I recently introduced myself to another fitness professional and told her I own FIT4MOM Twin Cities. She pointed to her stomach and said “We could all use some fit mom action!” My response was the “Oh STOP” that you do. I mostly just wanted to sit her down and pick her brain about her work life balance. She’s beautiful, vibrant and successful, and the last thing I noticed was her stomach.
Which brings me to the “I’m a fitness pro, and I feel a lot of pressure to look better than everyone else” part of the program. Many years ago, I saw a New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/01/fashion/thursdaystyles/new-breed-of-trainers-are-proving-fat-is-fit.html?_r=0) about heavier fitness instructors. I had always thought that only skinny bubbly people went into fitness. The woman I had talked to was in NO WAY heavy, but she wasn’t sporting a 6 pack. She looked like a normal human being.
It turns out that people who teach fitness are ACTUAL PEOPLE!! We are the same as everyone else: size is still related to diet, but the truth is that people who teach fitness LOVE to work out, they LOVE to bring their knowledge to other people, and the appearance vs. fitness issue is important to them too.
Sometimes, we decide that going out for ice cream with the kids is more important. Sometimes we don’t get enough sleep, we get stressed, our kids start a new school or program/go through separation anxiety/won’t nap. And sometimes, we go through a season of motherhood where being super disciplined about what we eat (or drink) is just not that important to us.
What brought this all home for me was going to a fitness class where the woman teaching looked like a MOM. She looked like she had just rolled in, changed out of her mom jeans into her workout clothes (which weren’t the latest from Lululemon, by any means), kept her big ol’ glasses on, and got in front of a big class, mama pooch and all. But she turned out to be one of the best instructors that gym had. She was clear about her instructions, she talked about body position in a very understandable way, she walked around the class and CORRECTED FORM to prevent injury, and she interacted with the students before AND after the class was over. No, she didn’t look like a fitness instructor, but she was a great one.
This picture above is my own before and after. The after represents two years of hard work, lots of weight lifting, plenty of good sleep, and perfect eating. What can I say. I know HOW to maintain it, but have I? No. I look more like the second to last picture.
Today, I do not have a 6 pack, but I’m trying to measure my health in a different way. I move every day, I’m sleeping well, and I’m eating foods that make me feel healthy. I just completed a 10 mile obstacle course, I’m strong (my kids weigh 100 pounds together!!).
I REFUSE to measure my worth as an instructor by my body fat percentage, as much as I don’t want my clients to do that either. I will give you an amazing workout, and I will make sure it challenges you at YOUR OWN fitness level, whether you’re pregnant, postpartum, or several years down the road looking to give yourself a fitness kickstart.
And no matter what you look like, it is my mission to make you feel strong, healthy and beautiful. Because YOU ARE.