On June 26, 2015

Coaches’ Corner: Small victories add up, group reaches a turning point


By Beth Roberts

This week at our weekly meeting we hit my favorite point so far. As always we talked about the nutrition plan, discussed how their workouts had gone for the week and how they were feeling about everything. I realized they were on the verge of that pivotal point that is so important to this process of change.

There is a pattern for the transformation process. The first week excitement mixes with nervousness to begin a new journey to better themselves. The second week involves information gathering, learning, trying the new things and feeling the reality of changing their eating habits and feeling muscle soreness from new workouts.

At some point between the second and third week some confusion and doubt inevitably mixes with the stress of change. Questions such as: “Am I doing it right?” “Why haven’t I lost weight yet?” It always takes longer to see results than anyone would like… and this causes many to give up without support. Reminders that they took some time to get into the situation where they needed to make a change puts things in perspective. We double check that they following the plan correctly to get the most out of the experience. Words of reassurance are given to remind them they must trust the process and continue with confidence.

Then it happens. A small victory occurs and it all seems worth it. This moment comes in many forms but is crucial to the process. A pair of pants may now need a belt, a new personal record in a workout is achieved or an unexpected compliment is received. It’s often a small and simple moment but it is the pivotal turning point to settle them into their new routine. They start to become comfortable with the new habits because there was now an epiphany that it is working.

Each small victory pushes them to a new level. Words of encouragement from others help as behavioral and physical changes are noticed in them and this helps inspire them to continue. This is where they begin to settle into the new lifestyle and become comfortable. This is where the changes really start to take place and stick.

I saw the turning point start to occur in our group this past week. They are on track and about to turn the corner to the maintenance phase where these habits are just another part of their daily routine. It’s a very exciting part of the process from the coach’s point of view.

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