Peanuts

I’m going to share with you a story from when I first started Personal Training.

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I was delivering a seminar at a health club and afterwards a couple came to see me, they told me that they had tried every fad diet and product that I had just slammed in my talk and surprise, surprise they still struggled with fat loss. I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices, they were desperate, they were at the end of their tether.

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The following week they came to see me for a consultation and they had bought with them their food diaries I had asked for. As I reviewed their diaries I had to refrain from laughing at the bickering between them, as one of them had their food diary reviewed the partner would throw in their dispersions and judgements ‘I don’t know why you eat that crap’, ‘I told you not to eat that!’

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What was confusing was that both of their diaries on the whole looked good, the judgements and condescension from their partner were unwarranted. I couldn’t understand why they were in the predicament they were.

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After a bit of head scratching I asked them in a polite way if they had recorded absolutely everything. It looked like they had because things like take aways and alcohol had been recorded, which some people tend to omit out of fear of judgement.

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Wracking my brains I went through in detail each of the foods and then we made a breakthrough, I identified a bag of peanuts on both their lists. I loaded up on my phone images of different bags of peanuts, to my amazement they pointed at the brand and size they had been ‘snacking’ on. It was a kilo bag!!

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Yep 4,300 calories per bag! Each! The reason, they told me, was because they were told nuts were ‘healthy’. I explained that unless you are a heavyweight boxer or artic explorer it was unlikely you would need that much energy. Especially with their sedentary lifestyle. Now I could put them together a plan for their nutrition.

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Then was the physical assessment, the consultation room was upstairs so on realisation that the lift was out of order we took the stairs. There was a look of horror on the ladies face when I told her we had to go up the stairs! She turned to her husband with a concerned look, he then took by the arm and hand. ‘That’s nice, a public display of affection’ I thought to myself. Thinking nothing more of it I bounded up to the top of the stair case taking huge leaps, super energetic and motivated about helping these people! I made it to the top in about 10 seconds, fist pumping the air, feeling like Rocky Balboa on top of the monument steps! My high was immediately deflated as I looked back down to see they had only just made it to the mezzanine level, 10 steps up. She was toast!

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I came back down to hear her wheezing. We took a seat on the mezzanine level and told her not to worry about going up the next set of stairs. It was apparent that she might not make it.

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After she had caught her breath. It was obvious that the gym was not going to be part of her plan. We talked through what she enjoyed doing and what she is capable of doing in terms of exercise. She told me that aqua class and walking the dogs were her usual activities. ‘Perfect’ I said ‘let’s carry on doing that and I’ll sort out your nutrition.

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I put her and her husband together a plan. Something that worked for her in terms of addressing her diet and increasing her activity had massively improved her quality of life and she has lost close to 5 stone in the process, him nearly 2. And yes they still have the odd peanut.

Published by Andrew Shaw

Personal Trainer Chocolate connoisseur Lifts weights Holiday lover I interview fitness folk on YouTube

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