Indulge me for a moment by taking a trip down memory lane with me, won’t you?
It’s my first day at a new gym. Of course I’ve worked out before, I’ve always been a quite active person. But I had taken a few months away from training and I was in a bit of a workout rut. My spandex workout pants were squeezing me in places that really didn’t want to be squeezed. Before even walking into the gym, I felt a rush of guilt and shame come over me for letting myself get “soft”.
A tall, muscular, beautiful man walks up to me and introduces himself as my trainer. We then proceed to his office where he poked and prodded my fat to get an accurate “starting point” of my BMI, body fat percent, and the like. If you haven’t had this procedure done, let me tell you how AWFUL it is. It literally felt like I was a cow being examined before being sent to the butcher. Without even asking me what my goals were for being at the gym, he said to me “well, this is your starting weight, give me a few months with you and we’ll have you down to your goal weight!”
Let me put this into perspective to you with an analogy: You come into a car shop with a beautiful, vintage, collector car (I’m not a car person, so just insert your make and model here). The dealer looks her over, and begins pointing out all of its flaws. “This piece here is pretty out of date. You’ve got some scratches on the paint. No one uses these headlights anymore, what are you thinking!” Within a matter of minutes, he’s talked you into how dilapidated your car is, and begins to show you the updated models he’s trying to sell. The one straight from overseas thats never been off the lot that looks exactly like all the other brand new cars.
But your car was beautiful. It had more beauty and worth than his “perfect” cars on the lot. And your body, the way it is right now, has more beauty than this “trimmed down, toned up” version that your personal trainer is trying to sell you.
I didn’t realize this at the time when I was standing half naked in my trainers examining room. I was so grateful that this man was willing to help me get rid of my flaws! That in just a few months, I could stop being ashamed of my body! If only I had a trainer who asked me what my goals were outside of weight loss. Who didn’t see my body as something that needed to reach a goal number. Or as something that was broken without even knowing what it was capable of. Maybe it would have sunk in sooner that my body is actually a miracle, the fact that I’m able to move it the way I do and that I am able to have goals associated with it is a true blessing.
But I realize it now. And that’s why I train the way I train. I never want another woman to feel like she has to change something about herself in the next 6-8 weeks to be an acceptable human. Because you don’t need to. You just need to show up every day, loving yourself the best you can. That’s all any trainer should ever ask of you.