She looked at me and said, “I know I need to work on my abs. And my arms, they’re so flabby. Look at this. (Jiggles arms.) And my inner thighs. Actually, just all of it. My whole body needs to change, I’m not even close to where I know I should be. (Awkward laugh.)”
I had just started with a new private training client. Sitting in her living room, I had asked, “What are your goals as we work together?” Her answer wasn’t an uncommon one. As a fitness trainer, when I ask about my clients’ goals, they usually go straight to telling me the places on their bodies they hate.
I was tired of hearing people list everything they hated about their bodies. But I wasn’t just tired of it, I felt like asking the question this way was actually harming my clients’ self-image and ability to achieve results. So when I recently started with a different client, I asked this instead,
“What’s the strongest part of your body?”
She opened her mouth to tell me. Then stopped. Then laughed and, after a few considered moments, said, “You know I guess my legs? Yeah, I think my legs are pretty strong.”
“Great!” I said. “Let’s start there.”
In the wellness space, we are often looking at our goals as