It’s important to be passionate about what you do for your career. For many, they are not fortunate enough to like their job let alone be passionate about what they do.
I started my career off as a personal trainer over 25 years ago. I worked in a fitness center and did fitness testing, consulting, teaching, coaching, program prescription, but it was always the one-on-one training that I loved the most. It was that uninterrupted time I had with one person who was looking to me to not only better their health, but change their life. I took a lot of pride in that. I did this full-time for 10 years before giving it a shot at the corporate life. That didn’t last long. Sure, the money was great but there was one thing that lacking in my job, the ability to change people’s lives. I tried owning my own travel business specializing in wildlife and active travel, and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, it never seemed like enough. I continued to work part-time at teaching classes, personal training, and conducting running clinics but something was missing.
Earlier this year, I gave up my travel business. My own health issues and those of the people I love forced me to look deeper into the impact of nutrition on our bodies. I don’t remember ever being so caught up in wanting to learn. I started to self-educate myself on the positive and negative effects of foods and how it can change our lifestyle. It’s hard to imagine that by simply changing the way we eat can actually reverse and slow down some diseases, ail chronic conditions, and provide us with an abundance of energy. It sounds too good to be true but I’m living proof of it and so are the other thousands of people who have reversed their diseases and chronic conditions to live a longer, healthier life. This is not to say that food cures everything, it doesn’t, but for many people, it’s the answer they’ve been searching for many years.
So what does this have to do with personal training? I will get to this point soon.
I’ve seen the statistics and they’re not pretty. Obesity is on the rise, especially childhood obesity. The majority of the population is over-weight even though they workout a few times a week. Children are developing type 2 diabetes, young adults are suffering from heart attacks and strokes and cancer is on the rise. We seem to live in an instant-gratification society where we want everything now and that includes food. We have busy lives so buying and consuming food that is fast and easy to make has become the norm. Part of the problem is that the food we are consuming is not healthy for us even though we think it is. The result of this food is leading to weight gain, obesity, and eventually to chronic health issues and disease.
If you watch this video, it will show you how the world has become more obese over the years.
The whole ‘fat-free’ ‘low in calories’ is actually sucking the life out of many people. We are fooled by the ‘propaganda of words’ that some food companies label on their products. Most people want to lose or keep the weight off so they are desperate to try anything. Many people think they are eating healthier but in turn they are actually consuming more calories and sugar. Our food education needs to change.
We are blind sighted by media and advertising of the benefits of consuming dairy, eggs, and meat for protein and calcium. Although all animal sources contain cholesterol, they are high in fat, and contain very little nutrients. It’s hard to turn off that switch of eating food that is so familiar to us for years. We were taught to eat these foods from an early age so why should we change it? It’s hard to give up our way of thinking when we simply grew up consuming these foods. However, we were all born vegetarian. We survived the first 12-24 months without consuming any type of meat or fish. Eating meat and dairy is learned, it isn’t necessary to live on these foods. As a baby, we were either fed breastmilk or formula and then taught to drink dairy for it’s calcium. “We need calcium to grow strong bones and teeth.” This is what we were taught. there are many other ways to consume calcium that also contain many other nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies.
I’m now currently growing my personal training business but the style of my training has completely changed from 5, 10, 25 years ago. Science has changed, specifically around food. I’ve enrolled myself in nutrition courses, whole foods and plant-base nutrition to be exact, and I am more focused on life coaching, mindset techniques, and nutrition counselling during my sessions. Training is training. You develop a personalized program based on a client’s needs and goals and you spend an hour or more training and motivating them to ensure that they reach their goals safely and effectively. It’s sounds pretty basic but it’s not. Training a client is so much more than this.
There are many skills a personal trainer requires to bring out the best in their clients but more importantly, to change a person’s life. Traits such as being an effective listener, communicating, patience, integrity, commitment, positive energy, and the list goes on.
So what has changed for me as a trainer? I know now that I can now change people’s lives. Before it was all about changing people’s bodies.
Not everyone has the same fitness goals. As a trainer, you can’t treat any person the same. Meaning it’s really not effective or to a person’s benefit to provide a ‘generic’ program. I see many people fall into this trap where someone has lost ‘x’ amount of weight by following a particular fitness program and they see the results that someone else has achieved. They start following this program and don’t see the same results. They get discouraged, and give up. It happens time and time again. How do you break the cycle? You find something that you love to do that you will stick with for the rest of your life. You get educated on how to eat cleaner, you learn how to deal with those stress triggers, and you learn to adapt a positive mindset.
My job as a personal trainer is to save their life and help them live longer. This simply can’t be done with just working out. Sure, there are so many benefits of physical fitness and everyone should be active every day in some capacity whether it’s taking a fitness class, strength training, or simply going for a walk but there’s more to it. Getting educated on what we eat is not only beneficial to long-term weight loss but also adding years to your life. The ‘willpower’ effect doesn’t work on changing eating habits at least not for the majority of the population. Finding techniques to change the way we think about food not just for our bodies but for the longevity of the planet is essential. Learning to slow down our lives to live in the moment and appreciate the simple things in life is not such an easy task for many, including myself, but I’ve learned to do it for my health. Stress can affect our over-all health and well-being. Every system in our body is affected from our blood, central nervous systems, muscular system, digestive system, reproductive system, and immune system. We can’t always get away from stress but we can find ways to deal with it better.
The whole cliché of being skinny and fit is healthy is long gone. It’s now about balancing your life by being active, eating clean, living clean, de-stressing your life, and being a more positive person for overall health. These are all components of living a healthy life.
When science changes, we must change along with it by adapting to new information and applying it appropriately. I don’t see myself as a personal trainer anymore but that of a life coach who saves people’s lives. I love what I do.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,