Discover more from Lou O'Reilly takes out the trash.
You are in charge. Of everything.
How to tell if your trainer/coach/insert consultant type here is a good one. Or not. Bit ranty, just so you know what you're in for. Also a bit about nutrition.
Kia ora my sweaty pals, how are you all doing today?
I’m sorry this is a late newsletter. Gastro moved into our house last week and I won’t go into detail, but there are some nasty bugs out and about. We’re recovered now, thankfully, and so on with the show.
Today I wanted to chat with you about a thing I read online about being in charge. It was written from the perspective of coaches needing to understand that their clients are in charge of their own lives and if a client wants to do a thing, it is our role as coaches to support them in the safest and best way possible.
I don’t know who the author was but they were spot on! That is exactly the role of a solidly good coach. To help you to do what you want, not tell you how it’s going to be and lay down the law.
You’re in charge. You’re the boss. And so whatever advice or tip-off or information anyone tells you, it’s your right to do with that as you wish. And if you approach a coach or fitness trainer, they should be coaching YOU to do what YOU want.
And this my friends, is how you’ll know you are being supported by an excellent coach that has your interests at heart, rather than a rubbish one with an agenda. Sadly the fitness industry is full of trainers with a self-serving agenda. And it’s nearly always to make their Instagram look good.
I’ll use the keto diet as an example.
It’s no secret that for me, every single diet can get in the bin. I am not interested in any way of eating that does not offer flexibility as for me, healthy eating is flexible eating. Cake belongs. Dessert belongs. KFC belongs. You get it.
The keto diet that promotes eating foods very low in carbohydrate, very high in fat, and a middle of the road approach to protein, is not a diet I would recommend to anyone. However if we are working together in any fitness and food capacity, and if everyone around you is eating this way, or you’re interested in trying to eat this way, who the hell am I to tell you no, or that you shouldn’t.
You’re in charge.
And so if this is you, and you want to try any XYZ diet here, my role is not to tell you you can’t but to show you how to do it safely. Or to show you how to try elements of it to see if this way of eating actually does work for you. Or to point you to a registered dietitian to see if there are other things that need to be looked at which are well outside of my scope as a coach.
Same with exercise. If you want to learn how to row for 30 minutes straight for whatever reason, it is my job as a coach to show you how to build up your rowing practice so you can do that. It is not my job to disregard your feelings, tell you rowing is rubbish, and that you should actually be lifting heavy weights instead. I can share with you my recommendations for why I think some ways of eating or ways of exercising are better in my professional opinion, but it no way should it be my way or the highway.
If anyone in this industry tells you that you need to eat a certain way, or do a certain thing or adopt a certain behaviour, and you just don’t want to, please feel the empowerment to tell them to bugger off, and do what you want instead.
Rant over, now for the food bit.
A few weeks back we were chatting about ways and things to try so you can feel better. We covered off drinking enough fluids, managing stress, and getting a good amount of sleep. I gave the tips a bit of a break so anyone following along would have some space to breathe and practice a few of those things. And now that we’ve had that space, I thought I would tackle the nutrition side of things.
Food is complicated. Nutrition is complicated. I won’t be able to write a few paragraphs on this and job be done, but I figure if I try and touch on it in each email to you, it might be a little easier to digest. Lol, see what I did there? Digest.. sorry.
A HAES aligned approach to nutrition
As a HAES aligned coach, I don’t do diets, I don’t do scales as a success metric and I don’t do restriction. Never ever will there be any words from me about taking things away from your plate. In my heart of hearts I truly believe no good can come from restriction. And this comes from my own lived experience of a lifetime of diets and restriction with all the miserable failures associated, so I know what I’m talking about here, and I suspect you do too.
However, the concept of adding nutritiously dense foods to your plate, alongside all the other things you want to eat, well that works much better. We hear and see the messages of eating well, or eating better. Everything is up for debate, but I really don’t think eating better means replacing tasty food with low calorie lettuce salad that is not what we want to eat. (Props to anyone who enjoys lettuce salad, no shade I promise!)
We know that fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats are good for us. The vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients like protein and carbohydrates are what helps our body to thrive. When we eat them regularly we feel good. But it’s not the only type of food that helps us to feel good.
My registered dietitian pal Elise at Feed Nourish Feast talks about the different types of hunger and it’s a game changer. Elise says you can be physiologically hungry where you might have a rumbling tummy and need a decent sized meal to feel satisfied. She also says there is head and heart hungry where food is comforting and mouth hungry where there is a flavour or a texture of something you are craving. For me, this is often chocolate or salted peanuts. Sometimes it’s an ice block on a hot day.
Meeting these “want” needs also helps us to feel good and really, they all work well together. Tick off the nutritionally dense foods that our body needs to thrive, and then add on the foods that make us feel good based on what we want at the time.
Adding to the plate rather than taking away.
What do you think?
How good do you think you’d feel if you met your emotional or tangible needs for food while also meeting your body nutritional needs?
And imagine how you’d feel if you got to a place of getting quality sleep, keeping your stress under control, feeling hydrated, and eating good food. Top that off with moving your body for the joy of it instead of as a chore, and you might be somewhere close to the jackpot of feeling rather good.
That’s what we set out to attempt, right? Feeling good. Much easier to get there instead of focusing on things we can’t control, and arbitrary goals of health.
Am I right?
Thank you for being here, I appreciate all of you for your support of my work! Feel free to get in touch with me by replying to this email, or send me one direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.