Make a Commitment to Show up for Yourself with Megan Waits


Megan has what most would consider a very normal fitness journey: she was artsy and, in her words, “didn’t have an athletic bone in her body.” And she started lifting weights to impress her boyfriend…who is now her husband, by the way.

Megan Waits is a Holistic Fitness and Nutrition Coach who empowers men and women to look good, move better, and feel great. She’s done a beautiful job sifting through the nearly insurmountable amount of nutrition and fitness misinformation to help others find a clear, succinct path to look and feeling great. 

In today’s episode, Megan shares more about her health and fitness joureny, and how she began cultivating a healthy, thriving relationship with food (which was essential for her marriage, considering her husband is an outstanding chef! I can speak to this directly…). Furthermore, learn more about the common mistakes she sees those she works with making in the gym, in the kitchen, and with their nutrition in general.

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Episode Key Highlights, Quotes, and Questions:

  • Discover the red flags you need to be aware of that may mean you have a negative and poor relationship with food (and what to do about it).
  • Learn why you’re not getting the results you desire, despite working so hard and doing all of the “right” things…
  • Learn where and how to begin feeling more comfortable in the gym so that you can confidently make resistance training a staple component of your weekly exercise regimen.
  • Listen in to hear the role Megan’s husband, Mark, has played in her fitness journey and how she recommends you voice your needs and goals to your significant other.

Questions I asked Megan include:

  • You and I both know the enormity of nutrition and fitness misinformation available on the internet. For the woman over 30 listening who wants to know where to focus her energy – her foundational habits – what would you encourage her to focus on so that she can start improving her health, energy, and how she feels about herself?
  • What are some major red flags or signs that someone has a poor relationship with food? What are some steps she can take to begin improving this relationship?
  • “You’re struggling to get the results you want because you’re focusing on the wrong thing.” Tell us more about what you mean by that.
  • For the woman listening who feels uncertain or, perhaps, intimidated by going into the gym to begin resistance training a few days per week, what encouragement and reminders would you share with her?
  • You’ve experienced so many beautiful changes in your life over the past 10 years, yet, one common theme has been your partner, Mark. What role has his support played in your growth and what tips can you offer to the woman listening who feels she needs more support from her significant other? 

How I Can Help You:

I help women over 30 lose weight and rebuild limitless confidence so that they never have to diet again. 

To date, I’ve personally coached more than 1,500 women and helped them to collectively lose 10,000+ pounds of body fat and keep it off for good, while simultaneously empowering them with the education, strategies, and accountability needed to feel and look their best. 

Click here to learn more about how I can help you.
Follow me on Instagram – @paulsaltercoaching


Paul Salter:

Hey, Megan, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you?

Megan Waits:

Doing well, Paul. Thank you so much for having me. Super excited to be here.

Paul Salter:

Yes, likewise. So cool that we met in person more than a year ago, and our past have stayed somewhat intertwined just on social media and whatnot and now we get to reconnect and have this exciting conversation. So thank you again.

Megan Waits:

Yes. No, I always love to be on podcasts with like-minded people and have discussions and conversations and stuff. So again, thank you so much for having me.

Paul Salter:

You bet. So let’s dive in and begin this. Give our listeners a little bit of an overview of what it is you do today, what you’re currently doing to serve and support so many wonderful humans, and a little bit more about your journey to where you are and what got you to what you’re doing today.

Megan Waits:

Yes. Okay. I’m going to try not to be long-winded. I’m the worst at condensing things but… Okay.

So I am a holistic fitness and nutrition coach and I coach fully online and I’ve been a coach for five this year is now. I was a coach for two years in person and then the great panini of 2020 happened and gym is shut down so I went full-time online at that point and I’ve never looked back and it’s been awesome.

And, yeah, really my mission is just educating and empowering people to look good, move better, and feel great. So I coached both men and women.

And as far as what got me to where I am here today it’s… I always love talking about this because I feel like a lot of fitness coaches grew up playing sports and I didn’t. I was the nerdy performing arts kid. And so there was not an athletic bone in my body. It was… Yeah. Unless it involved dancing in a musical which… Even that was super sketch. Yeah, that was the extent of it.

And so all of my life plans, everything I’d been working for throughout high school just fell apart when I graduated and I was just left wondering, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know what to do with my life. I felt really lost. I’d also just gotten out of a not awesome relationship which was even more disorienting.

And it was around that time I actually met my now husband then boyfriend fiancé, whatever, and I thought he was super hunky and cute and had big biceps and I was like, “I’m going to start working out. So thanks. I’m cool.” And so I did and wouldn’t you know it, it actually turned into a really big passion.

And I think just the process of showing up for myself every single day and putting in work to better myself and to just be a stronger, healthier version of myself physically and mentally was so transformative beyond what I even imagined which I’m sure you get that. People are like, “Oh, yeah, weightlifting and working out and eating better, lose weight, gain muscle.” But it exceeds that beyond what you would ever would imagine.

And at a certain point, I was like, “This has been so transformative for me and my own life in so many ways that I think it would be so fulfilling and rewarding to help facilitate that type of transformation for other people.” And that’s really what prompted me to become a coach.

Paul Salter:

That’s awesome. I love just the point of the story where you just thought like, “Oh my gosh, I’m reaping so many benefits from this. Why not share all of this wonderful benefits and all the things I’m learning with other people to better their lives?”

And I think I’m curious, beyond the physical transformation or the gains and strength and PRs in the gym, where else or maybe how else did you begin to see positive impact on your life by beginning to eat better and move more consistently?

Megan Waits:

Yeah. So it’s like I was saying as… I mentioned it a little bit but it’s like when you make this commitment to show up for yourself in those ways every single day, that’s how you really foster confidence. You know what I mean? Keeping those commitments and promises to yourself. That’s one of the best ways to build confidence which I feel like I had none of at that point in my life.

And it’s also just… I think just the act of investing in yourself. You know what I mean? So often, we put ourselves in the back burner.

I work with clients all the time and I’m sure you do too. It’s as soon as life gets busy, as soon as things get crazy, they will put anything and everything before themselves and their own health and wellbeing and you can’t pour from an empty cup. You know what I mean? You can’t show up for everyone else and everything else in your life if you’re not showing up for you first.

And I think that’s also what that really taught me is I was trying to just pour into other people and make other people happy and that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t even know who I was. I wasn’t even showing up for me first. So I think that’s two of the biggest areas where it really changed me.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love hearing that. So as you begun this journey, doing it for the best reason possible to impress your soon-to-be husband who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Such an awesome, very kind human being and a phenomenal chef, may I also add that. Damn, he cooks good food.

But as you begun that journey, were there any bumps that you encountered or any sources of friction or second guessing that led to this journey to eating well and beginning to learn how to lift weights becoming incredibly more complex than it needed to be?

Megan Waits:

Yeah. I think one of the biggest obstacles, it took me a long time to break through this, it was a mindset block, a limiting belief I had. And it was like because I didn’t grow up doing this, it took me a long time to really believe that’s who I could be. You know what I mean?

It’s easy when you grow up playing sports and you grow up doing that stuff and it’s ingrained in you in a sense. But if you’ve never done that for 18 years… I feel like in high school especially that’s when we’re really figuring out who we are and what do we want and what do we like and all this stuff. And I didn’t explore any of that in high school. So then it was, as an adult, I think I struggled on a deeper level to believe that’s who I could actually be.

I think sometimes the limiting belief would pop up like, “Oh, I’m not somebody who lifts weights.” “Oh, I’m not somebody who can be fit.” “Oh, I’m not somebody who can do this.” Because I hadn’t been before. But just because I hadn’t been before didn’t mean I couldn’t be now. You know what I mean?

And so I think that’s the biggest thing because your mindset and your beliefs and all of that, everything else in your journey and in your life is an extension of what’s going on up there. So then it can result in self-sabotage, it can result in inability to commit to the process. It can manifest as a lot of different things.

But I think that’s, for me, one of the biggest obstacles that I had to overcome. And it was really just through the process of, like I said before, continually showing up and racking up the evidence that that wasn’t true and that I could be that person.

And I think probably when it finally clicked for me was when I did my very first bikini competition which it was a one and done. I’m not a bikini competitor anymore. I just like food too much. But I think once I finally did that and I completed that process and I had that really definitive milestone, I was like, “Oh, okay. I am officially this person. I admit. I’m that person.” And I haven’t really struggled with it since.

Paul Salter:

I love what you shared specifically about building up evidence because our brain is immaculate and wonderful for so many reasons but it will find no shortage of evidence to support the stories that we tell ourselves.

In your example, if you kept telling yourselves, “I’m not this person, I’m not a weightlifter, I’m not athletic,” yeah, your brain would find decades of evidence to reinforce that story. But the fact that you flipped that on its head and started finding the evidence consciously day at a time to say, “Hey, no. Look what I’ve done. Look what I’ve accomplished. I absolutely am this new person.” I think that’s really needed.

I think it’s just so forgotten and undervalued that the process to changing your identity takes definitive conscious choice every single day and we need to really double down on giving energy to the wins and the accomplishments in our past so that we can really reinforce, “Hey, no, this is the identity that I am now stepping into.”

Megan Waits:

Yep. I totally agree. Yeah. In my check-ins every week, I ask my clients, I’m like, “What is something you’re celebrating from this week?” Because it’s easy to be focused on what we have yet to accomplish, what we’re trying to accomplish, and that’s when we get hyper fixated I feel like on the outcomes. Sometimes, it’s really easy to lose sight of who we’re becoming in the process which is the whole way we even get there to begin with.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. So in your coaching, that’s a great point.

I’m curious, do you specifically work with your clients or maybe just through your own journey? Did you start by getting clear on who you wanted to be as more of a priority compared to what this tangible goal or outcome was that you’re working toward or that your clients are working toward?

Megan Waits:

Yeah. So I always ask my new clients. It’s easy to… People will be like, “I want to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds.” “I want to…” It’s really easy for us to be clear on that. And then it’s like, “Okay, but how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to…” And then that’s when they start to share, “Oh, I want to feel more confident. I want to feel like I’m somebody that can do this kind of thing. I want to feel like a fit person.” And that’s where you start to get more into what type of person do you actually want to become.

But most people don’t think of that first. Or they think, “Oh, the weight loss is how I become.” There it is. “The weight loss is how I become the person I want to be.” But in all reality, it’s like the weight loss is a side effects of becoming the person you want to be because I’m sure you’ve seen it too.

But there’s people who will lose weight or get a six pack or whatever and then they’ll wake up that day and they’re not any different. They don’t feel any different. They’re the exact same person. You know what I mean? And they’re like, “What happens? I thought this was the secret sauce to becoming who I wanted to be but I don’t feel that much more different.” So then they’re just the same person in a different body and they’re like, “Oh, the confidence issues aren’t any better. I’m still just as unhappy. I’m still just as unfulfilled.”

Paul Salter:

Yeah. And at that point too, maybe even potential for more frustration because like, “I did the things I thought I was supposed to be doing. I got the abs, I lost the weight, I wear clothing size X, Y, and Z, but I still don’t feel any different.” And I love what you shared. You take this reverse engineered approach. You get really clear on the identity first so that now we can appropriately align those action steps, those goals to fit into that new identity that encompasses the feelings you desire. And when we’re really clear on that, we can actually make progress a hell of a lot faster as I know that you know.

Megan Waits:

Yes, absolutely.

Paul Salter:

So you hit on a very important aspect of transformation that the mindset and really beginning to unearth some of the limiting beliefs and stories holding you back.

But I’m curious now from a nutrition perspective because you and I both know there is an abundance, absolutely no shortage of nutrition misinformation available on the internet. So whether it’s using your own story as you first got started or maybe what you’ve seen in some of your clients, what are some of the missteps that people are making with nutrition and why or how are they making it more complex than it needs to be?

Megan Waits:

Yes. Well, I love talking about nutrition too because you touched on… I’m married to a chef and everyone’s always like, “How are you not fat?” Which is a whole other thing in and of itself.

But I think first of all, the first thing that comes to mind is people just don’t usually eat enough. And enough is not to say… That’s not necessarily saying someone needs to eat or everyone needs to eat 3000 calories a day or that everyone needs to be in a surplus or whatever. Enough is subjective to the person.

But I always tell my clients because I coach a lot of weight loss clients and I always tell them, “My goal is for you to eat as much as possible while still losing weight and achieving results at a sustainable consistent rate. So you can slash your calories and you can do a 1000 calorie Pinterest diet or something like that and you will lose weight, but that’s not eating enough, but you’re not eating enough.”

And I would also on the flip side say, “You have people who just aren’t losing weight and they have no idea why.” And they’re like, “Well, I think I’m eating healthier, I’m eating clean.” But it’s like they have no idea how much they’re actually eating and they’re eating too much. So that on the flip side is still not enough for them and their goals.

So I think people need to just have a better understanding of what is enough for me like where I’m at and what my goals are instead of just following whatever meal plan diet that they can find.

And then I would also say diet culture really does overcomplicate nutrition. Because think about it, if you believe nutrition is really complicated then you’re not going to think twice when you start trying to follow some sort of fad diet that cuts out entire food groups or whatever. “Oh, I can’t eat carbs.” Okay, yeah, no, that makes sense because that’s complicated and nutrition is complicated when in all reality, it’s like, “No, that’s not how it is at all.” You know what I mean?

So I think it’s fooled to us. It’s really tripped us into thinking, “If nutrition is complicated, then you’re going to follow these crazy fad diets and you’re not going to think twice about it.” When in all reality, it’s so simple.

And there’s instances obviously where maybe someone does need to do an elimination diet or someone does need to do a little bit more of a complex protocol. But in its essence, nutrition is very simple and it’s just diet culture that has overcomplicated it and made it feel like so overwhelming and confusing.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. That was really well said.

So I’m curious for the woman in particular out there listening right now who’s just like, “Yeah, I don’t even know where to start. One day, carbs are in. One day, carbs are bad. The same with fat. Next thing, we got to fast for 24 hours.” What would you encourage her to focus on maybe three best practices or simple steps that she could take to begin building a foundation of sustainable healthy eating habits?

Megan Waits:

Yes. So I’m a big proponent for tracking your food at some point. I don’t think it’s the end all be all. I have an entire post on my Instagram about pros and cons of macro tracking and is it for you. I feel like it’s just one of many valuable tools in the toolbox but I do think definitive data really does help things to be so much more straightforward and to really expedite the process. So I’m a really data driven coach and I like my clients to be data driven as well.

So I think learning to track your food for the sake of understanding your nutrition better. Not to obsess over numbers. And it’s not to say everyone should do it all the time but for the sake of having data because you can say, “I feel like I’m eating this much,” or “I feel like I’m eating clean,” but you don’t feel… Feelings are not facts. So let’s track it. Let’s actually see the data to understand what you need to change.

I would say the second thing is to… I feel like women are so quick to slash their calories and cut things out, food groups, calories, whatever, but instead try to focus on where can I have more fruits, more vegetables, more water, more movement.  Where can I add more of these things in because inevitably, if you are adding in more water, you are probably going to have less of these crazy cravings and then in turn you’re going to end up eating less junk food or whatever. So by adding more of that in, you are inevitably having less of the things that are holding you back from achieving your goals.

And then number three… Ooh, let me think. So tracking food, adding things in. I would really just say along the lines of not cutting… Don’t restrict yourself. You know what I mean? All diets are a means to the same end. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that. You don’t lose weight on keto because you’re not eating carbs. You lose weight on keto because you’re in a calorie deficit. You don’t lose weight intermittent fasting because you only eat eight hours out of the day, you lose weight because you’re in a calorie deficit.

So I think women do typically have to be a little more careful than men because there are definitely some diets out there that can really mess up our hormones and are not a good way to go about achieving a calorie deficit.

But if I had a client who’s like, “Yeah, I did intermittent fasting and I really liked it,” as long as they understood how it worked and why it worked and they didn’t think it was just because they were fasting, then it’s fine. Let’s use that approach to whatever extent. Whatever’s going to work best for you.

But I’ll have people all the time, “Oh, yeah, I take keto.” “Okay, why did you do it? Because do you like carbs?” “Yes.” “Then why are you doing keto? If you like bread, why are you taking that approach?” And most people don’t like fasting and they don’t like cutting out carbs and all this stuff so eat a normal person and let’s just optimize that and make some small tweaks and just figure out where you are right now and what are small changes you can make from there.

But realize all diets are a means to the same end, it’s a calorie deficit, and you can achieve a calorie deficit by cutting carbs and fasting or you can achieve it by just eating less.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love that. I think there’s also too this element of a lack of self-trust. We don’t trust ourselves to make those nutrition decisions or to really design a foundation of eating habits that is unique to us and simple. But at the end of the day, for the most part, we all know at least a fundamental understanding of how to make healthy choices and not so healthy choices. We have at least a baseline understanding of appropriate portion control or what eating like an asshole looks like. But there’s this missing element of trust.

And for everyone listening, you have the knowledge. So you need to begin trusting yourself because where you run into issues is where you outsource that trust and information too, fad diet A, B, and C, and then you find yourself repeating the same cycle for years or perhaps even decades.

Megan Waits:

That’s really… I love the way… Because a lot of people don’t even think about the trust aspect. They don’t even think about the fact that’s a variable in the equation. They don’t realize that’s what they’re doing when they do rely on all these fad diets. That’s really good. That’s good, Paul. That’s good.

Paul Salter:

It’s good synergy. Good synergy.

Megan Waits:


Paul Salter:

So going off that, one of the things I’ve read numerous signs probably I believe on your Instagram in particular that I love is you say, “You’re struggling to get the results you want because you’re focusing on the wrong thing.” And I think that’s a great build off of what we’ve been discussing is people continue to think they want only weight loss but they really want something else. Tell us a little bit more about your meaning behind that statement.

Megan Waits:

Yes. So it goes back to when a new client tells me, “I want to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds.” But what they’re really saying is, “I want to feel more confident.” You know what I mean?

So they might have a lot of attachment to this specific goal or weight loss goal but ultimately that’s not really what they’re after. If they could feel confident and feel good in their body and feel strong and fit and whatever at a higher weight, they would probably be okay with that. Eventually.

It would take some time for them to again detach from that number because we place so much importance on weight loss and weight loss and taking up less space and all this stuff. But if you take the same person, you’re like, “I can teach you to feel more confident taking up more space,” they would probably be like, “Yeah, that’s ultimately what I’d want.”

And there’s nothing wrong with weight loss. I do feel like sometimes you’re made to believe, “Well, you just have to love the body you’re in and you can’t want to change it.” But it’s like self-love and positive change are not mutually exclusive concepts. They go together. You know what I mean?

So you can lose weight and not feel any different like we were talking about, but you can also lose weight because you love yourself and you can learn to love yourself more through the process. It’s all about just what you’re actually focusing on.

So a lot of people say, “I want X, Y, Z,” what they’re really saying is, “I want something much deeper that I don’t know how to articulate and I think the weight loss is going to give me that.”

Paul Salter:

That’s really well said because I think there’s just a lack of the appropriate vocabulary maybe to describe what it is we truly desire. And our easy solution to that is we want weight loss because weight loss is jammed down our throat, especially for women.

Unfortunately, as a woman listening, you’ve been conditioned to have some type of attachment between your worth, your beauty, and your level of respect and self-love to a number on the scale or a particular physique. And it’s incredibly unfortunate.

But at the end of the day, if you take a step back and you write the story of how you want to feel and you define where you feel your best at, you get to shape your journey, you get to shape the habits and the practices of self-love that help you feel your best and achieve the standards that you set for yourself which are the only standards that matter.

Megan Waits:

Yep, that was very well said. I totally agree.

Paul Salter:

So going back to the point, I love what you said, there were a lot of the clients you work with, they tell you they want to weigh a certain amount and maybe it’s a weight they previously used to weigh. Why in your experience have these clients latched onto these weights of the past? Why, for example, three years ago when client A weighed 165 pounds were they happiest then versus now?

Megan Waits:

Yeah. Well, I think first of all, it’s something that’s really tangible. Confidence is a really difficult thing to measure because it’s an intangible sort of thing. But saying, “I want to weigh X, Y, Z,” that’s really tangible. You can measure that. You can step on the scale every day and know, “Am I progressing towards it or regressing away from it?”

And I think one of the reasons why a lot of women tend to latch onto what they weighed previously, it’s their point of reference. You know what I mean? They’re like, “Well, at this point in my life when I weighed this much, I felt more confident. I fit into my clothes better. I just felt good in a bathing suit,” whatever. And so they associate all of these positive things and really feeling good about themselves with this weight. And so it goes back to what I was saying before. They’re just like, “Well, if I can just weigh that again, then I will feel like that again.”

And I do appreciate… I have clients sometimes who are, “When I was this old, I used to weigh this much and I don’t necessarily expect to get back there but I just want to figure out what is the equivalent of that now.” And I think that’s what we should focus on.

I think back to 2018, when I did my first bikini competition, I think, “Ooh, I’m like five four and I stepped on stage at 110 pounds maybe.” I was skinny. I’m lean. And if at this point in my fitness journey tried to weigh anywhere around that, it just wouldn’t happen because I’m a completely different person in a completely different season of life, completely different goals.

And like I said, I like food. I wasn’t even eating food I liked back then so it’s like I like food. So realistically, what is an actual realistic goal or benchmark for me now?

And I think along with that, a lot of women don’t realize, they’re like, “I want to build muscle,” but they don’t realize muscle per pound is more dense than fat.

So you all have clients who visibly have lost pounds upon pounds of body fat, their weight hasn’t changed a bit. So if you stay super attached to that number on the scale, then you’re just going to end up holding yourself back from what it is you really want.

Paul Salter:

I really love your reference of there’s different seasons of life. So different challenges, responsibilities. Being 34 to 24, your life could look completely different.

And for everyone listening, I think it’s important to remember, maybe in college you weighed a certain amount but now you’ve had two children, you work full-time, your priorities are drastically different. The manner in which you spend those 24 hours in a day, you don’t get to spend them all on you now. You have a family, mouths to feed, children to raise, a partner to love and support. Totally different set of responsibilities.

And of course, you should be working to always keep yourself a top of that responsibility list. But trying to chase goals, looks, and weights of the past isn’t the best use of your time and energy. You’ve got to reset the standard making the most of your current circumstances.

Megan Waits:

Yep, yep.

Paul Salter:

So continuing off your mention of the example of people who have lost visibly pounds and pounds of fat but the scale hasn’t changed. Let’s transition to talking about some weightlifting here. Still to this day, I think we’re doing better as a whole of getting the right information out there about the benefits of resistance training and women are not going to put on 20 pounds of muscle mass overnight because they lift one time in the gym. What are some mistakes or reasons women are still hesitant to get involved in a consistent resistance training program that you’ve observed?

Megan Waits:

Yes. I was having a conversation with someone in the DMs the other day who had just started her fitness journey and she wasn’t struggling to get into the weight room because of this stigma around it because I do agree it’s much better than it was before. We’ve come a long way. But it was just a confidence issue. She just had never done it before.

So I think it’s great that we are seeing you get on social media fitness accounts and it’s easy to find women doing it. So I think it’s easy to find those markers of possibility for yourself and you’re like, “Oh, okay, this is abnormal. But at the same time, I don’t actually know how to do this.”

So I think just… We don’t want to look stupid. When I started out, I didn’t want to look stupid. I remember my husband because we were long distance at the time when we were dating and he wrote me a little training plan because he was a personal trainer at that point in time and I remember I would go to the gym by myself, I’d never been in a gym before, and I would text him pictures of all the machines and I was like, “Which one’s this and which one’s that? And how does this one work?” Because I was so scared of making a fool of myself.

And even now, I’m sure you’d agree with me. If I go to a new gym I’ve never been to, it’s a little uncomfortable. I’m just like, “I don’t really know where things are. I don’t know…” Also my comfort zone. And I think that’s all of us. It’s a step outside of our comfort zone for women when they first do that.

But that’s how it is for everyone. You know what I mean? And you’re not going to make a fool of yourself stepping outside of your comfort zone and just going for it.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid. I was telling people, “My DMs are always open. If you need help with something, just let me know.”

But I think that’s probably the biggest thing is just a fear of looking stupid and other people judging you.

And you also see videos all the time of people filming other people in the gym and making fun of them. And I do think… I haven’t ever had that happen to me or anyone I know which is good. But that also can make it seem really scary because we’re like, “Oh, I put myself outside of my comfort zone and what are the odds that somebody’s going to judge me for it?”

So I think that’s the biggest thing. It’s just not something you’re good at, it’s just not something you know how to do. But that’s been something I’ve had to remind myself a lot of recently is it’s like you don’t get good at something unless you do it when you’re still bad at it.

Paul Salter:


Megan Waits:

Because I’m a perfectionist type A type of person. And I recently started boxing and it’s totally outside of my comfort zone and what I normally do and I was like, “Oh, I’m not going to get good at this unless I just do it before I’m good at it and maybe look a little awkward doing it. That’s how I’m going to get to the point where I’m actually good at it.”

Paul Salter:

I don’t think I knew you were starting boxing. That’s so cool. I’m actually training for a boxing match. We’re recording this in January. My match will be sometime in March. So cool.

Megan Waits:

What? Okay. We’ll have a talk about this. Yes.

Paul Salter:

Yes, we will.

But going back to what you said, I love that you included the asking for help component because it is truly, I believe, the fastest way to accelerate the results you desire.

And for someone listening who maybe you followed along on YouTube and done at home workouts and you’re thinking about taking that next step to the gym, go ask the person at the front desk to give you a tour, get some help understanding where are the free weights, where are the machines, the cardio equipments, whatever else that you might have offered to you in that gym because even that baseline level of familiarity is going to give you a bit more of a peace of mind to just ultimately be you and to get in your zone.

And then I think the other important reminder is one of the core fears, just like you hit on, is fear of judgment or embarrassment because of what others think. But at the end of the day, we are all so consumed in our own thoughts. We might think everyone’s paying attention to us but we’re also lost in our own damn worlds. That’s not the case.

Megan Waits:

Nope. Nope. I totally agree. Yeah.

Like you said, ask someone at the front desk for help. That’s literally their job and what they’re getting paid to do. They still work at a gym.

And also, plan out what you’re going to do ahead of time. Come in with a game plan so you know what you’re going to do. When the person in the gym is giving you a tour, don’t be afraid to take pictures, take videos so you can remember where things are at.

And one thing I feel like a lot of people don’t realize is the machines aren’t just laid out in the gym willy-nilly. All the push machines are together and the pull machines and the leg machines and the free weights. There’s actually an order and organization together.

But I think asking for help and not being afraid to… It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. And I feel like nobody got where they are today without asking for help at some point in time. So you don’t get a badge of honor first taking it out on your own the longest. It just… All you get is frustration and overwhelmed with that.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. Well said.

I would hate if I did not mention this. Let’s shout your husband out here big time because your life the last 10 years have seen so many beautiful evolutions and you already alluded to just asking for help and you’ve had that one common theme in your life, the last X number of years has been him.

So for someone listening who doesn’t really maybe have that level of communication or support from their significant other, what is one piece of advice or encouragement you would share with them about how to start having that communication to get support with your goals or to ask for help in some capacity?

Megan Waits:

Yeah. I think communication first. Understand even if this person in your life, like your spouse or whoever it is, even if they don’t understand, that’s okay. They may not understand but that doesn’t mean they can’t still support you. And I think just wording it that way.

I have a client who lives with her mom and it’s really difficult for her because her mom is not pursuing the same types of goals she is. And so there’s always food in the house that is a struggle for her not to eat. And her mom isn’t on the same page with meal prep. Just makes it so hard, nutrition wise. And I feel like it’s the same thing with a spouse. If they’re not doing the same thing you are, it’s going to be really difficult to navigate.

And so she’s had to have a hard conversation, “You can do what you want to do, but this is why this is important to me, and I know you support me and you want the best for me, and I just want you to know this is one way you can support me.”

And I think really telling… Because if they don’t understand which again is okay, they may not know the best way to support you and the best way to help you succeed. So I think laying out why it’s important to you and then, “This is the ways you can support me. And I’m not asking you to change yourself or change what you are doing. This is my thing but I know you want the best for me. So here’s like how you can support me in this process and in this endeavor.”

Paul Salter:

That was awesome.

So for those of you listening, if you feel you’re struggling to get that support, go re-listen to that last 60 seconds.

You touched on the key points that came to mind for me is first, your partner can’t read your mind. You have to communicate. And if there isn’t a deep level of shared value or relatability particular to this health or fitness goal and of course, your partner wants nothing but for you to feel your best and be your best, you need to articulate your why behind wanting to make these changes.

And then I love that you included this part. You need to show them or share with them how they can support you because they might want nothing more than to support you but they might have no freaking clue as to where to start or what that looks like.

So again, it is communicating. And I think the most important step before any of this happens is you have to get really clear on it yourself. What do you want? Why do you want it and what do you need from your partner? And you can articulate that with yourself, this conversation becomes 10 times easier.

Megan Waits:

Yes, yes. Yeah. And it’s like if they don’t do this sort of thing or understand health and fitness, there might be times where you’re like, “Oh, I just want to… I don’t know, just want to binge on chocolate or something.” And they might think they’re helping you or doing something sweet by being like, “Oh, here you go. I went and got you. I’m thinking about you.” You’re like, “No. This is not actually helping.”

So having the conversations, “This is really what you can do to help and how you can actually support me and hold me accountable,” and things like that.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love that. Very, very good.

So my last topic I would love to get your expertise on is poor relationships with food. What are some red flags or some big, bright lights like, “Hey, this individual has a poor or potentially detrimental relationship with food that we should all be aware of?”

Megan Waits:

Yes. I think the first and most common one is the verbiage that you use with food. So even saying things like, “This food is good,” or “This food is bad.” People think it’s really harmless and I will be the first one to say I used to just throw that language around all the time and I wouldn’t think anything of it and I think most of us don’t.

But essentially what you’re doing when you say that is you’re placing morality on food. And food is not. It doesn’t inherently have any moral value. It’s just food. It’s just calories. So then what you’re doing is you’re making it into this thing that it’s not and you’re placing literal moral weight on your choices with food. And that’s when it can become really messy. And then you get these feelings of guilt and these feelings of shame and it just gets like… It’s not good. It’s a slippery slope. So that I think would be the first thing is just the verbiage that someone uses with food.

I actually prefer… I encourage my clients to use words more nutritious or less nutritious, more optimal or less optimal in relation to their goals. So it’s a swap you can use to throw that in there.

I think another thing would be… Let’s see. Just restriction with food. And it goes along with what I was just saying but feeling they can or cannot have certain things or cutting things out without really being able to articulate why.

I have a client who’s like, “I don’t eat gluten and I don’t eat dairy.” And I’m like, “Why?” And they’re like, “Well, it’s bad for me.” “Why?” “Well, I don’t know. Just it is.” That’s really different than not eating gluten or dairy because you’ve done an actual elimination diet and you’ve figured out your body doesn’t respond well and you don’t feel well or you are literally allergic.

People who restrict or do things with nutrition and cannot clearly tell you why they just because. Probably because they heard on Pinterest or whatever sequence and they can’t actually tell you why. So those would be two red flags.

And then, let’s see, a third red flag that someone has a poor relationship with food I would say if they overly restrict and then they overly indulge. So I talk about it like the pendulum swing effect and it goes for everything with fitness but food especially.

So if someone does overly restrict with food and then they’re not eating enough and then the pendulum swings the other way and they overindulge and eat way too much or “binge,” and then they overcompensate and then they start restricting again and they’re stuck in that cycle, that would be another indicator to me that somebody has a poor relationship with food because the pendulum swing, the compensation, the overcompensating for one or the other instead of actually understanding how to balance both of those things and actually enjoy themselves while eating for their goals.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I love that. And I love too that you went one step further and you explained what the sign was and then how they can begin to overcome that. So beautifully said.

And Megan, where can those listening today go to connect with you and learn more about you and what you do and to work with you?

Megan Waits:

Yes. So I hang out on Instagram a lot. My coaching account is trainwithwaits, W-A-I-T-S, and my main Instagram is Megan Waits, M-E-G-A-N-W-A-I-T-S. And then I’m also on TikTok a little bit. Same thing @meganwaits.

So yeah, like I said, my DMs are always open. I love connecting with new audience members and just doing what I can to help you guys out with your fitness journey.

Paul Salter:

And for those of you listening who ever want a tutorial on how to create the most outstanding reels possible, definitely check out Megan’s. Your reels are so fucking good. It’s awesome.

Megan Waits:

Thank you. They’re fun to make. Yeah.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. They are so cool. And your husband’s in on it. Yeah. What a trooper. I love…

Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it having you on here.

Megan Waits:

Of course. Thank you, Paul. It has been a blast.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, absolutely.

And for those of you listening, thank you for tuning into another episode of Screw the Scale Radio. If you found today’s episode valuable, please do myself and Megan a favor, share it with a loved one, family member, friends, someone who would also find immense value in what we discussed today.

And if you have not done so already, it would mean a lot to me to take 30 seconds to leave a genuine rating and review on Apple Podcast or wherever you are listening to today’s episode.

Thank you again for being here. Have a wonderful rest of your day. And as always, screw the scale.

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.



Micheala is a Transformation and Community Success Coach. She specializes in bringing out the absolute best in you and helping you see that you already have everything you need to achieve the transformational results you desire. Micheala will be an incredible asset for you on your journey since she went through the process herself and has seen long lasting results.

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