I’ve debated on writing this for a while, but I recently (prior lockdown) saw a personal trainer which I still fail to wrap my head around.
I feel I need to do a disclaimer of sorts. I’ve seen a few personal trainers over the past few years and the majority are fantastic.
This was one strange experience which I wanted to share.
I only saw this person for two sessions, with the option of continuing in the future. I didn’t.
The first session they spent the entire time talking to me, which would’ve been fine.
First Red Alert
They started by telling me that there is no excuse as to why I shouldn’t be able to lose weight. I’ve heard this before. I expected it and to an extent I understand it. However, they then went onto use ‘Cancer’ as an example of things which are just excuses.
Now, I’ve never had Cancer – for which I am incredibly grateful. I can’t say what it’s like and would never dare to try. What I will say is that if someone suffers from this illness and still exercises, and that’s what they want to do, then good for them.
But, to this trainer’s comment, I say bullshit.
If people want to prioritise other areas of their health, or their families, or feel weak from the illness or radiotherapy then that’s that. They’re not ‘excuses’ as far as I’m concerned.
Needless to say almost immediately I was uncomfortable but I carried on with the session.
Second Red Alert
The trainer asked me why I wanted to attend the gym. I said I wanted to lose weight, feel healthier and better within myself.
If you didn’t know that apparently translates to: “She wants to look pretty and have a boyfriend”
Yeah, that was news to me too.
Well, I can only assume because otherwise this person must have taken one look at me and thought “This girl is overweight. She clearly must hate her self, have no confidence and needs a man to make her happy”.
Let me dissect each of these – that’s right, I have examples.
- They told me that if I didn’t start that day, I would “come back in a year and look even worse“.
- Although they’d only met me once, and I was wearing my gym gear, they felt I should know that apparently I “don’t wear clothes well”
- Their main method of attempting to motivate me was to let me know that men would actually be interested in me if I lost weight.
Essentially, I should lose weight to get myself a boyfriend.
I should “imagine I have the most perfect, good-looking boyfriend” and “He’s going to leave me if I gain anymore weight”
- And finally, I was also advised that I should find pictures of female celebrities I like and put their picture on my phone / save as a background and just stare at it every day, because I should look more like them.
Personally I feel these methods of motivation are completely outdated, and with good reason.
If I want to lose weight I’m doing it for myself and no-one else.
Telling me to get pictures of celebrities, who may or may not be photoshopped or airbrushed, is awful advice to give someone. That’s setting them up to fall because who can reach those unrealistic expectations? You see celebrities themselves undergo surgery to try and meet those expectations.
If I’d had this session a couple of years ago, it could have broken me. I’ve struggled with my mental health and thankfully, at the moment, I’m in a good place.
Red Alert. Sirens Flashing. Abort. Abort.
There were also points that they would talk about my family and friends. Sure my loved ones ‘might’ love me, but that trainer? They loved me the most. They kept repeating this point that they – a person I’d known for about an hour – they loved me the most.
To be honest this did nothing except creep me out.
You might be wondering, why didn’t I say anything or stop them?
To be honest, as much as I feel in a good place mentally, I’m still shy and socially awkward. I’m aware someone else would have tried to stop them, but I guess I’m still working on that.
So there we have it, my experience with a personal trainer.
As I said previously, this is not a representation of all trainers and should not be considered as such.
I’ve had two previously who I enjoyed working with, but stopped for different reasons (primarily life in general reasons).
One I loved working with, one I liked and this one?
Take a hike. You’ll enjoy that and you’ll be far away from me.