I need to rant for a minute.
I need to call bullshit on everyone who preaches to simply "trust the process."
So many people spew this statement when it comes to weight loss and body composition change. But, honestly, where in life can you sit back and simply trust the process without putting in the work to understand it and grind a bit to make it work for you? For example, when you need to find a job you send resumes, fill out applications, follow up, send thank you cards, network, etc. You don't simply apply for a job and sit back and trust that someone will contact you. You have know and understand the work to put in to get your desired outcome.
This morning I was reading through a few posts on a Facebook group I am a part of. A woman posted that a coach had sent her a macronutrient breakdown that she had been working to remain compliant with. Unfortunately she was feeling too exhausted to workout and her cravings were out of control which was leading to binges a few times per week, completely obliterating any progress she had made. Many other members of the group responded by saying, "trust the process!" "Give it time, everything will start working!" I posted that I couldn't disagree more. When your body is telling you something isn't working, trust it. Tune into the signals it is sending you and make the changes that you need to feel better, which will ultimately allow you to perform better and make more progress toward your goal. Do some investigative work around why what you are doing isn't effective for you, so you can implement something different.
Maybe I am sensitive to the statement because of my personal story. I'll tell you about it real quick... I was about three weeks into the weight loss program I had joined and I signed up for a coaching call to check in with my coach and discuss how things were going. On the call I shared that I was down around 13 pounds already and questioned the fact that I was taking in around 800 calories per day. My rational brain knew that I needed more food and more nutrients to improve the way I was functioning and the way I felt. My coach was shocked that I would question the system and stated, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I questioned again if I should eat more and he firmly told me that I needed to just "trust the process." At this point I knew nothing about fitness or nutrition and I had paid him to help me get results, so I carried on, trusting the process.
Now, I don't regret any part of the path I took to get to where I am at this very moment. Looking back, I only wish that I had been more mindful to tuning into what my gut was telling me. I was eating 800 calories per day and was dropping weight like crazy, but I was literally starving and was typically quite lethargic. I wasn't interested in learning about the process, I was only interested in the end result, hoping to be happy with the way my body looked. If I had taken the time to understand the process, or had a coach who was willing to teach me a rational process to reach my goals, I would have realized much earlier that eating in such a caloric deficit was not going to help me achieve the aesthetics I desired.
Each of our bodies respond differently to different approaches. Some people on weight loss journeys will respond better to eating lower fats and higher carbs, while others feel better eating higher fats and lower carbs. Instead of blindly following one prescribed way of doing something, why not take the time to understand and trust what your body is telling you that you need. Like I have said before; embrace and learn from your journey. The more you learn and understand about the process, the easier it will be to sustain your way of living.
I know that not everyone wants to know the scientific rationale behind why things work the way they do. But, I do think it is important to understand the basic principles of why you are doing something and why it works or doesn't work. If you have a coach who refuses to tell you why you are going low carb, carb back loading, carb cycling or utilizing intermittent fasting, it might be time to rethink who you have supporting you. The best coaches I know strive to educate and empower their clients to move toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes at least teaching the basic tenants of why they are prescribing a certain nutrition or fitness plan.
Instead of blindly trusting the process, I encourage you to dig a bit deeper to understand it. Then, trust yourself to implement the right process for you.
Sarah is a licensed clinical social worker and wellness coach. Find out more about her and follow her blog at www.shestrivesforstrength.com.