Transitioning from Aesthetics to Performance

Hey there, UF Fitfam! For my first blog post, I thought I’d take you down a little journey and behind the scenes of my training for my upcoming SFG Level 1 certification. If you’ve been in the gym while I’m training, chances are I’ve (jokingly) tried to trade my kettlebell circuits for your finisher. But truth is, as much as I joke about it, I’ve been loving my training lately!

The start of training for the SFG certification marked one of the first times I’ve solely trained with a performance goal in mind. Prior to this, there was always an aesthetic goal underlying my programming, even when I had performance goals in mind. When I played sports, I was concerned with the calories I was eating after games and practices so as to not gain weight. When I ran a marathon, I was focused on using that for fat loss, not hitting a goal pace. When I started lifting weights, I yearned for fat loss and body re-composition.

However, for the last six weeks, it’s been an entirely new experience. Taking care to plan meals around my workout to optimize performance, instead of staying below a set number of calories. If I felt hungry or needed a little extra fuel, I didn’t subtract that from my planned meals I had left for the day. I ate it and moved on with my training.

It’s been refreshing. I’ve felt great during and after workouts. I’ve enjoyed seeing the progress I’ve made so far. Moving quick and fine-tuning form as I build strength and endurance. I feel like I’ve been more energized, moving more efficiently, and, even though it wasn’t a priority, looking better too! Then, out of the blue, I decided to step on the scale… I was about eight pounds heavier than I thought. Everything I had been feeling good about came crashing down in an instant.

What about all my training and time spent in the gym?

What about the meal planning and prepping?

Why did I let myself have those extra snacks pre-workout?

Did I really need them or was it slipping back into overeating?

How could I have let myself lose some of the progress I made last year?

Should I go back to a lower calorie diet and be more strict?

This is just a glimpse of the spiral of thoughts that raced through my mind as I looked down at the number on the scale.

I think there’s sometimes a misconception that it’s easy for coaches and trainers. We always want to train, a salad is an easy choice over pizza, and we don’t struggle with our weight or appearance. While I can’t speak for other coaches, I can certainly tell you I’ve struggled with all of those, even after my job title became “Coach and Personal Trainer”. I’ve written about it before I joined Unity in {this article}.

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Now, as I transition from my aesthetic goal to a performance goal, I encounter new struggles. It’s difficult to see that number on the scale go up. Initially, I’m hit with the same disappointment, guilt, and frustration I felt years ago when I was struggling to find healthy eating habits and lose weight.

But why am I letting an inanimate object determine my mood at all? Not to mention, letting it ruin all of my positive energy surrounding my progress I’ve been making in the gym? The scale doesn’t always tell the truth. I know this as a fact. But emotionally, seeing the number go up stings. I shouldn’t let it, and neither should you.

This can be especially true if you are in a fat loss phase. You’ve been putting in the work and come weigh-in time, you expect to see the results on the scale. While we can reflect and use the feedback as a tool to either continue what we’re doing or adapt to change future results, it’s important we remember the scale does not discount the work we’ve done.

We all go through struggles sometimes, but at the end of the day: fitness is about more than a number on the scale. Frankly, it’s about more than the weight lifted in the gym. It’s about where that takes us. It’s about what we can do and accomplish outside the walls of Unity.

We’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: Where will fitness take you in 2019?

Fill out our form on the “Your Life, Your Program” tab or send me an email at and let’s get your journey started!