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The Truth From a Trainer

Here I sit, thinking, “what should I write about…?” There are plenty of topics to choose from, right? The internet is flooded with exercise routines, stretching habits, and nutrition strategies. And normally I would jump at the opportunity to dissect, compare, contrast, and state my opinion about all of these things, but I just don’t feel like it.

And that’s where my inspiration comes from today.

Alright friends, let’s get real for a second. Yes, I’m a fitness trainer. Yes, I'm a nutritionist in the making. Yes, I spend most of my days leading others into living a healthy lifestyle. But, here’s the truth. A lot of the time, in my own life, I don’t feel like it.

It seems that trainers have this stigma attached to them that they for some reason try to live up to. Our clients assume that we live this perfectly balanced life, waking at 5:00 am to joyfully do a 3-hour workout, enjoying meals containing only organic vegetables and imported proteins, and never thinking about sitting down or eating a carb. No, it’s a constant stream of motivation and good choices, making maintaining an athletic figure easy.

*enter eye-roll here*

While some days I wish that were true, I have to humbly admit that I struggle, just like everyone else. First of all, 5:00 am is not an option for me. Let’s just clear that up right now! But beyond that, I really have a hard time following a workout plan, or cooking a healthy meal every night. Despite the joy I find doing those things, I have to push myself to stay consistent, just like I push my clients.

And if I may, it may even be a little harder. I mean, when I meet with clients, there’s no expectations. Yes, I give them challenges, I teach them new ways to reach their goals, and I do expect them to try, but there’s forgiveness and understanding and teaching moments when they fall short. When I fall short of my goals, all I’m met with is guilt for a being a poor role model and fear of not having a job if I don’t get my act together. (Whether or not I put that on myself is irrelevant.)

So I’m sorry, because I’m sure this isn’t the post you expect when you think “health,” but it’s honest. And that’s what Youer Then You is all about. And maybe this could actually be a confidence booster. We all know someone who makes it look easy don’t we? Someone who seems to have it all together? Take heart, friends… we all struggle.

When I first started my personal training business, I tried really hard to maintain the image that I had it all together. And you know what happened? I burnt out. In no time at all, I began to resent my career choice and it was hard to be the motivator my clients needed.

Three years later, and I’ve decided to let that image go. This last year was a challenge; a constant battle of letting the real me out instead of hiding behind the wall I had built. I spent more than my fair-share of days never getting out of my PJs, binge-watching entire TV shows on Netflix, and putting in my regular order at the town pizza shop. But, I’m happy to say that I’ve come out the other side a better human being.

I may not be in as good of shape as I was last year, but I am by far more relatable. My clients feel much more comfortable sharing their struggles with me knowing that I truly understand how they’re feeling. And they are met with a much more energized and enjoyable trainer now that I’ve given myself the freedom to take a day off, to miss a workout, or to eat something I shouldn’t now and again.

It’s a teachable moment I use with my clients all the time… If you say you “can’t” have any cookies, you’ll probably eat the whole box. But if you say, “I will have one cookie,” you’ll have the one and be done. So give yourself permission to fall short. Give yourself permission to miss the mark, to take a day off, and to struggle. When we allow ourselves to be, we have the opportunity to better understand our bodies needs. You might be surprised… often times when we stop trying so hard, we actually make progress towards our goals.

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