Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
Today I’d thought I’d share a bit of mindset- and decision-making methodology with you that I like to use with my clients. See, I firmly believe that a PT should not just be excellent at creating a program of physical exercise for his clients but should also try to steer them in the right direction for mental fitness. This stuff can be applied to every aspect in life but I’m going to focus on diet and weightloss for this particular series of blogs.
The methodology is called The Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change), so TTM for short, and I believe it can really help someone make the right changes to their lifestyle and, more importantly, maintain those changes. This does require some level of self-awareness that some might not yet have but, since you’re reading this, I’m thinking it’s a pretty safe guess that you’re not in that category with regards to Health and Fitness.
Over the next few weeks I will go in depth on each stage, give examples etc. but for now I will just quickly summarise the model.
The model, developed by Dr. Prochaska, Ph.D. and Dr. Di Clemente, Ph.D. acknowledges that people change behaviours gradually in a cyclical series of phases.
That’s an important sentence as it confirms that real behavioural change happens gradually. There is no such thing as a quick, easy fix that lasts a life-time. You don’t go from living a sedentary, sitting on your bum, lifestyle to becoming a fitness fanatic from one day to the next. You don’t go from having an unhealthy diet to eating healthy all the time without a struggle and going through a process.
The good doctors have determined that INTENTIONAL change is key to changing habitual behaviours; in other words, you have to want to change your behaviour and be ready to do so. If you don’t really want to change your behaviour, for reasons we’ll come to later but denial is one of them, then there is little chance of success when you change your diet.
These are the six stages of change:
Most people are not solid in one stage, it’s not uncommon to jump about a fair bit from one day to the next, but it is very useful to know which stage you are at. Obviously the ideal stage is “Maintenance” but it takes a while to get there and it’s not uncommon to be in that stage only to have a relapse back again. The key is to understanding that going from the Maintenance – to the Relapse-stage does not equal failure.
As mentioned earlier; I will go through all the stages in depth over the next few weeks, it would make this post way too long to read to do that here but I feel it’s important that the Personal Trainer/Dietician/Nutritionist you work with understands the psychology behind change and has a decent working knowledge of it.
It is one thing to tell an obese person to eat healthy for a month and then show them the results. Sure, they are going to have lost weight and inches. That however does not mean that that person’s mindset automatically changes. A lot of my PT colleagues, and some clients, say things like; “When my clients/I start seeing results I’ll be fine and I’ll be motivated to keep X up forever” and that is simply not true. A lot of people with weight issues took years to get obese, hardly anybody becomes fat overnight, and the mindset that comes with a certain lifestyle is not going to change permanently within 30 days.
If the professional you’re working with can recognise where on the model you currently are they can really help you move forward by suggesting the right course of action and helping you stay, or get back, on track.
6 blogs coming your way about this stuff by mid-April, linked to above, I hope you enjoy them all.