At the recent Motivate OAK summit(which was fucking AMAZING by the way) one of the speakers compared the role of a personal trainer to that of a guide, specifically of a sherpa, in that the trainer was there to help guide the client to the top of the mountain, but that the client ultimately still had to do the climb his/herself. This really resonated with me. And beyond giving me flashbacks to this really bizarre Whitest Kids You Know skit, it really got me thinking. The weight loss journey is analogous to the journey up a mountain in more ways than the one mentioned above.
Climbing up a mountain is hard, and can be very tricky. There’s a reason that sherpas are a thing. Having someone who has helped others climb the mountain means you may avoid many of the obstacles and challenges you would have faced if trekking solo. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles. The path up the mountain isn’t a straight shot, otherwise it wouldn’t be a mountain, it would be stairs.
The indirect nature of the path brings up the important concept of focusing on the process. Focusing simply on how far you are from the top is a flawed approach for a few reasons. You may have to walk around some large boulders or crevices which may have you hiking laterally and maybe even DOWN the mountain for a stretch. This does not mean you aren’t progressing towards to top, it just appears that you are regressing. If you only have your eyes on the the end goal, this may cause you to become frustrated and give up or take a more dangerous route. This could lead to a dead end or injury. However, by realizing that this detour is all part of the journey and not losing sight of that fact, you continue onward to eventually reach the top.
Furthermore, If you try to climb as fast as you can you will most likely gas out and either need to rest for a while, or have to be helicoptered out because of elevation sickness. Now, sometimes making the mistakes I’ve discussed IS part of the process, but my hope here is that you won’t have to go through unnecessary challenges, because it sucks and is not fun.
The path is difficult, but focusing solely on reaching the summit and losing sight of the big picture will ironically pull you away from the final goal. Take the mountain one step at a time, and accept that there will be obstacles and mistakes. This will not only make the path more enjoyable but will ultimately ensure your long term success so long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other.