Operation: Middle Finger

A couple of months ago, I had a sensitive conversation with a client (let’s call her Judy) which was hard to forget. Judy had been approached by someone close to her who insinuated that maybe she wasn’t taking her weight loss very seriously due to a plateau in results.

I take a lot of issue with statements like this.

For one, as the coach, I don’t strong arm my clients into better results. Some clients want more frequent touch points to stay on track and some need breathing room to try and sort things out on their own after initial guidance. These positions aren’t static, they’re flexible. A client can shift on either end of that spectrum depending on life stressors and their current priorities. So, as life ebbs and flows, scale weight may do the same. My clients don’t lose weight on my time schedule, they do so on theirs.

However, Judy was upset about being approached in this way and, to be honest, it got me sort of riled up too.

To that point, I pushed back and said: “Well, we have a new goal now. When you’re ready to focus on weight loss again, we do it to send a nice, big “f*ck you” to anyone who thinks you can’t succeed.”

Let’s come back to that.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with a family who was tremendously supportive of me. They may not have agreed with every move I made but I had guidance, I had support and I had love every step of the way. I know many others who did not grow up with the same foundation that I did. For that, I am immensely grateful.

However, my biggest critic, the most negative voice in my life, was my own. That was/is the voice that screamed: “You can’t, you won’t, you don’t deserve it, you can’t succeed at it, etc.”

Maybe your current lack of results is because you spend too much time listening to the voice that I listened to.

Or, maybe you’re like Judy and some part of your intimate circle of friends/family is the voice that keeps you from moving forward.

Either way, the advice is the same.

Most of my clients (and most of my readers) know the answer to their weight loss struggles. They know about calories, they probably know about macronutrients, and they’ve likely taken a ride on more than a handful of dietary rodeos.

So, it’s not a lack of information, it’s a lack of faith. Faith in staying consistent to the plan and faith in themselves that they can get the job done.

When Judy and I came up with a game plan to get weight loss moving again, I had a hashtag for her that was only somewhat in jest: #operationmiddlefinger

Whoever you are, wherever you are, there’s probably someone (or even yourself) who needs to be put in their place. You don’t have to confront these people and you don’t have to fight them, you just have to prove them wrong.

I’ve personally found that some of my own successes came when I had something of a chip on my shoulder.

I know this crosses into territories that are more extrinsic motivation rather than intrinsic motivation. Depending on who you are and what you’re struggling with, you may need more of one than another to get things moving in the direction you initially desired.

Ever since that conversation, Judy has been steadily moving the needle back the direction she wants it to go. She sends me sporadic updates about the food choices she’s making, she’s sticking post-it notes in places (pantry, dashboard and fridge) that serve as reminders that she has a goal she’s focusing on and she’s rallying the troops who she knows she can count on to keep her more aligned with her goals as opposed to the polar opposite.

Operation: Middle Finger isn’t about perfect lives, perfect people or perfect diets. It’s about lighting a fire up under your ass when things get weird (because they do) and putting the pieces back in place.

Shout out to Judy for making the “operation” work.

“We Make Great People Greater”

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