Earlier this week, my friend Janelle told me she was avoiding her running coach because she was ashamed about gaining weight. She was worried that her coach would be mad at her, or be disappointed that she wasn’t keeping up with her workout because they felt too hard due to her weight gain.
Here’s the thing. If (and that’s a big if) Janelle’s coach actually was angry, this is clearly not the right fit for her. A coach, trainer, or any other person you hire to help you make a positive life change, should be on your side – supporting you at all times, without judgment. If you are having difficulty meeting your goals or making lifestyle changes, the role of your coach is to help you lift yourself up – not put you down.
That being said, often we project our own feelings about ourselves onto others – imagining that someone else is thinking negative thoughts about us that are really the thoughts we have about ourselves. But unless you’re a mind-reader, you can never, ever know what someone else is thinking. And in the case of a client who has gained weight, the coach could also be thinking “What can *I* do to help this person achieve her goals” rather than “I’m so angry with her for gaining weight.”
In the case of my friend, after talking it over she realized that she had no reason to believe that her coach was judging her. In fact, when she finally did make an appointment, it turned out that her coach was happy to see her return to her running routine and excited to work with her again!
If you are worried about what your coach thinks of your weight gain, or any break in your fitness routine, the easiest way to find out is to have an open and honest dialogue with her (or him). It might be difficult to get started, but this person is part of your support team and finding out their honest opinion (even if it is hard to hear) is critical to ensuring you get the most of out each session. Approach the conversation with an attitude of curiosity and you might be surprised by the results.
Have you ever been in this situation? How did you resolve it? Feel free to share in the comments!