Overcoming Body Image Issues + Getting Back On Track
A Personal Trainer with body issues.
My plan to overcome them and get my training back on track.
You have just seen this picture and thought to yourself, “Put your shirt back on”, or have judged it some way or another.
Good, that’s what I want you to do. This was a spur of the moment photo taken by Rachel at my request to help me get something off my chest (there’s the pun already folks) I was taking pictures of Rachel and thinking to myself she looks so good and I’m so proud of her! So I whipped my shirt off and said, “Take a picture of me with my shirt off, I don’t care who sees, I need to be open about this” and this is why...
As a PT, your clients expect a lot from you, you show up to sessions and get them results as per usual, but they also look up to us as inspiration and motivation. They see us as these fit gods who never eat a bad thing in our lives, can lift cars over our heads and can run for miles with out puffing, well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do feel like there is a bit of pressure on me to look my best to set an example, not only to those who train with me, but for the likes of you who are reading this blog.
I look around gyms these days and I see trainers who have come along way with their bodies and making improvements, but honestly, not many people know the story and I get told a lot that if I didn’t look like I trained, or if I wasn’t in better shape than them I wouldn’t be hired as a PT. Who is going to take advice from someone who cant practice what they preach?
This is what’s been playing on my mind lately. I’ve been so over worked, stressed, depressed and having health issues that I haven’t had the time to focus on me. My training went to shit, my eating went to shit, my 'me time' was non-existent… my life went to shit and it was making me upset. I’ve been looking in the mirror recently and what I see back in the reflection doesn’t impress me at all. What happened to the abs? Why do I have love handles again? What happened to my arms? It wasn’t just the physical, my strength was down, and my fitness had become a victim of my lifestyle change. I used to say there are no excuses for not exercising, and there aren't, but I was making them, I honestly couldn’t string working 13 hours a day and consistent training together, if I did have the time to fit it in, I would just be shattered and want to sleep, sometimes I would get home and collapse on the bed.
Enough about me blabbering on most of you know my story but for those whom don’t, I suffer from fibromyalgia, if you don’t know what it is, look it up because I don’t want this to drag on. It got really bad over the last 6 months, so I had to make a tough decision and leave my full time job. I now have time on my hands to get everything back in order, including my stress.
The last week that had gone by I indulged myself to a cheat meal……….. every night instead of just the usual 2 meals a week, and in result it had left me feeling really uneasy about how I felt and looked, I said to Rachel, “ I need to make a change, as a challenge I don’t want to have any cheat meals at all for the next week” so I could focus and get my gut looking like that of a Bay Watch star (I hope you are old enough to remember Bay Watch). Rachel thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. Rachel gets so much attention from other women and men and I can’t remember when the last time someone actually even blinked and eye at me. It made me feel undesirable, and this coming from a guy is really a different topic a lot of people don’t think about. After a bit of a chat to her about it all she was 100% behind me and is helping me stick to just 1 week. 1 week of eating is all it takes to see a difference, a change in someone’s lifestyle that can see it last for 8 weeks (yes another 8 week challenge plug); I really do mean it thought, this could be the change of your life. It got me thinking, what are the steps you need to consider to get your fitness back on track or started in the first place, coming from someone in the fitness industry.
1. Set a Goal.
Make this as specific as you can. A lot of people say “I’m not too worried about what my weight is” or “I don’t look at the scales”. I can guarantee the first thing out of most people’s mouths is that they want to lose weight. Re-word it to what you want then. “On the 12th of January I want to have those lines that run down your belly that are kind of like abs but not, in my white bikini on the beaches of Thailand hanging out with my boyfriend, he looks to me and says he’s proud that I’m smiling because I am finally confident enough to wear a bikini in public."
- Body difference
Fill in the tiniest bit of detail so it seems like reality and you can see it in your head. If you are once of those people that likes dot points and want to see the numbers make it like this.
When – 3 months time
What – lose fat, tone up
Location I see myself in - night clubs (or 'going out')
Body difference - Bigger butt 4 cm, smaller waist 8 cm
Why - To look better in clothes
These not only help with getting you excited about your goals, but help your trainer or your self make a plan of action
2. Set little goals, fitness missions if you will.
You don’t have to achieve everything in one big go, but overcome little obstacles that may hinder your training. Your first mission may even be to work out where the heck you start, for many, finding a gym, starting an online program or even buying roller blades is a start. Do you need to get your back looked at, see a physiotherapist? Start there, or like me? How about just start off with one week of clean eating, or try and go to the gym an extra day!
3. Having loved ones or friends help support you, or do the challenges with you!
Having someone go through the same pains and sharing the same satisfying results can help boost each other’s morale or pick the other one up when they are falling. Remember a couple that trains together, stays together.
4. Get a Personal Trainer.
I’ve had one for 8 years, yes they can be expensive, but a good one can be a great investment. Not only will you have someone spot you, motivate you, be there for you, help you with your diet, put the weights away for you, put together the program for you, make awesome jokes, but they will also be a great friend! I know with all of my clients we share some sort of connection and bond, and I think that when you have the right trainer, you will know. It's like when you have a pet and you look just like it. One thing I do get from a few of my clients is that I make them responsible to show up and lift things, if they weren’t paying me money or just had a gym membership, they would be able to hold themselves accountable. Turning up is only half the challenge.
5. Don’t over work yourself.
Working long hours and stressing can really affect your ability to lose weight, and set back your motivation. Wanting to go to the gym is the last thing on most people’s minds after a long, hard day at work. So make sure your work life and personal life are balanced. You need to have time to be able to enjoy what you have worked for. If you don’t spend enough time relaxing and doing the things you enjoy your brain reacts differently, creating more stressors whether they be physical, emotional, internal or external, and this creates cortisol which can strip down your muscle and create belly fat, not to mention your routine falls out of play and you find your self playing catch up.
If anyone, and I mean anyone wants to have a chat to me, do not hesitate to email me at Beau@eatrunlift.me.
Or just want to start your own fitness plan? Register for the 8WTC:
Registrations close August 15, 2015.