What is a body neutral coach/personal trainer? And why you need one.
Everyone’s physical development differs. There's not a mold that fits all. It's part of what makes us unique. Some are tall. Some are short. Some are thicker. Some are thinner. However, these descriptions could suggest comparisons of someone to some ideal body type. What is thin? What is thick? Where do we set that bar? Does a ideal body type exist? If so, how did that came to be?
We get plenty of daily messages from advertisements illustrating what we should look like, what’s desirable, and what’s sexy. Of course those ads are appealing, because the truth is we all want to feel wanted, we want to feel sexy, and we want to feel like we belong. People are killing themselves everyday to appeal to this desire. The last thing we need is some coach/personal trainer tell us what we should look like, or what we need to "fix". When they’re the ones that suppose to help and support us in developing and sustaining a positive mindset about our bodies.
I’ve been around sports and fitness for nearly half my life now. Sports helped me understand how everyone’s body is a gift, and that everyone’s body is desirable. No one body type is “perfect” for all sports. You wouldn’t want a sumo wrestler who weighs 300 lbs. in springboard diving, just as you wouldn’t want a springboard diver weighing at 140 lbs. in sumo wrestling. Survey your friends and family, ask them who they think has the “perfect” body, you’ll probably get a range of answers. Often the perfect body is what we personally find attractive. What we want our body to look like. Finding a personal trainer or fitness coach to help us learn how to love our body and help us set realistic expectations. More importantly a personal trainer or coach should help us learn how to create a healthy active lifestyle to develop and maintain a health body. I'm not saying hiring a personal trainer or health coach will solve all your problems. We still have to work at it and follow through with their advice.
For most Americans, our goal is to lose weight. Statistics has shown that over 70% of American are considered overweight, and of that, 40% are obese. I’ve seen countless people go on this continuous cycle of going to the gym consistently for a short time, then stop, then back again. Why does this happen? This is my answer based on what I've seen. For many of us, we wander into the gym undecided of what to do, so we do some biceps curls, hit the treadmill for awhile and then on we go with the rest of our lives. We may also turn to extreme dieting, which usually results in rapid weight loss. However, most if not all who go through extreme dieting gain their weight back once the diet becomes unsustainable. The frustration and the let down of not hitting those goals usually causes us to give up. Some time down the road we’ll repeat the process over and again and again. Frankly I’m really tired of seeing this. Because when we fail at reaching a goal we have for ourselves, it negatively impacts our mental health and our happiness.
Goals are obtained with consistency over time. It’s not an overnight success. I describe it like playing a musical instrument. In the beginning you may feel like a newborn deer with wobbly legs. But you continue to practice and you get better day by day, once you’ve reached expert status, it doesn’t mean stop. You still have to practice everyday to sustain all the hard work you put into reaching that goal. Make fitness and nutrition part of your lifestyle. Just as you would practice an instrument daily.
No matter where you are in your journey, find a coach that’s right for you and your goals. We all need a coach, men and women, whether we like to admit or not. A coach supports us, guide us, and calls out on our bullsh*t even though we don’t like it, but we need it. A coach keeps us accountable and motivate us to be better than who we were yesterday. A coach needs to recognize who you are and what your goals are, and help guide and point you in the direction of success. And ultimately help you sustain that you’ve accomplished.
It’s up to you to take action. When you’re looking for a personal trainer or a health coach, call different places, find out what they’re about and see if it’s right for you. Purchase some introductory sessions before committing long term. If a coach or personal trainer tries up sell you on something you don't want and is not addressing your goals and needs. You need to say no and keep looking.
Reaching your goals takes motivation. The stronger the motivation, the easier it is to stay consistent.
What’s your motivation?