Walking into your gym, you probably see people working with personal trainers and coaches.
Don't get me wrong; personal trainers are awesome. But oftentimes we idolize our instructors and put them on a pedestal of perfection and effortless beauty, thinking they are people who have rock-hard six-packs and shoulders that mere mortals only dream of.
I want to look like that, you think, so I must hire the fittest, sexiest trainer at the gym.
Well, I'm here to tell you why you shouldn’t look past the trainer with the stretch marks, the trainer who may have a bit of cellulite or a not-so-flat stomach.
I know what you're thinking: She can't even get herself fit; how will she help me reach my goals?
Well, listen up.
We have a story.
A lot of times people go into fitness because, well, they like to work out.
We've gone through the extra-body-fat struggle. We had a turning point one summer when our shorts no longer fit, and we had to hire a trainer so that our weight didn't become a bigger issue.
I became a trainer to help people who have struggled like me and to be educated so I can kick my own butt.
We understand the portion-control struggle.
I still buy individually packaged nuts and crackers because I know that once the bag is open, all bets are off. I will eat the entire thing, even though I know that one serving is 1.5 ounces.
We have tried the diets and know they don't work.
We have tips and tricks to help you understand your hunger pangs, ideas to help you cook healthier and still have your food taste amazing. We can educate you on why eating nothing but cabbage soup for three weeks isn't the answer to losing those last 7 pounds—because we've tried it.
We know what it's like to not want to have our picture taken.
You're at a party and someone gathers everyone to get a group shot, and you volunteer to take the photo because the extra pounds you gained are not something you want to have posted on Facebook. Your friends love you, but you know that seeing the picture will just cause you to spiral into an emotional binge-eating session.
I can talk you down from that ledge and help you feel better in your body.
We understand the feeling of not being able to finish.
We are not the person who everything came easily to. We had to work for the body we have, and we continue to work for it every day, every moment.
Your small successes will be celebrated hugely because this "not-so-perfect-looking" trainer knows that a small success is actually the success that you needed in that moment to keep going.
This is not to discount the trainers with the booty you can bounce a quarter off of; it's to remind you that the trainers who don't look like they stepped out of a fitness magazine know your struggle as a new gym-goer.
We all struggle daily in the fitness industry to live up to the impossible standards that the industry places on us as well as the standards we hold ourselves to—we are all our own worst critics, and just because your new trainer doesn't have a single-digit body-fat percentage number doesn't mean that they didn't study, work hard, and continue to work hard for the fit and strong body they have now.