Body image disorder. Bulimia. Exercise addict. Food control freak.
Not exactly the words that come to mind when you think of the strong, lean, healthy-looking male and female fitness professionals that teach your classes, motivate you online and train you in the gym.
Recently, I’ve noticed a preponderance of posts by fitness bloggers using phrases like the above to describe themselves. These posts often contain a confession about feeling less than confident about their bodies, despite being in great physical shape.
My own experience with group fitness and personal trainer colleagues also supports the idea that fitness professionals feel pressured to maintain an extremely high level of fitness. They frequently overtrain. Obsess over their abs. Feel anxious when they miss a workout due to illness or family commitments. Compulsively document their workout routines and diet.
And me? Let’s just say that before I became a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, I never worried about back fat, muffin top, shoulder caps or the ‘peak’ on my biceps.
I wonder where this pressure comes from?
Do we place it on ourselves? Does it stem from the images of physical perfection we see daily in both digital and print media? Do the people we teach, train and motivate subtly require it of us? Or is it merely a by-product of living in a society that rewards more, better, faster, stronger?
I have purposely left this post for you to finish.
Fitness professional or otherwise, please share your thoughts below.