Kiss the spreadsheet goodbye, folks. The Stronger U’s Daily Nutrition Assistant is officially here! Gone are the days of filling out a spreadsheet while checking your numbers against MFP. Emailing back and forth with your coach about that one day from last week while you try your best to remember everything that was going on? That’s a thing of the past.
For over a year now, we’ve been hard at work with our friends at Volum8 to develop an app that would completely change the Stronger U experience every step of the way. Logging, learning, checking in, and communicating with your coach now happens all in one place: SU DNA.
With the official debut of SU DNA, we thought it’d be fun to revisit one of this program’s aspects that tends to go forgotten: how to be a great client.
See, Stronger U DNA was designed with you, our members, in mind. Every single aspect of our app was built to make this process as doable as possible. From getting started to reading the welcome material to checking in with your coach. We wanted to make sure you had all the tools necessary to get the most out of your time with Stronger U. This means that there are quite a few things that have changed in how we operate here. But before we get into those changes, why don’t we quickly revisit what hasn’t changed?
Here’s what hasn’t changed: If you want to succeed, you have to own the process. This is your journey. Not your friend who turned you onto Stronger U. Not your coach’s. It’s yours. Before you start reading the welcome materials or logging food, you have to reflect on that. You will decide how much you get out of this program. Your coach can be your greatest support system. They are there to teach you and guide you and help you self reflect, but a coach cannot help you if you are not willing to help yourself.
Now, how about we look at some of the things that have changed?
Being a great client means being ready to learn.
Our goal is to eventually coach ourselves out of a job. That might sound crazy, but we mean it. We want our members to be the smartest eaters in their community. That happens through things like great coaching, sure. But it also happens through providing you materials and opportunities to learn.
That’s why a great client reads all of their material when they first sign up. When you first get into the SU DNA app you’ll see plenty of information to read through. Things like our intro, getting started guide, and meal planning guide might feel overwhelming at first. That’s okay! We don’t expect you to read it all within the first hour.
But setting aside some time to read relevant material and exploring the University section inside SU DNA can do wonders in helping you gain an understanding around our philosophy, as well as answer some of the more practical questions you might have about how to make Stronger U work for you!
Being a great client means following the core tenets of the program.
Logging your food and checking in with your coach are two of the more important aspects of this whole program. Stronger U works because we use tools like logging and coaching to teach you more about your eating habits and where those habits can be improved upon. But this only works if you’re doing your part.
If you want to get the most out of your Stronger U experience it’s incumbent upon you to log your food consistently. Even the meals and days that aren’t the best. It also means checking in with your coach on a weekly basis so that they can review your data, ask you questions about your week, and point out areas where you can improve.
Luckily, this is all easier than ever before thanks to SU DNA. In the matter of a few clicks, you can import your data directly from MyFitnessPal, add your thoughts to the week, and fire off your check-in to your coach.
Being a great client means recognizing that you will stumble.
To err is to be human. That’s why we care about progress over perfection. Perfection is an impossible goal. Admirable to aim for? Sure. But grounded in reality? Definitely not.
Mistakes happen. Nights where we eat our feelings happen to everyone. That’s alright. Just look at the graph from the SU DNA app above. There are days where weight was obviously higher. But what does the overall trend do? It still heads down.
To be a great client, we also have to learn to admit our faults and accept feedback. This feedback can come in the form of seeing our missteps visually, like above. That feedback can also come from our coach when they look at our check-in. Slipping up is a normal part of any major undertaking like this. Understanding that from the beginning is an excellent way to take the pressure off. Recognize that slip-ups are bound to happen. Be ready for them. But know that they don’t define your journey. What’s important is how you react to your slip-ups.
Being a great client means learning to identify your areas for improvement.
Learning to be a great client means learning to objectively evaluate what you’re doing well and where you could improve. A coach is an invaluable resource in helping you here. Your coach can help you see some of the areas where your perception of how on-track you are might not be matching reality. Now, thanks to SU DNA, they can do that while helping you learn to do the same with yourself.
For example, you might not be sure why the scale seems to be fluctuating as wildly as it is. Thanks to our graphical representation of your weight + your numbers, you can start to see how certain decisions impact the scale. Once you have an idea of how those decisions play out on the scale, you can begin identifying the biggest areas for improvement.
Being a great client involves a willingness to ask for help.
You didn’t show up here to go through this on your own. Losing weight, changing your behavior, and adopting new habits around food are among the more challenging things any of us can do. Nobody expects you to do all of that on your own. Instead, us coaches expect you to reach out for help when you need it!
As coaches, we are only as good as the information we’re given. Think of the coach-client relationship like a picture. When you first start, your coach has little information. The picture they have of you is mostly just outlines and borders. The more you interact, the more your coach can color in the rest. Ultimately, gaining a clear picture of who you are, what you want out of this, and how best to help you.
Use every interaction as a chance for your coach to learn a bit more about you. When you’re curious about how to handle a meal out with family, message them and let them know. Give them your thoughts on the meal and ask them for their guidance. Over time, this allows you to grow closer together. And most importantly: it allows your coach to learn how to best take care of you on your way towards your goals!
A closing note on patience.
Believe us; we’re excited that this app is finally here. We’ve been working on it for quite a while, and we think that it’s going the change the entire Stronger U experience for the better. But we also have to understand that this app, at its core, is just another piece of technology. The app won’t do all the work for you. Like your coach, DNA is only as good as the information you give it. Use this app as the tool it was designed to be: something that helps you gain more control over your choices, evaluate those choices, and improve where you can.