You know I love a good expletive.
I hope the subject line of this email gave you a little chuckle. You might be surprised to learn, it’s actually a quote from a client.
Gosh, my clients are the very f***ing best.
You also know I love to tell a good, long story. But today, you might also be surprised to learn I’m mostly going to let my client tell her good, long story.
This client is a friend too, which is frequently the case with my clients. Fun fact: before she was a client, she once drove down from Milwaukee to St. Louis just to hang out for a happy hour I was hosting! It was definitely the very f***ing best. But because we’ve grown a friendship over the past couple of years, she eventually felt comfortable enough to become a client too, and this past spring, she joined Fitness Unraveled group coaching.
We actually had some conversation before she decided to sign up. She mentioned she had been reading the emails about the program all week (like this one!) and kept thinking about it, mostly that she didn’t really need it. But then, at the same time, she was also thinking that she was in her head playing a bunch of mental games about plans for working out and then not following through, confusion and blocks about why she couldn’t seem to do what she set out to do, frustration about health and weight, plus the challenges of quarantine and having time to self-reflect on this stuff. AND KOURTNEY, OMG GET ME OUT OF MY HEAD WILL FU HELP?!?
I replied that yeah, I thought those thoughts and challenges were a great fit for the program. It’s exactly the kind of stuff we work through. I told her she had good self-awareness, and the work we’d do in FU would expand that, and then build on it with what actions to take after you have that awareness. I also agreed that now is a great time and opportunity to do the self-reflection work that’ll build a stronger foundation going forward. And I assured her participating in the program would 100% get her out of her own head because not only do you have me as a coach, but an incredible and supportive group of women too.
She signed up within ten minutes.
Within the first three weeks of the program, she was posting this:
“Damn it, Kourtney! I did this for the why am I struggling aspect and now I am crying almost daily while digging into shit I didn’t know I was holding inside. I am vomiting my entire stored up shit-storm emotional life into word documents and I appreciate and love you while cursing your name continuously. And I say this with all the love.”
Heh, see, more cursing. So good.
By the halfway point of the program, here’s where this incredible woman was at:
“Pull up a chair and a drink, this is going to be a long trip…
Several years ago I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. It runs in my family, both of my grandmothers and my mother. I was frustrated by my doctor who did not ask what I ate or how I worked out but just said avoid sugary drinks and carbs and you should be on medication. I said no thank you and immediately looked for a new doctor. I like the one I have now, she is open to nutrition and lifestyle change over medication and recommends books and other resources.
My next step was to hire a trainer and start lifting and taking more control over my own nutrition and health. Things got better, I brought my A1C into an acceptable range but my fasting blood sugar is still high. Then I decided that the trainer was too expensive and, after 2.5 years, I learned enough to move forward on my own. I didn’t move forward. I worked out sporadically and found every excuse in the book not to make it to the gym because perimenopause had started and was kicking my ass in ways I never knew possible.
I joined this group because I can’t figure out where my avoidance is coming from and why I am not working out and lifting weights when I think about how much I enjoy it every day. I am also finding excuses not to run when I LOVE being sweaty after a run and feeling like I have accomplished something.
I have tried keto, low-carb, counting macros, counting calories all in an attempt to reduce my weight because my blood sugar will reduce as my weight does. Then Covid came into my life and we ended up in a loop of ordering delivery and having cocktails almost nightly for a while which meant that my weight went up more than a little. P.S. I hate counting things and weighing things and it is stupid and makes me angry.
My husband and I love to travel and explore new places. It often involves trying new restaurants, bars, and sweet shops. In addition to all of my other internal struggles, I have been battling how I fit the thing I enjoy most with my husband into needing to eat for my blood sugar and insulin resistance. Today, we went and played tennis in the morning and then he asked if I wanted lunch from one of our favorite restaurants. I broke down and cried in the car because 1/2 of me wanted to say no and 1/2 of me wanted to say yes. I walked him through my issues, he is 100% always supportive and would have taken me for a salad instantly if i asked.
I started thinking about it on the way home, and then I read an Instagram post from @kellykroberts where she is in a sports bra with her not flat or ripped abs and someone had the balls to tell her they loved her but for her own sake she should try and reduce. She responded with her usual polite correction to the comment and in there said something about setting goals and working towards them instead of trying to fit societal standards. Mind you, the work I have been doing in this group, along with other people I follow had an effect also but her comment, right at that moment brought everything together for me into a stunning epiphany.
WHY THE FUCK am I stressing about doing the things I love while I am doing things I hate?
If my husband or I ended up in the hospital with Covid or due to an accident, it would not matter what the hell my weight was or what size my pants were, or that I can’t fit in my jeans right now. It would matter that I had spent time with him and had a great day and that I enjoyed my life.
I decided at that moment that I am done tracking anything, I am done questioning if I should enjoy a patty melt with ranch and fries, I am done setting goals that don’t make me feel good inside. I immediately took the battery out of my food scale, un-followed anyone on my social medias that constantly talks about weight loss or being smaller and decided I would focus only on performance goals and just start enjoying my opportunities.
I can’t live and breathe my food choices, my activity choices and stress about the things I enjoy. I know myself well enough that I know what foods feel good to me and what foods wear me out or make me ill. I know what activities I enjoy doing and what activities I hate passionately (I really hate 5K races and anything full of people).
I have put faith in other people to give me direction, information, and constructive criticism and it is time to put that faith in myself and realize that I know what the fuck I am doing and that it is time to take action.
So, I think I’ll eat some veggies, get my steps in, and tomorrow I’ll go for a run in the woods, lift some weights, get my quad muscles back and feel good about the fact that I am going to eat the burger special at our favorite restaurant, made by our favorite chef because I designed the damn burger myself and I am going to go camping for a week and eat chips sometimes and veggies others and be fucking okay with all of it.
Kourtney – you have had a really big impact in this and I appreciate you every damn day.”
See? I told you it wasn’t actually me swearing this time! And for once, I don’t think I have many more words to add. I will add that when I recently asked her if it was OK for me to use this particular post as a testimonial of sorts, she was all for it. And when I thanked her, she said this:
“Thank YOU for helping me to get to the point where I could see what I needed in order to move forward.”
After that mid-point? At the end of the program?
Here are her parting words for you, someone out there considering joining Fitness Unraveled, maybe thinking some of the same things she was thinking:
“You are most likely not being completely honest with yourself and are buried in your own black hole of repetitive actions and thinking. This program allows you to step outside your hurdles with guided thinking and writing and provides you a path to follow where you can work through your thoughts and issues without pressure. You may take a divergent path with some of the topics because you find things you didn’t know were actually bothering you and you are allowed to explore them openly and without criticism. Completion of the program leaves you with a different perspective on your issues and thought patterns than you had when you went in and provides you with the tools to continue a more structured process without self-criticism getting in your way.”
If that sounds like the very best f***ing outcome to you, don’t take my word for anything. Take Lisa’s:
“I have known Kourtney for a few years and she brings an unlimited amount of passion to her community, to uplifting womxn, to increasing her own knowledge about the world around her, to accepting different viewpoints, and to accepting you where you are but giving you the tools to make positive changes.
Give her a chance to provide you with the best smile, virtual hugs, and welcoming tough love that you can get on the internet right now!”
Fun fact #2 – one of the other participants in the group also explicitly mentioned my cursing habit in her testimonial:
I love that you curse and you are real.
Well the whole thing also mentioned non-judgment and friendship too:
“I truly appreciated your honesty in all aspects of this program. I feel so comfortable talking with you, I don’t feel judgment or shame, especially when talking about hard shit. I love that you curse and you are real. I also liked that you knew when to push and when to acknowledge and when to let things lie. You’ve offered so much of your own heart and experience and I’m so grateful. I feel like I’ve gained a friend that I can talk to about the fun, silly stuff, and the heavy, serious stuff.” – Jenna
Always a fun f***ing group of folks. Hope you’ll be a part of it this time around.