I was talking to a client about yoga the other day. A friend of mine teaches a really great beginners class – small class size, restorative poses, lots of support – led by a fantastically compassionate teacher and filled with a great set of regular students. It really is the perfect place to start a new yoga practice. And doing something calming, that connects you with your body, in a supportive atmosphere is one of the best first steps to weight loss.
Perfect solution – right? Ease into your first steps to weight loss with a low impact, low start-up cost, low competition form of exercise and make new friends in the process.
Still, I wasn’t surprised when her answer was, “I’m not in good enough shape to do yoga. I can’t even touch my toes. Maybe when I’m more flexible I’ll go.”
I wasn’t surprised because this wasn’t the first time I’ve heard the “I’ll exercise when I’m in better shape” bs from a client coming to me to lose weight.
Now, I have personal trainer friends who simply write the client off – not motivated, not dedicated, not worth my time they say. Come back when you’re ready to make a change. Game over.
But I think those quick to judge coaches are missing something fundamental. I believe this type of confession is really one of the most beautiful – and often under appreciated – first steps to weight loss. This hesitation isn’t about lack of motivation or dedication or laziness like some trainers and coaches would like to believe. This hesitation is all about fear – the all caps, blazing red, warning Will Robinson kind of FEAR that we all face somewhere in our lives.
And I know that when I can help a person get over that initial first steps to weight loss fear, the rest of their weight loss journey will be so much easier.
So I made a deal with my client. We’ll go together. We’ll both wear sweats and a baggy t-shirt (no fancy yoga pants or tank tops for us just yet – though we will get there), and we’ll simply do our best – even if our best means only reaching our knees on the toe touch, even if they only pose we do really well is Savasana (the lie on your back like a corpse pose). Let me tell you, we rocked Savasana.
We faced the fear and got over that initial “I’m not good enough” hesitation. My client has started a practice of yoga. She attends regularly – another one of the important first steps to weight loss – make whatever you’re doing a regular part of your life.
The thing is we all have fears, and most of our fears hover around stretching our comfort zones – doing something new, starting something different, taking a chance. And what better way to stretch your comfort zone than to take that first step – and begin a practice that does lets you stretch – physically, mentally, and emotionally – in a safe, supportive, and restorative environment?
“I have found that you only to take that one step toward the gods, and they will then take ten steps toward you. That step, the heroic first step of the journey, is out of, or over the edge of your boundaries, and it is most often taken before you know you will be supported.” – Joseph Campbell
What heroic first step are you willing to take? Share it with us in the comment section, below – and rest assured that you will be supported.