14 Sep 2014
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I'm a Trainer, Not a Judge

Do you feel guilty when you're eating something unhealthy? Don't expect me to punish you for it.

I'm a Trainer, Not a Judge

I’ve only been a personal trainer for about six months. I don’t do it full time, and . One thing I do know is that I still have a lot to learn.

So far, I’m really liking it. I enjoy coming up with new routines to challenge my group-training clients and I love the fact that a client recently told me she got “huge compliments” for the weight she’s lost so far.

As with most jobs, though, there are some negatives.

One of the things I didn’t expect, and I’m having a bit of trouble with, is that friends and acquaintances sometimes act differently around me. It can make social situations awkward — I find that people don’t want to eat in front of me, or, worse, they constantly comment on what they are eating.

This happened to me a few months ago when I was at , having a beer with some friends. (Yes, I drink beer. Not many, not often, but sometimes there’s nothing like a cold beer). A few people were eating wings or something, but as soon as they saw me, they started to make excuses. I felt really uncomfortable.

When I see people out in a social situation, I’m not judging what they’re eating. Even when I’m working with clients, I’m not judging. My role as a trainer is to give people the tools they need to get in better shape, to get stronger, and, yes, in some cases, to lose weight. But I’m not the food police.

Nor am I a dietitian. My view on food is that it is fuel. The better the food, the better the fuel, and the better your body will run. And, as I’ve written before, . I truly believe you should eat whatever you want, in moderation.

I also believe in personal accountability. I can teach people exercises all day long, but those people have to do the work themselves. I can’t do it for them.

When I work with clients, I discuss healthy eating plans that allow for some flexibility and some treats now and then. But, if you see me out at a barbeque or at Dairy Queen this spring, please don’t hide from me. Don’t give me an excuse, don’t apologize for what you’re eating, and don’t feel guilty about it.

Instead, take the guilt out of it. Acknowledge the guilty pleasure. Own it. Then, work a little harder the next time you exercise. 

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