like it should and, well - hey that coaching thing just isn’t working out, so….time to stop showing up for appointments and just let it go. Another coaching failure.

According to my life coach training, the issue of hidden self-sabotage belongs on the table right in the beginning and completely normalize it. Clients begin right away to be honest about how they’re covering their self-sabotage and learn to confront it. It’s amazing!

Have you ever lied to your coach? Why?

Jack Lalanne’s Key to Being Unstoppable and a Bizarre Discovery about Human Nature

In an interview, I had the very fortunate opportunity to ask Jack Lalanne the questions I had been dying to ask him for 25 years. He was 93 at the time, two years before his passing.

What’s your secret? How have you stayed so healthy and committed for so long? What makes the difference between a Jack Lalanne and an average person?


fitness self sabotage

Jack was ripped decades before it was fashionable


He didn’t miss a beat. “Pride and discipline,” was his matter-of-fact response. Personal pride and self-discipline were the engine of his unstoppable life.

And then he expounded. You can read the full interview here if you want. You’ll probably need to click back to page one of the publication once you get there, for some reason.

It hit me when I woke up this morning...

I woke up thinking of that Jack Lalanne interview for some reason. Then it occurred to me that I (and many other achievement-oriented people) probably don’t spend much time feeling proud - appreciating - what we’ve accomplished. Lalanne’s words: Be proud of who you are, of what you’ve accomplished, rang in my head.

Personal pride supports personal discipline. The more you allow yourself to feel good in accomplishing goals - to feel good about yourself, the more inclined you’ll be to stick to your guns when the going gets tough.

Most of us do the opposite….

The reality for so many of us is that we actually (perhaps unconsciously) push away good feelings. In fact, research suggests one of the major contributing factors to depression is the tendency to suppress positive feelings.

It’s not that we don’t have positive feelings. We just deny them - push them back down - when these happier states naturally emerge within us. Amazing, isn’t it!

But why would anyone do such a thing?

We should start by accepting that people, in fact, do this. If you’re not convinced, spend a day monitoring yourself. How many opportunities to feel wonderful do you pass by? How often do you squelch positive, joyful, victorious, happy feelings when they arise? Do you skip doing the very things that you know would make you feel great?

If you accept that suppressing positive feelings can be a habit, then you must also accept that you - or some part of you - has something against feeling good! This is the essence of self-sabotage.

To overcome self-sabotage, there are some bizarre facts we must confront. One of them is that, deep down, we aren’t as committed to happiness as we like to think. I'd recommend an enlightening tutorial on how self-sabotage works in the psyche.

Finally, think about how it all applies to training clients.

It breaks down like this:

1. Client has goals.
2. Yet, client unconsciously resists happiness and feeling good.
3. Achieving health and vitality makes you feel good.
4. Sabotage those goals and remain stuck in a familiar rut of malaise.
5. You lose a client.

Educating yourself about self-sabotage may be the best thing you can do for yourself and your clients. I know it has been for me.

Jack Lalanne was no self-sabotager when it came to fitness. And that's what made him the Godfather of Fitness.