Episode 68: What It’s Actually Like

Good morning, everybody! I’m really excited for this episode because I’m gonna give a very transparent analysis of what it’s actually like to have a coach. So, I’m gonna tell you about two different coaches that I had in my life, and I’m gonna tell you about how I approached my relationship with both of those coaches and how that impacted the results I got.

So, my very first coach that I ever hired, I was a grad student, and I remember the moment vividly because it was through Black Iron Nutrition. I wanted to hire a nutrition coach. I was really struggling with my eating patterns, my relationship with food, and I remember that I had to pay $115 a month for this coach, and I was a grad student making $19,000 a year. And so, that seemed preposterous for me. But I knew that my productivity and my success in grad school and my mental health all were deeply related to my nutrition and my routines, and so, I wanted it so bad that I was willing, to be honest, put it on a credit card and kind of had a deal-with-it-later mentality, which I don’t recommend you do. But that is what I did in that situation.

So, I put this nutrition coaching on a credit card, and I signed up, and this was macro-based coaching. So, my coach would give me macro targets every week, and then I would put those in MyFitnessPal, and I would track my food, and I would try to hit those targets. It was interesting because the first week was fairly effortless because I knew how to track macros. I had done it before, and all of a sudden, having the accountability of a coach was like really, really powerful. It just felt like the decision was made. I was gonna hit my macros. That was that.

But then the second week came along, and the third week hit, and I started to encounter obstacles. They weren’t like outside obstacles. It wasn’t like I had things happening in my life. It was internal obstacles like I didn’t want to eat the food that I had pre-tracked or I impulse-bought a coffee that I wasn’t originally going to drink, and this coach wasn’t giving me a meal plan. She was just giving me targets, so I could fill those targets with whatever I wanted. But I was having a lot of self-regulation problems, and every single week, when I did my check in, I was showing up, and I was promising my coach over and over again that it would be better next week, and I was also making excuses. So, I would show up and I would tell my coach about all the things that happened that week in my life, about, “My professor said this, and I was on campus this day, and this happened with the grocery order, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But I wasn’t telling my coach about what was really going on. I wasn’t being 100% transparent and honest with my coach.

And so, what was really going on was I was stressed. What was really going on was I was having emotional regulation problems. I was emotional eating. In some cases, I, at one point, even lied and changed my macros so it looked like I hit my macros. I don’t know why I would do that. That doesn’t serve me at all, and I know better now, right? But that was my first relationship with a coach, and guess what? I didn’t get what I wanted from that coaching experience. I, at that point, wanted to lose weight, and I did not lose weight, and I worked with that coach for three months, and then I quit coaching because it wasn’t working.

Looking back now, I can very clearly see that it wasn’t working because I wasn’t doing the work, and it wasn’t working because I wasn’t allowing my coach to help me. I wasn’t allowing her to actually see what was going on with me, what I was experiencing. I wasn’t giving information about what I was actually struggling with, so how was she expected to actually help, right? And so, I want to compare that to the coach I have now.

So, I have a nutrition coach now, and on Monday of this week, I sent her a voice message, and in that voice message I was not thrilled about my eating patterns the previous three days, and so, in that voice message, I was like, “Hey, Sarah, this is what’s going on. I have been taking bites of things and not tracking them. I’ve been feeling super resistant to tracking. I skipped my work out on this day, and I’m doing all of these behaviors, and I can’t figure out why, and I’m really frustrated by it, and I just don’t feel like I know what to do, and I’m like is this even the right season for having these macros that I have? And so, I truly opened up my brain, and I dumped it into our Voxer chat.

That is just one example of the many times where I’ve actually pulled back the curtain and given my coach a real glimpse at what’s going on in my brain. And so, I just wanted to explore that or tell you those two scenarios today because some of you may have a coach, some of you may be thinking of getting a coach. Some of you may not think about getting a coach. But regardless, the question I want to ask you is are you being honest with someone in your life about what’s going on with you? Because if you aren’t being 100% transparent and honest with at least one trusted person, and then you’re not getting the support you need, the support you need is a response to vulnerability. We cannot have accurate support; we cannot get the response from the coach that we need if we aren’t willing to be honest and be authentic and be vulnerable.

So, if you’re one of our clients in the Alliance Coaching program, I really just want to nudge you here. Don’t sugarcoat it. Your coaches want to know your real thoughts and your real feelings and what’s really going on with you, and I know our coaches are pretty good at detecting bullshit, so they’ll call you out when they think you’re bullshitting, but if you have had a coach before, and if you hadn’t had a great relationship with that coach, I just want to — sometimes there are bad coaches out there, don’t get me wrong, but can you take accountability for how much you invested in that relationship? And if you’ve ever thought about having a coach, and you want to jump in and take the leap, I want you to really be prepared to show up honestly and authentically and be willing to be the most vulnerable version of yourself who’s gonna tell your coach what’s really going on so that you can actually get the support and the amazing experience that having a coach can be.


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Hi, I'm Karin

I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.


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