I have a message for all my personal training and fitness class clients:
While I always wanted to help you, I now realize the way I trained came from my own negative feelings about myself.
I love you and I love being a part of your fitness achievements. I never want you to feel the anguish I had about my body size. I’m ashamed that for many of my workouts, including the classes I taught you, the exercises were punishment for what I ate. I’m ready to explain and make peace with this part of my journey…
I was diagnosed with an Eating Disorder in 2012.
I have a Binge Eating Disorder. I hid this in shame for many years. I’m more accepting of myself than I was seven years ago, so it is somewhat easier to talk about.
Eating Disorders never go away. They are an ongoing mental health issue. I’m grateful that I haven’t experienced a flare-up for a few years. I’ve learned to notice my triggers and have tools that help me move away from my tendency to:
- Restrict my food intake
- Over exercise
- Cut macronutrients—like carbs
These unhealthy behaviours led me to binge eat. It looked like this:
- Consume vast amounts of food and never feel satisfied. There was always a new hunger/taste I HAD to have
- Hide from my family while bingeing
- Distract myself by bingeing while watching TV or surfing the web
- Avoid feeling any negative emotions…except hatred for myself
- Return to restriction and excessive exercise as punishment
The cycle perpetuated itself. I was constantly driven by the desire to lose weight. For as long as I can remember. Even at the smallest version of myself, at 135 lbs, I still had five more pesky pounds to lose to be at my “goal weight”. I weighed myself every morning and logged it. I tracked every calorie (except the ones from my binge episodes). I wore heart rate monitors and fitness trackers and synced everything to online portals to assess my energy intake and expenditure.
It was never enough. I was never enough. And it was exhausting.
I am sad that this self-hatred came into my practice as a fitness professional. My intentions to help you were pure. At the time, I thought everyone else wanted to lose weight, too. And that weight loss and body shaping were the only reasons to exercise.
I’m sorry. For those of you I weighed in the parking lot before your PT session in the park, I’m so, so sorry.
I’m finally at a place of body acceptance. This self-love continues to be transformational for me. I now understand my body changes from time to time. Weight fluctuations do not make me a “good” or “bad” person. I’m inherently good. My body is already perfect. It knows what shape and size to be.
It’s a new season for me and CareerFit Mom. There are important changes coming in my business. On the fitness side, you can expect an evolving offering of weight-neutral, body-liberating exercises.
Part of my healing is learning to feel ALL emotions—even the difficult ones. I’m no longer buffering with food, or high intensity everything. I’m aware I have other buffer zones—like overworking, overscheduling, and constantly being on the go. My guide, Nadine Moffatt, of Becoming Still, is teaching me that there is expansiveness in sitting with things. I don’t always have to spring into action.
So, I’m learning how to move my body intuitively. I notice how I feel and choose exercise that supports that feeling. If you’d like to come along with me on this journey of self-discovery while moving into a Health At Every Size® philosophy, I’d love to have you, my friend.
We teach what we most have to learn.
This is my calling. There’s a new season coming for CareerFit Mom, as I celebrate 10 years in business. I’m excited to see what happens next.