“You drink beer?!” “You don’t eat donuts?!” “You must love to exercise!” “You don’t understand how much I hate to exercise.”
These are just a few of the phrases that I have heard over my years of being a personal trainer. Friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers all seem to think I never eat anything “bad” and always have an endless supply of motivation… I wish!
The struggle is real
Would it surprise you to know, that just like you, I struggle? Some days the struggle is in eating healthy foods, some days it’s getting some exercise in and a lot of days it’s feeling bad that I, as a Personal Trainer, actually have problems like these. The media makes it seem as if personal trainers are these unbreakable models of fitness, these infallible beings that never slip. They want you to think that we never eat ice cream or pizza. We never have a problem finding the motivation to do a workout. We always are choosing the hardest exercises. I was constantly thinking to myself “how am I supposed to help other people when I struggle with these things too?”
The answer came to me a while back while I was finishing up a call with a new client.
The conversation went like this:
C: “I saw you drinking a beer in McCarthy’s the other day.”
Me: (Panicking that she will think I’m not fit to help her.) “Oh yeah?”
C: “You know that is why I called you to start training.”
Me: (Confused) Really?
C: “Yup. I really liked seeing that you are obviously fit but you lead a normal life too. You can go out and enjoy yourself. You are real.”
I’ve never thought about myself that way. If anything I thought of myself a trainer who needed to workout harder to get a six-pack, to look like the girls in the fitness magazines- that I needed to do amazing feats of strength in order to hold myself to the standards set by the media.
But it was in that 2 minutes that I realized my clients don’t care if I have a six pack or I look like a fitness model or how strong I was. They care that I am like them. They want to work with me because I don’t have those things. I can kick back and have a beer (or two) but still lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
Health and fitness isn’t an all or nothing thing like the media makes it out to be. You can be in shape and still have a piece of cake at your kid’s birthday party. Sure, if you want to look like a fitness model with a six pack, you can’t-do that. But realistically, how many people are looking to do that? Not my clients. My clients are looking to lose weight because they want to feel better about themselves and become more healthy. But most of them have no idea how to do this and still live a normal life. A life filled with the stresses of work, family, and a social life. You know…normal stuff.
So, you, in the back row, hiding because you think you are the only one who struggles to not eat chocolate chips from the freezer. Who convinces her or himself that its too hot, cold, humid, icy, to go for a walk. Who plays games in their head about oh I’ll start exercising on Monday.
You aren’t alone.
I’m right there with you. The only difference is that I have developed some habits to keep myself on the right path. Habits to deal with the ups and downs of life. Does it always work? Nope. But the habits that I have in place help me find my way again.
So, pick one small, doable thing to change over the next few weeks that gets you on YOUR path to health. Maybe it’s drinking a small glass of water before each meal. Maybe it’s taking the stairs when you go to your office in the morning. Maybe you go from eating no fruits and vegetables to eating one a day. I don’t know. It has to be your habit. Mine won’t work for you but I can sure help you get started in the right direction.