Book review: Not a Life Coach, James Smith

Not a Life Coach, by entrepreneur and Personal Trainer, James Smith

Life coaches are something of a cliche, and so is sleeping with a good looking personal trainer when you’re single, but there is more to James Smith than a handsome face and good looks. He has some sage words of advice for anyone looking for behaviour change.

So, if you’re bored silly of your job, or you’re fed up your partner never initiates sexy time, or you feel like your life is a bit stale, you and only you are standing in your way.

Good advice from James

  • be values driven and ensure your work and everything you do meets your personal values 
  • the best fitness changes come from self motivation, not a coach
  • undeniable facts are physical activity, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and drinking in moderation, leads to an 11-14 year delay in all-cause mortality
  • being a student of anything, keeps you humble
  • listen to podcasts while exercising, e.g. walking, maximises your time 
  • as a PT, in an hour you cannot make someone leaner or more muscly but you can make them *feel* better
  • Treat life like a marathon, or a game where any extra effort means you’re winning
  • regression to the mean is a mathematical term that means people tend over time to have their average performance. It applies to life too, so if you’re in a Rocky patch, chances are things will improve soon enough. It’s the law of nature. Equally if you’re on a high, that’ll level out at some point. This concept was really helpful on a down day I had recently. 

Never judge a book by its cover

As a Personal Trainer, James can trade on his good looks, but it’s the expression on his face on the cover that gets me. It’s a combination of a smirk and a *wait, you’re going to the shop to buy sweets again? That’s not going to help you with your long term fitness goals is it?* His cover photo seems to say this with a mere glint in his eye, and I had to hide the book while I scoffed some sweets the other night lest his judgmental eyes caught mine.

Which is good because I eat too many sweets, so maybe you can judge a book by it’s cover. The content of this book is pretty good too, and while he isn’t a life coach, James does give me enough motivation to get on with working towards values-led goals, and not sweat the boring stuff society tells you to worry about. If you read the book, you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from.

Hungry people

Finally, his summary of the health and fitness industry as ‘’hungry people desperate not to put on weight’’ gave me a laugh on a fat day when I needed a laugh. I’m no leaner, and I’m still eating sweets, but I’m not crying about it anymore.

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From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow.

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