At one time in my life or another I have yearned to attain ‘the perfect body’ I grew up reading Oxygen Magazine and Fitness RX Magazines. I was in awe of these women. To me-obtaining this physique was the end all and be all of my exsistance. Sure, it was about ‘having fun’ while working out, but I always yearned for that asthetics piece of fitness. I wasn’t so concerned with the journey of getting there.
With the boast of social media taking our our every move, its hard not to glaze over my instagram, snap chat or Facebook newsfeed and see literally butts in my face. Selfies of women who eat, breathe and sleep their physique. And while I think that they work very hard to get there and should not be looked down upon, it cant help but make me feel (as I am sure it makes others feel) insecure about my own body. I am a fitness professional. I have been a personal trainer for 7 years, competed in 5 bikini shows, am a coach for Cathy Savage Fitness and have my own social media following. I had moment most recently where I freaked out that I wouldn’t be trusted or ‘let my clients down’ if I didn’t maintain that perfectly structured body that is so scrutinized by the public eye.
I get it. If I am taking advice from a fitness professional or listening to them tell me what others should eat; they should be walking the walk and talking the talk.
To make an analogy, if one were to walk into Sephora to have her makeup done by a make up artist, he or she may not be so drawn to an artist who has blue eyelashes, matching lipstick, blush and eyeshadow. They may respect their style and I am sure she or he would be amazing at their job, but by looks alone walking into a make up store, that person would probably be more inclined to get my face done up by a more make up toned down employee at first glance.
I have my own personal Journey with my body transformation that started back in 2010 on the road to my first fitness competition. When I began transforming my body and sharing each step of the way, my personal buissness took off at the same exact time. I was getting flooded with emails, posts, comments, client requests for what I did to get to where I was. I was just as knowledgable before I started my journey but not that I was making a huge physical transformation, 1FitFoodie skyrocketed like never before. I loved every minute.
I was featured on Muscle & Strength as a female transformation of the week, I was also featured in a couple smaller fitness magazines. I was doing photo shoots, personal training and running my blog. I was loving life. As amazing as I looked from the outside, there was a feeling of insecurity and low self esteem despite being in what looked like ‘great physical shape’ I began seeing my body as a way to define who I was and what I did for a living. I worked HARD to maintain this on stage body which is not only extremely unhealthy but really unattainable. I always thought to myself, if I gain 5lbs or lose this stage body, I will lose my business. I equated the two together and never saw myself as a strong, amazingly talented, smart, creative trainer. I saw my body as my building block.
Theres this overarching assumption that we as fitness professionals MUST always look better than our clients. I can’t help but to have felt this pressure far too often in my life.
I have asked my clients why they like training with me.
“You’re no bullshit”
“You know how to read me and what works for my body”
“You’re real and you get it”
“You work hard, care about your clients”
“You’re funny, keep the workouts exciting and creative and make the hour fly by”
Its hard for me to see what they see in me on those days that I am not even motivated myself. I’m human. I don’t workout 7 days a week and never have.
There are some weeks that I work out 3 days. I get that that is more than many people, but I don’t go publicizing that I only workout 3 days a week. In my world, that’s the bare minimum. It is damn hard to admit that there are days that I don’t even want to step foot in a gym for my own workout. I am a fitness professional who is supposed to be obsessed with working out and honestly? There are some days that I want to do anything but talk about exercise and the food I’m eating.
I have other hobbies and I know some people can’t believe that fitness professionals have other interests besides exercise and health. I love comedy. I took improv classes last summer for 12 weeks! I loved it. I also love art-doing it and seeing it in museums.
Some days I will run errands after work and wear my work shirt that says ‘train’ on it. I can just tell the eyes looking at me thinking
“what does she do for her workout?”
“What’s in her cart? Is she judging me for whats in mine?”
“She must be so full of herself”
I can feel them judging what groceries are in my cart, what drink I’m sipping on from Starbucks. It’s as if I feel constantly scrutinized for being a Personal trainer. At the gym, eyes peeking “what workout is she doing? Are those weights even heavy?”
There are days I feel like a fraud. I’m not doing enough. I’m not working out today because I’m tired. But if I skip my workout, I won’t be holding up to everyone’s outlook on me. Its as if I NEED to uphold this gold standard for myself and if I slip I fail.
I am working out today, but I am not not breathing heavy and sweating and taking pictures of the weights I’m lifting.
Deep down, I workout and eat well because of the same reasons most people do. I want to feel good, look good and enjoy myself. I have experienced dark days of exercise where it ruled my life. I was doing two-a-days, skipped out on social events, measured every morsel of food that was put into my body. The only thing I thought about everyday was keeping my body in peak shape from the outside-It didn’t matter how I got there.
Years later, after learning to respect my body and listen to it, I have come to a happy place with how I feel and have accepted that I will not always look like I am ready to get on stage in a week. I am GOOD with that.
I am so much more than a fitness professional. When I was competing there were times that I never told people about it because of the negative attention I would get, especially from men. They’re minds immediately went to “fitness model, sex, easy, done” I am PROUD of everything I have accomplished and never would think about lying about my profession or past Competition History. It made me who I am and has taught me more about myself than anything else, but it took me years to gain the confidence in my own skin to be so proud.
People sometime ask me when I will do another show or what I am training for. I heard this quote once that said
“I am training for life”
Its corny but it’s true. Every single day, I am training to feel good. Move well and eat nutritiously for MY body. Will I do another show? Maybe. But that’s not on my radar right now.
There are days that I can’t help but feel insecure about everything, even though I look and act secure from the outside. I get that from the oustide looking in, we are selling health and fitness and we better be practicing what we preach, but due to the constant influx of social media, half naked, flexed pictures of bodies exercising, 56 meals prepped for the week and die hard fitness quotes, this industry can often seem more like a competition than a fun, enjoyable and meaningful journey of ones health, nutrition and fitness.
When I exercise, I do it for the same reasons that most of my clients do; to feel better, move better, maintain my level of health and also challenge myself. I have struggled with injuries, sickness, imbalances and overtraining and at the end of the day, I want to live a strong, healthy and LONG life.
I love coaching my clients, building and fostering these relationships that I have worked so hard to maintain and keep. Personal Training is so much more than putting someone through a workout. It is listening, guiding, coaching, mentoring and knowing what our clients want and need. It is the ability to find that beautiful balance between leaving ones comfort zone but maintaining trust while getting there.
I have evolved ten fold at a trainer from when I started in 2011. I have experienced ups and downs. Moments that validated my decision to do what I do to moments where I thought “what am I DOING?” In the end, I am a human, just like everyone else.
I like to drink wine
I like to bread
I like to exercise moderately
I enjoy life to the extreme.
Yes, I am a personal trainer and Health Coach but this will never define who I am as a person.
I may not have a 6 pack or stick my butt out on Instagram, but I know I am a good at what I do. I would never sacrifice putting on a facade of what others want to see because that is just not who I am or what I believe in
It took me 30 years to realize this.
LOVE YOU ALL!