Well I wanted to film a video about this, as I’m feeling super emotional about it- but I decided writing is a better way to get my feelings across because I’ll probably be crying while I talk about it.
Honestly, sometimes I feel sick to my stomach listening to my clients. These beautiful amazing people hate their bodies and would do anything to change them. They come to me and want to lose weight. I understand this feeling because I struggled with it for so many years (and still do). We all think that if we could just lose weight and look better- we would be happier.
I hate that my clients feel like they can’t trust themselves around food, or they don’t derive any joy from food- just guilt and shame. I hate that the fitness industry around the entire world is 95% based on weight loss. It like nothing else matters unless you actually lose the weight. What if you went on a “diet” and workout program where you worked your butt off, got so much stronger, more capable, confident and felt truly at peace with yourself but didn’t lose a single pound? You are feeling joy you’ve never experienced but you still can’t fit into your jeans. Would that be a win for you? Or would you feel like you failed?
Sometimes I wish I never even pursued this career. I’m constantly bombarded with weight loss, restricted eating, binging, unhappy people, and my emotions and my history that come with this. I want to help people; but I hate that I’m helping them with WEIGHT LOSS. Because it’s not about weight loss. I know that none of your problems will be fixed with weight loss. Maybe you’ll feel a bit more confident in your clothes- but that’s not going to fix the void you are feeling in your life.
I can’t stand when people tell me they’ve been “good” or “bad” that day. Those words should be used to describe if you volunteered your time or did something to help someone else – not that you stuck to your meal plan perfectly. You aren’t bad if you eat a donut. Perhaps bad should be considered that you didn’t treat someone respectfully or hurt someone else’s feelings.
I hate that weight loss is celebrated and that I feel like I total sell-out for celebrating my clients weight loss success. I hate that I advertise before and afters because I know that that is what brings people in to work with me. I hate that people feel discouraged if they haven’t lost inches- even when they’ve accomplished so much more than that.
I hate a lot about what I do and I’ve mentioned this before about nutrition plans. Mostly people come to me because they want to lose weight/inches/change their body. Maybe I should just stop simply advertising that. I want to help people change their relationship and attitude with food, and feel happy deep down- true joy. When a client tells me they’ve been on a diet their whole life and when is it going to end- I want to tell them to shove this nutrition package in the garbage and just live their lives. I want them to feel good about everything they eat and STOP feeling like they need to be on a diet.
I don’t want to celebrate someone for losing inches of themselves- I want to celebrate them for getting a box jump or feeling more confident or happy and energized. When clients tell me how much more energy they have after following the nutrition plan or they didn’t realize they could eat so MUCH- thats what makes me continue doing them. I want to dispel the myth that you need to go hungry to feel good about yourself. I want people to learn how to eat REAL food and see how good their body is designed to feel.
You shouldn’t be walking around thinking about food all day, or meal prepping (as much as I love it) or how much exercise you need to do or how many steps you need to take. It think as women we use weight loss and exercise as a way to prove we are good enough. For some reason its not good enough to be an amazing mother, friend, co-worker, or person. You need to be thin on top of that or your success comes at a “cost”.. a less than ideal body.
I want to change this viewpoint- and to do that we basically have to change society completely. I guess it starts with one person being the change they wish to see. I want to be that change. I want people to come to me to simply feel better, find happiness, learn to have a healthy and amazing relationship with food. You don’t need to live the rest of your life on a meal plan, or nutrition package, or any sort of rules. Create your own rules based on what feels GOOD for you.
I hope that with all the clients I’ve worked with I’ve taught them to love themselves a little bit more along the way and celebrate the small successes. I hope I’ve taught people more balance and moderation. I think I’ve been trying too hard to fit into a certain personal trainer “mold”. I sell personal training packages, and 12 week challenges, and nutrition packages just like every other trainer- but my end goal is not the same. I don’t care if you lose weight. I just want you to be happy.
I’m not writing this blog post to make people feel bad or guilty that they’ve been stuck in the dieting and weight loss mentality. It’s not your fault! It’s the society we live in. I feel as a trainer and a nutritionist I need to stop trying to follow what everyone else is doing and focus on what my heart and passion is. I want to help people realize its about what’s within that matters. The number on the scale doesn’t matter. You can be your happiest, truest self without losing a pound. Or perhaps being your happiest, truest self with let you reach your comfortable weight without any effort. (Ie: I lost 20lbs once I gave up dieting for good and just ate intuitively- but I had to accept myself FIRST).
The only time I ever go up with my weight or feel less than stellar about myself is when I start thinking about weight loss again, or cutting things out, or thinking I “should” do this or “should” eat that way or change something about myself.
Self acceptance is the new diet. Self love is the new workout plan.
Try these out for size and maybe we can start a small movement of men and women that focus on pursuing their dreams instead of a jean size.