Dan & Vic recently lost a fuck ton of weight.
Around 25kg of the stuff.
Here, we tell their story and discuss the key moment which allowed huge changes to be made in their lives.
Eventually, it was a rapid transformation.
The amount of time working with me it took to be ready for this change?
Roughly 3 years.
3 years of getting stronger and consistent training, but if anything, both had gained weight in our time together.
This is the case with many Personal Training clients. We are there to help, to help them get fitter and make sure they are getting all the benefits of exercise regardless of whether they are ready to lose weight. That doesn't mean they lose weight. Even if they want to.
Did I question whether I could help them or force them to change?
Did I blame myself for their lack of weight loss?
I think only a psychopath doesn't occasionally blame themselves when someone isn't ready to change.
Most of the time I knew it is a 'life' thing.
Life is too tasty, fun and stressful for weight loss until something painful or scary happens to change perspectives.
Numerous attempts and frustrations later, they've both come to life from a weight loss perspective.
They've lost roughly 25kg between them. Victoria got her BMI into the healthy zone which became an important goal in the process.
Both are in their mid-to-late 30's. Both work full-time, stressful jobs. Vic is an architect and Daniel...i'm still not sure what Daniel does, but it involves lots of meetings and travel so I assume it's important.
I've trained them since the magical year that was 2020.
The Transformational Moment
Daniel has a favourite trouser shop.
The trouser shop opened a new branch near to where Daniel lives.
Daniel ordered large trousers as he had never been larger than large.
He doesn't slip into these trousers.
He goes to war trying to get them on.
He wins the battle.
Walks out of the changing room and asks Vic what she thinks.
To quote Vic: [laughing] I didn't laugh!
She totally laughed.
So Daniel left with extra-large trousers.
This made Daniel ANGRY. An angry Daniel gets stuff done. Vic has wanted to drop weight for a while but something wasn't right and the weight loss didn't happen until recently.
It has been incredible to see how their motivation was completely transformed by what must've been a painful experience for Daniel.
Changes They've Made
Started tracking calories properly
Used smart scales which generates graphs and pdfs which Daniel loves
Upped their activity levels with riding to work and walking more
Massively reduced their alcohol intake
Built in adaptability so off days and holidays don't derail their progress or mental health
According to Vic, gamification has been essential to their weight loss. This is something to keep in mind for any couples trying to lose weight together.
Both started between 80 and 90kg mark.
Vic is below the 70kg mark and Daniel is now in the low 70s.
They train with me 1-2 times per week via video from their London apartment using a minimal equipment.
They've started doing some sessions away from me, but no gym membership has been required.
A Reminder For Coaches
A coach should try multiple strategies to motivate a client and keep them accountable HOWEVER for some clients it will take years for them to be in a position to deliver results. I begin training them in 2020 and they were only ready to change in early to mid-2023!
Myself, Dan and Vic have worked together since 2020. They tried losing weight multiple times. They tried logging calories numerous times. They tried training away from our sessions numerous times. FOR YEARS.
Something I think about a lot is being ready for change. What are the chances that someone is ready to change when they begin working with a coach?
When someone takes on a coach, it is to try to become ready for change rather than an indication that they ARE ready to change beyond the incredible step of starting or continuing training.
This is at odds with what a lot of the fitness industry is promising i.e. fast results, instantly. 8 week transformations, 12 weeks transformations, you name it.
I don't think there is anything wrong with these these if they are run in an effective, ethical way. It does however, make coaches feel bad when their clients don't make progress instantly and it can make the you feel bad when you see others smashing their goals seemingly instantly.
Most people aren't ready to change when you start training them. In fact, if you train the general population it might be that most of your clients don't make much visual progress at all and you are largely playing a damage limitation role as they live their life and keep turning up for training sessions.
But there comes a time in a client's life when they have a keystone moment, a transformative moment. A painful moment. An A-ha moment...
A moment so powerful that it switches something in someone's brain to the point that change, transformational change beyond "just" training becomes possible because the discomfort of change is better than the discomfort of their current situation.
This moment might cause intense shame, upset, even anger.
There may be tears.
There may be excitement.
It is usually intense emotion and I am sure there is a great name for these moments that Dr. Lisa Lewis would know, but I alas, do not.
When that transformation moment happens, be ready because motivation and drive will never be higher and these moments can cause behavioral change which can last a lifetime.
Lastly, well done Dan & Vic. You've done so well and I love working with you.
By Chris Kershaw
The Heavy Metal Strength Coach