Drive for Thinness as a Personal Trainer
Do you have a drive for thinness even though you're in eating disorder recovery? Is it healthy for you? Let's explore those questions and get some answers.
Being a role model for a healthy lifestyle is one of the best parts of being a personal trainer. But it was always effortless for me to maintain a thin physique because I have a chronic illness with symptoms that stop me from overeating -- essentially, food triggers stomach pain, ulceration and bleeding -- so I've never been one to go back to the kitchen for seconds.
In fact, all my adult life, I complained of an inability to gain weight and get stronger at the gym. I prided myself on being a role model to my clients -- I was someone who did not allow drive for thinness to rule my life or exercise regimen.
But last year, I decided to gain weight. I hired a dietitian to help me eat more. But in the midst of my weight gain process, I was suddenly forced to have surgery that left me feeling stranded in a body that was 10 pounds heavier than I've ever been before. To my surprise, I hated my body. So now I'm left wondering, am I the role model that I thought I was?
I Encourage Clients to Develop Motivation Other Than a Drive for Thinness
I never before felt hypocritical for encouraging clients to develop goals that were unrelated to a drive for thinness. After all, my primary concern was strength. I complained to my clients because I felt that my illness was inhibiting my progress.
In fact, I have one client in particular who always comes to me for advice when she feels distressed about her body. She tells me she aspires to be like me, who works out to feel strong and to remain healthy. But since my surgery, I have been forced to ask myself, how would I feel about my body and my weight if I didn't have a chronic illness?
It's Important to Be Honest About My Drive for Thinness
I'm just beginning to address these newfound feelings about my body and confront my drive for thinness. As such, I still don't know exactly what it means for my role as a personal trainer or for my relationship with my clients. But I do know that it's important that I'm honest with my clients about my journey.
In this way, I can let them know that they are not alone in this struggle. And finally, I can strive to give myself the same advice that I give my clients and to remember to prioritize my health and my wellbeing.
Card, M. (2020, February 25). Drive for Thinness as a Personal Trainer , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/relationshipsandmentalillness/2020/2/drive-for-thinness-as-a-personal-trainer