I worked against gravity . . . and I lost.
The last time I posted (which now was weeks ago), I discussed that I was going to try a paid, macro-based, “coached” program called Working Against Gravity (WAG for short). A couple of friends of mine, and “Facebook friends” related to them, were trying it with success. I thought “well, I have tried everything else, why not this?” It was pricey – and you have to sign up for 3 months at the front end – but I was pretty enthusiastic about it.
It started with the intake form . . .
WAG makes you fill out an intake form. Great! (I love forms. So Virgo lawyer of me.) However, they make you choose from the following as to “what you are” – “competitive athlete…weekend warrior…non-athlete.” Now, I work out 5 days per week – and I work out hard. But according to WAG, I’m a “non-athlete.” I resented this…A LOT. I went back and forth actually with my coach (and then the founder of WAG, “to whom” she punted me) about this languaging. The founder stated that it was “just to get me the right coach,” and I “shouldn’t be offended.”
I think that is the sort of thing that a competitive athlete/Alpha says. The founder is a competitive athlete – and likely wants to attract them. My gut instinct is that she’s an Alpha,too. So, in her view, the fact that I had to check “non-athlete” was no big deal. Now, perhaps she believes that the phrase “non-athlete” applies equally to someone working their guts out five days a week and someone eating bon-bons on a couch. There was no follow-on intake question that split this hair. Working out hard 5 days a week – yup, non-athlete, check. Not happy.
WAG, brass tacks, is about weighing yourself every day, keeping track of your macros every day, and checking in with your coach, with photos and feelings, once a week. Once you send in your intake form, you get an email back that says at the top:
**It is beyond our current capabilities to remind you to check in with your coach. This means that it is your responsibility to remember your check-in day to check-in with your coach in order to get feedback.**
Sure, that makes sense. However, I expected my “investment” in this program to net me more than just me filling out an Excel sheet, me checking in, me making Notes daily.
I made daily Notes – even edited their Excel spreadsheet that way – instead of checking in weekly. This is for the same reason that I coach clients to keep a “running tally” of their accomplishments for their annual reviews – you never remember anything but your most recent accomplishments or travails when the time comes to detail them.
What would “high touch” look like, to me?
Well, here’s a thought. When I had heard the Founder interviewed, she’d talked about the fact that they had a “21-day challenge” on their website that people could subscribe to for free, getting 21 days’ worth of insights, etc.
So (silly me) I surmised that if I was paying for the service, I would get something – even just a little “Atta Girl” or an insight – daily from “WAG HQ.”
Nope. Not a thing. Hands off.
I pay nothing for daily emails from Yuri Elkaim, Abel James, Jonathan Bailor, etc. They give me great information – oh sure, they usually try to sell me something, too, or introduce me to some Affiliate Program. I somehow thought that by paying for WAG, its program would be like that, but without the upsell (like buying an app instead of getting the one with the adverts at the bottom). Instead – Crickets.
(Sorry, I just couldn’t help embedding that.)
Yes, Yes, I need “pets.”
If I am paying like this, I expect someone to give me some information, every day, without being asked to do so. Even if it’s just generic stuff from “HQ.” Especially if I am paying. Sure, we complain about our “busting full inboxes,” but in my opinion, if you’re paying that sort of money, you should be getting something that you can then choose to delete or unsubscribe from, if you so desire.
They tout that your coach is “there for you, 24/7” (with a 24 hour turnaround). I did ask my coach three things in one day, and she told me to hold them and just ask one “big” thing a day.
You know what? When I think of something, I want to get it off to you, or I will forget. In going back through my emails, I only did this once, then I didn’t contact my coach at all except for my weekly “check in,” because I had been “chastized.”
And that was the beginning of the end – more on that in a bit.
Oh, and to be . . . “fair?”. . . you are actually warned not to do this – because . . . um . . . your coach has a lot of folks who are paying that $125/month for three months minimum so s/he can’t be inundated? Hm.
Hey, just glug down some protein!
As I mentioned, I actually changed the Excel spreadsheet that they send you, adding a “Notes” section at the end. This allowed me to write down what was going on, how my workouts went, PRs, etc. without “bothering” my coach.
I had some issues with meeting the macros that I was assigned (145g protein, 190g carbs, 60g fat, every day), even though I have a lot of experience with logging and with macros. When I did pose questions about this (getting enough protein, for example), my coach said “well, just drink protein shakes,” and such other comments.
I’m probably her worst client ever. She seemed very nice – and very young. To be fair, when I was in my 20s, I probably would just tell someone to eat candy to make up their carbs or glug a protein drink, too.
Maybe I’m just an over 50, thin-skinned, real-food-loving, locavore, chef, “non-athlete.” But this rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted WAG to work for me – I didn’t want to work for WAG. And the Slippery Slope began…
WAG is a DRAG.
Sure, WAG has a Facebook group that’s very active. But that’s a bunch of folks that are just like yourself – who are paying to then compare notes with other folks who are paying. WTH? I mean, seriously. WAG is all “pull” or “take.” You need to log your weight. Log your macros. Ask questions of your coach (or this Facebook group – again – where everyone is paying to be there). Take photos weekly. There’s no “push” out to you unless you request it – and no “give,” except for the encouragement you get if you ask for it.
So, six weeks in, I wanted to see what would happen. So I didn’t check in with my coach.
Now you can go back up, and click on the “Crickets” .WAV again.
Not a peep (chirp?). Nothing. I actually kept logging, but off the Excel spreadsheet, to see what would happen.
Have you clicked on that .WAV yet? Not a chirp.
Here’s the deal: I believe that folks who have been successful with this program don’t need a lot of pets/encouragement/daily mantras/etc. They just want to get it down – give me my macros – just the facts, Ma’am. I’ve discussed this before, but this is very much an “Alpha” mentality. I am a “non-Alpha” – which I tend, for whatever reason, to refer to as an “Omega.”
As an Omega, I’m less likely to ask for help. In fact, if I have to ask for help, I’ve probably waited so long that I’m sort of desperate – so I come off as a bitch. I want people to “just notice” that something is going off the rails . . . yeah, yeah, I know, I know, what a foolish way to be, says every Alpha everywhere.
If I am writing things in Notes, and you’re being paid to coach me, then I want you to have some thoughts, without me pointing the Notes out to you and asking. I log a PR in my Notes? I want you to take note! And I definitely want to feel special. Even if it’s just generic stuff from “HQ.” And in fact, if I pay for a service, then I really want to feel special. Even if it’s the same red carpet for everyone, I want to feel like it was rolled out for me.
There ain’t no Special here.
My experience with WAG is that you don’t really matter. I had some concerns about phraseology with the intake form – I heard back that “hey, that’s not what we meant, you’re taking this the wrong way.” I put things in Notes (without pointing them out) – I heard nothing. I stopped logging – I heard nothing. I stopped checking in with my coach – I heard nothing. Alpha, Alpha, Alpha.
My guess with regard to why they make you pay three non-refundable months in advance is that folks like me drop out like flies. Smart tactic, on their part. I imagine (I didn’t go back to read the PDF that you’re sent to check this though) that they tell you that the reason for this is that you need to “stick with it for three months” to “really see results.” But I have to believe that the drop out rate of folks like me is very high. (If they get past that “non-athlete” question to begin with ;-) )
I’m sure that this post will elicit some responses.
This is just one Omega’s view of the situation. My friend – who has had great success with WAG – told me when I hit rocky times that I should ask for a new coach.
But I just don’t believe that would have made any difference. I think it’s a fundamental flaw in how WAG is set up.
WAG is not set up for someone like me to be anything but lonely. A Facebook group of a bunch of other folks who are paying too does not a support system make. WAG is all about inputting and asking. Sometimes, a girl just wants to feel taken care of and special without having to ask. Even if she has to pay for it. But especially if she does.