Going through the year last year as a fluffy fitness model was discouraging, because I knew I could be better and I felt like there was an expectation for me to be better — since I was in the fitness industry. I was prepping for a bikini show (like the fourth time I was attempting to compete), and I was desperately trying to drop my body fat and was doing 3 hours of cardio a day. I was also traveling for work 3 weeks out of every month, and had also just been informed that the house I was renting was being sold.
So I loaded all of my stuff into a storage unit and lived on my friend’s couches for 8 weeks (not ideal for my bulging disc). The chiropractor ordered me to take 6 weeks off from work – and I laid on the floor for those weeks, at my aunt’s house, eating pizza or whatever was around…and not.moving. I was also on oral corticosteriods, which have been known to fluff people up like a lion fish at a barbeque.
But at the same time, my back injury was a blessing, because I now have come to realize that my value is in more than just the condition of my body. I thought that since I weighed more than I wanted to – that I would lose potential clients because they would think there was no way that I’m a personal trainer and nutrition coach. I mean if I knew what to eat, then why was I still fluffy? And if I knew how to train, then why did I suck at cardio?
Living in the industry has its own set of expectations, because everyone is a model and they speak the language of bodyfat and fasted cardio. The “normal” people have no clue what we talk about when I say “food prep” and macros, and 6 pack bags and eating cold talapia.
It’s refreshing being in North Carolina, away from the Hollywood expectations to look a certain way, drive a certain car and always be wearing heels and carrying a Louis Vuitton (wait, I don’t even know how to spell it!)
Here’s the real truth. I’m a tomboy, I have thick thighs, and I am strong. I like being strong and I like lifting weights. And I like eating food.
I like being lean, and I like having a lower body fat percentage, but I also like being relaxed about food, and not eating cold nasty food from a plastic container. I did that for 3 years and I didn’t even compete!
Now if you are a fitness professional, or you have gained a following because of being fit at one point and now you are not — I want to encourage you. This fitness is a journey, for you, for me, and for everyone else. There are still clients out there that want our expertise. And know that they value your experience because you were once in their shoes (and maybe you still are). Don’t let the extra pounds hold you back from sharing what you know about health and fitness with people who need it.
People will come to you who respect you for more than just what your body looks like. You know the value of a trainer and you know the value of nutrition. If you need to ask for help from a colleague, then do it! You job is to keep pressing forward with a good attitude, and know that people are watching and they want to see a transformation. And that transformation is what will bring the people to you. Keep yourself surrounded by positive people and you will keep attracting more of that.
Even if you are not a fitness professional, I think we all at one time were “fit” and always compare ourselves to that standard. We can get caught up in feelings of guilt and failure. I’ve been down that road, with negative self talk, and negative motivation and it doesn’t work. All I can recommend is that you link yourself up with people who are POSITIVE and encourage you in your fitness journey. Find a gym or a trainer that you love and spend the money that you need to spend to keep you motivated and get you to where you want to be. Even if you had done it on your own in the past, we all need encouragement and motivation from our peers or from someone who has gone through it.
I’m now on my second transformation, and although it was horrible to live through for 14 months, I’m glad I’ve gone through it now because I have a story and people know — I wasn’t “always fit.” If you are at a point where you don’t feel good about your body or your life, it’s time to change something. I’m here to help, and there are so many people dedicated to health and fitness that offer free information. It’s the internet! While you are here, check out my coaching page. There will be more DIY programs coming soon, so surely you can find something here to help! If you want to get on my waitlist for my upcoming 8 week online nutrition course #TheBetterMethod, you can find it here: bit.ly/TBMwaitlist