I’ve been a personal trainer for 10 years now and an incident that happened while I was on a walk with two of my clients yesterday shocked and disgusted me. I’ve always been an optimistic person especially when it comes to people and their behaviour, I do believe everyone is equal, I don’t see myself as better than someone else because I am 90kgs instead of 120. So on what self centred egotistical planet does another human being have the right to yell condescending backhanded comments to my clients while driving past? I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of going into the details because my aggression towards him was superseded when the girls explained that this type of behaviour was normal.
To the ignorant it doesn’t matter that these two particular clients are the most committed young ladies I have ever met. They train harder and more often than the majority of the clients I’ve trained in the past decade. They eat healthy and exercise more than their recommended daily needs. They are dedicated, strong and successful young ladies, yet still people think that they have the right or that they are superior for it to be appropriate to comment on someone’s size.
“Stay off the cake and keep training for 3 months and you’ll be right!” is not helpful to anyone. I am putting the record straight right now… It is not okay!
Your backhanded praises are not falling upon appreciative ears. You don’t know what they are going through in their life to be at this point, you don’t know if they have a medical condition that is preventing them from losing body fat. On top of the many personalised issues, we have a little thing called genetics. There are three different body types; Ectomorphic, Endomorphic and Mesomorphic and variations in between, so to think that just because someone does not necessarily fit into some ccommercialised photo-shopped cookie cutter image of a healthy person, does not mean that they are not healthy and need your wise words of ‘encouragement’.
I see myself as a health and fitness ambassador, I created GrowFit to not only give preschool age children the opportunity to improve their gross motor development and movement skills but also to ensure that as a nation we change our views on health and fitness.
GrowFit’s vision is:
By inspiring the smallest to make healthy choices and lead a healthy and active life, GrowFit is committed to making a positive difference to the world.
This idea that to be healthy you have to look a certain way is something that I feel needs to change now. The last thing I want is for children to feel the need to fit into some stereotype to be healthy. They need the knowledge and skills to make their own decisions in living a happy and healthy balanced life.
A regular question I’m asked is what does it mean to be healthy?
To that I ask these 5 questions:
Do you eat a balanced diet of the right kinds of foods?
Do you have enough energy to do the tasks set before you?
Do you get enough rest?
Do you feel well?
Do you exercise regularly and feel fit?
If your answers to these questions were yes, then I’d say you are on the right track. This is how we need to measure our health not by our weight or clothing size. By no means am I shunning all forms of encouragement, in fact a kind word or act of support to a family member or close friend who you know is working hard on their health and fitness can often be a key to their success. If you are the person working hard remember to remain positive and focus on your achievements, how far you have come, as well as where you would like to be. Lastly don’t be too hard on yourself; there is always someone else who would give anything to be where you are right now, so be proud. And remember Being Fit is Fun!