Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Get to the core

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"If I am tasked with helping somebody - truly helping them, not just cashing their check - to become a healthier version of themselves, I have to know how to connect with them, how to inspire them and how to get them to self-motivate."

My point is, getting to know somebody is THE top factor in knowing how I can best serve them.

How well do you know yourself?

How would you answer my question? Would you tell me what you do for work? Would you explain your current situation? Tell me how stressed you are? All the above are answers, but none of them are really what I'm asking about; YOU.

  • Can you tell me what you value? For example, what's important to you? Being practical or optimistic?
  • Can you tell me your identity? For example, you're the type of person who likes/loves/hates ______ (working hard, learning visually, being family-oriented)
  • Can you tell me your current goals? What would you feel good about accomplishing? What would you set out to do if time/finances weren't an issue?

Know thyself not thy media

If you're unhappy with your body - as most of us are - you'll soon realize that you want to be healthy. Your next step may be to run a search for "healthy," or "great workout plan," or perhaps "how to eat vegetables without making a funny face." But you'll eventually come across a photoshopped fitness model smiling as she eats a piece of broccoli.

First, you'll hate her and her perfect abs. Next, you'll start to get the idea that she is the picture of health. Finally, you'll go to the gym with that picture in your head, not realizing the extremes the model went through to get that perfect picture and the money the promoting company spent on post-production.

Four months later, you're out the cash from a membership, out the sweat and motivation from all your hard work, and loaded with frustration from your lack of expected results.


If I were to ask you to tell me about yourself, what would you say? It's a question I commonly ask my potential clients in the first few minutes. It's a great way to get a feel for where the person is in their life.

Give it some thought. How would you answer? Would you start with where you were born? Maybe what you do for a living? Perhaps you'd tell me what you like to do for fun or what you hope to do in the future.

I remember the first time the question was posed to me. I rattled off no less than seven or eight attempts to answer it. I was told why each successive answer was not my identity. With each one I could sense my blood pressure climbing more and more. If I recall, my unfortunate interviewer had to eventually move on. It wasn't until many years later that I was able to fully grasp the concept.

Why is the answer to such a simple question so important? Because it can have a profound impact on the choices we make in our daily lives. When a conflict exists between what we want and what we do, we can quickly become unhappy.

It is important to identify who we truly are and what's important to us because having that clarity can bring us true happiness. Unfortunately, we can easily become confused thanks to the internet, TV, and even our family and friends.

You may identify with an intense desire to be healthy. But if you're overwhelmed with photoshopped images of fitness models, the definition of what's actually healthy can quickly become blurred.

You may realize that taking time to relax with your loved ones and recharge is important to your well-being. But then you listen to a friend talk about how hard they work and how little they sleep. This could cause you to feel like you're slacking off and forego the family time.

If, however, you have a clearly-defined identity and set of values you'll quickly move past the above scenarios. You'll understand that each of us is on our own path, with our own identities and our own unique set of values.

When I ask this question in my initial meetings, the most common response I get is, "Well, what d'ya wanna know?" That tells me a lot right there. It's rare for me to sit with somebody who has it all figured out, but when I do I know my work is going to be smooth sailing.

After it's all said and done, my job is to help people live a healthier life. Be it by working out, eating better or lifestyle design, the end desire is always the same.

While most every client comes to me with expectations of sweating through grueling workouts, it's actually the psychological aspect that really makes the difference. Once that mindset shift occurs, everything else tends to fall in place.

For obvious reasons, I can't sufficiently cover everything I'd like to in my allotted space. The topic of finding your identity, values and goals is a tricky one. But if you'd like to learn more be sure to visit and click the blog "Value your identity." In it I'll expand on the importance of finding each one and offer tips and tools to do so effectively.

In the next few weeks I'll be digging deeper into core values. I'll share mine, cover common themes and explain why your mindset is so important to your future success.

Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at

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