Thursday, April 9, 2015

How NOT to be a coach: keeping it real

*advanced warning - there will be profanity*

This past weekend I joined a "Clean Eating" group on FB run by one of those coaching sites that I won't name here but just open up any browser and I'm sure their site will pop up.  I've been looking for a little more structure to get my eating back on track and it sounded like a good idea at the time. One of my friends is a coach and when she asked if I wanted to join I told her I would love to check out the meal plans and I'd follow as close as I could, but would not be buy any shakes (No worries, she said, they aren't required) and would not be participating on Wednesday because I already had plans to go to Chicago for a Cubs game with the family for my 20th anniversary.

She was totally cool with that because HELLO, our lives do not stop because of a meal plan.  Have fun, she said, and just get back on track on Thursday.

So on Wednesday, I checked in with my lunch, which by all accounts was VERY healthy considering what the other 3 people sitting around me were consuming and I was proud of the choices I made.  I really wanted a Reuben or Chicago beef sandwich but I went much healthier:  Turkey burger with only 1/2 the bun and all of the veggies from my sandwich and my son's, veggies on the side instead of fries, oh - and that beer.  Yes, I said in the group that I was in Chicago for a Cubs game and planned on having a couple beers and a Chicago dog at the game. Because CHICAGO...CUBS...BASEBALL!

My lunch - there's a turkey burger under all that produce.
I got a couple comments about how leaving 1/2 the bun and choosing veggies over fries was a great compromise.  Or something like that.  You see, I can't go back and check what people actually said because...I GOT REMOVED FROM THE GROUP! read that right.  The actually admin, XXX (edit-I was asked to remove her name from the post and I'm not a bitch so I've removed it), removed me from the group without even asking me what I was doing or why I was eating what I was eating.  Does this sound like good coaching to you?

This is the direct message I received this morning from my friend who is also a coach and who I thought was the admin for the group.


I seriously didn't know what to think. Apparently some of the other participants were all pissy because "Why should she get to cheat when I can't?".

I have a news flash for those other participants - and Coach XXX, too.  God gave you free will and the ability to make choices.  How you deal with those choices and how you move past them is entirely up to you.  The only person you have to answer to is yourself and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

I chose to keep it real and admit that I wasn't on plan that day (which I guess admitting was against the rules) instead of just disappearing for the day (which was also against the rules because we were required to check in at the end of each day). Other people had commented that their meals were "a 3 out of 5" or "I had an emergency appointment so my lunch was XYZ". Did they get removed? I hope no one else in the group admits to eating an Oreo or having a glass of wine because XXX will kick them out of the group, too, instead of being a COACH.

Yes, XXX, you proved exactly how NOT to be a coach.  You never talked to me, messaged me, or gave me a chance to discuss it.  You simply removed me from the group.  You didn't know that it was my 20th anniversary and that I chose an activity for the entire family so I could squeeze a little bit more time with my twins who are moving away from me next year, instead of just some fancy dinner with Mike where we probably would have each had a bottle of wine and easily twice the calories I had yesterday.  You didn't know that we parked a good walk away so I probably had more exercise yesterday than a lot of your other participants.  You didn't know that I didn't drink another beer after 1:20 when the game started because I chose not to.  You don't know that I didn't eat again until about 7:30 last night when I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich.  You didn't know that I got up at 7:00 this morning and ran 4 miles.  Again, something I'm sure most of your participants would not do after being out late from driving home the night before.  You don't know that I already had today's meals planned out to be back on track.  I was 100% PERFECT on Monday and Tuesday, yet you chose to ban me after one day without so much as one iota of "coaching" from you.

If I sound pissed, you're reading this correctly.  Pissed. Shocked. Also a little hurt. If that's the kind of "support" that this particular group gives, I worry for the participants who really need it.  Because I'm sure there are other people out there who need a real coach - someone who talks to them and helps them get back on track, someone who helps them make a plan for "life" happening, someone who doesn't just drop them like a hot potato as soon as they make a choice that you don't approve of.

Good luck to the rest of the people in that clean eating group.  I really hope you find the support and encouragement you need.  Thanks to my friend who had the decency to message me, too.  I really do appreciate her support.

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