Allow me to get something off my chest and out of my system.
As some of you know, I’m serious about fitness and wellness. To the point where I’ve decided to make a HUGE career shift and make my primary focus getting into the world of personal training with the ultimate goal of being a health and wellness coach. I’ve shared this dream with some friends and some strangers and as a whole the response has been just fantastic.
Yet there are some out there who doubt. I had one guy actually take a look at my overweight frame and laugh in my face when I told him about my “master plan.” Of course I shrugged it off because I KNOW I’m effing fantastic.
*hair flip and twirl*
Then the other day an article was posted about what to look for in a personal trainer, and among the relatively sound advice was this gem:
Don’t fall for the good looking guy in the gym who “knows it all,” but constantly works his abs. Nor should you seek advice from the overweight trainer. (Would you trust a bankrupt financial manager with your money?)
Really? Because that’s what overweight trainers are…folks who don’t know how to manage their exercise and food intake? Look, I’m not gonna knock the guy, because there are other folks out there who share similar beliefs to him, so have at it. MY issue is with the basic assumption that a person who is overweight is in NO WAY qualified to speak to anyone else about how to be or get healthier…regardless as to whether or not that person is actually CERTIFIED to do so. Look, let me tell you something…athletes come in ALL shapes and sizes, and it often depends upon the sport itself. Furthermore, there are a ton of meatheads out there who “look” fit and qualified to talk to you about fitness, but haven’t gone through not one certification class. There are a ton of folks out there who are calling themselves personal trainers because they’ve lost a little weight and gained a little muscle.
But I’m not here to go in on those folks. Bless them and their ministry.
What I want to say is this. We, every last one of us, are on some various quest to become the healthiest version of ourselves, and THAT is awesome. As someone who was once close to 300lbs and still battles with finding a way to balance the idea of hunger vs craving, I know what it is to be overweight and the constant battle that ensues. I workout like a mad woman most times, and my friends, family, and even you guys like to listen to me as I offer up my own advice and perspective about fitness and wellness. I’ll be a trainer within the next couple of months, and yes I plan on taking on clients while I myself am still on my way to optimal fitness. Why? Because I know what is is like to feel stuck and not believe you can make a change. I’m living, everyday proof that it can be done, that it takes hard work, and that sometimes you struggle, but the point is that you pick yourself back up again. I want to motivate other people, not by just showing them how awesome my physique is, but how REGULAR I am. Am I any less capable of being a personal trainer than someone who weighs less than me? No. I’m not.
I’ve met some AWESOME trainers, hell I work at a gym filled with them! And they are all fit-looking, which is cool, but what is EVEN cooler is finding out their story. What made them decide to be a trainer and why they have remained one. My previous trainer was amazing for a variety of reasons, but what I loved her the most for was the day she told me she’d once been overweight and could understand what the struggle is like. When picking a trainer, if you pick one at all, in addition to their credentials, you will want to know the person. It’s the personal relationship you have with your trainer in addition to the results you see that keeps you coming back.
Now I say all of this, not to knock anyone or to say that all overweight folks can be authorities on fitness or that trainers who’ve never struggled with weight issues aren’t fit to talk to someone on the matter. This post isn’t about those kind of extreme statements. What I want to convey is that there is a lot that comes with being overweight and there are a myriad of reasons why a person might be overweight. And when it comes to those reasons, or that struggle, it’s a jerk move to discredit ANYONE who is making positive gains, no matter how slowly or how small they might be. When it comes to talking about fitness, give those of us who are making changes and strides some effing credit. We know what we’re talking about because we’re LIVING it. There ARE folks who could benefit from our perspective and who would be inspired by our journeys-in-progress.
There’s a reason they tell you not to choose a book by its cover.