Keepin’ it Real

So my blog has kind of morphed over the past few years from health & fitness to hockey and lately that’s all I’ve been writing about. But the whole point of my blog is to always keep it real so I’m bringing it back to its roots to talk about something a lot of us in the fitness industry don’t normally talk about. And that’s the fact that fitness professionals aren’t perfect! Shocker, I know. And sometimes we need to get re-focused too.

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A year ago today, I was working at a 9-to-5 I hated. I don’t really consider myself someone who cries easily, so when I was crying on the daily at work, I knew I needed to find something else. My only real release from my job was working out. I’d already lost about 75lbs a few years prior and I was really enjoying becoming stronger and faster. Despite hating my job, I was in a great routine. Wake up, work out and get my aggression out, work, go home, go back to work (yep, I still worked split shifts), sleep and do it all over again. It was easy and I loved it, even though I felt like I was spending so much time at a job that made me want to claw my eyes out.

So I left that job in late February of this year, became a certified personal trainer and life is perfect, right? Far from it. While I truly believe that I was meant for this job and helping others change their lives, I have really struggled to find routine.

My normal workout hours became my working hours. My sleep suffered because I had Blades practices or early morning clients after a late night at the gym.  In fact when I began working this job I was convinced I had some sort of disease due to unexplained fatigue and joint pain. There were times when I felt like I just literally could not move my body. My doctor assured me it was just because I’d started a new job and I was adjusting, and I really didn’t believe him until all my blood tests were negative and those symptoms started subsiding.

Once I started feeling like myself again, I looked in the mirror and I hated what I saw. I’d gained about 15lbs from what I consider my “happy weight” since starting my new job and for the past couple of months it was like a dark cloud following me around. How can I tell my clients to be the best version of themselves if I am struggling? How did I let this happen? I can’t articulate how shitty it is to work in this industry and just hate your body as much as I hated mine. And it’s kiiiinda impossible to avoid mirrors at the gym.

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The past couple weeks I’ve been crawling out of this funk. Committed to working out 6 days a week again and even committed to cleaning up my diet. I’m lifting more than I ever have – which makes me sooo happy – and while I haven’t seen much action on the scale yet I know it’s just a matter of time and consistency in my good habits.

I’m part of a group fitness instructors Facebook group, and today someone posted about how she had been struggling too. “Can I lead a support group,” she asked, “of fitness instructors who need to get their acts together? We know what to do, we just aren’t doing it!” And what came after was more than 60 comments from instructors in the same situation due to injury, illness, anything and everything. It was awesome because it made me realize I wasn’t alone and that sometimes all we need is someone else who really gets it.

Today I had a shitty day at the gym. Those days are rare for me because I really do love the gym. And there’s usually a reason for those type of days. Today was a kind of day where I felt weak doing legs (my fav), couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror, and just felt bloated and gross. I gave what I could and went home. Sometimes you just don’t have it, and it’s okay.

Anyway, I’m writing this because there might be someone else out there who needs to hear it too. I know I needed to hear it today. So from someone who gets it…someone who has been 232lbs, to low as 10lbs under her happy weight, at her happy weight, and now 15lbs above her happy weight…it’s okay. It really is. All you can do is what you can.

Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

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