ETP Client Jen in her first photoshoot.

In a Facebook group intended for personal trainers and often infiltrated by business coaches, someone posted this question along with a meme:

“Are you going to give your clients a break on Thanksgiving, or are you going to hold them accountable for diet and training?  Post below!”

The answers varied a great deal.
Some of the more facepalm-worthy answers were:

“Thighs before pies.”
“They need to put the work in if they are serious about their goals.  I’m holding them accountable.”

But the responses aren’t the only thing cringey here.  I think the question itself is concerning.

Why? It implies the trainer is the one responsible for the decisions about diet and training as though the trainer needs to grant permission for the client not to exercise or diet.

I value qualities like trust, teamwork, and personal responsibility, and I attempt to reinforce those qualities when I coach. To me, granting permission for a day off of training or a day off of calorie counting seems to contradict these values. It doesn’t promote personal autonomy. Continue reading “Autonomy”