My Fitness Journey- The Evolution of my Training Career
I became a personal trainer when I was 19 years old.
I was obsessed with fitness, so It was easy for me to start my career with a bang. I was full with clients with-in a couple of months and I had already had a reputation for being one of the club's "fat loss specialists".
I had success because I am fun to be around (if I may say so), but more-so because my workouts were TOUGH and I was SUPER STRICT with my clients on their nutrition.
Why wouldn't I be? Thats what worked for me! That was my safe zone! I knew that If was super strict on my nutrition and worked out as hard as possible as often as possible that I could maintain this feeling of power and control I felt I had one myself.
So for the next few years, I would have clients that would stick around, but more often than not- I was burning my people the F*** out!
When their progress would slow down, I would cut their calories. If that didn't work, I would add more cardio. If that didn't work, I would schedule two-a-day workout programs. My clients would definitely get results, but they were smacking into walls left and right!
I honestly did not understand what was happening! It was simple thermodynamics! It was calories in vs. calories out! Why were my clients' bodies not responding? Why were people quitting on me?! I knew my shiz, right?! So why did this piece of the puzzle not make sense?
I started doing some research into GOAL SETTING and VISUALIZATION techniques, and this seemed to help. I was convinced that if my clients used better goal setting and visualization techniques, then they could generate more WILLPOWER and they would stay on track... but somehow, they kept getting burned out......
Then in the background, personal issues started popping up. My marriage (I'm speaking about my first marriage... I have since re-married) was having some serious problems. I had married very young, and some heavy heavy shiz started to go down only about one year in. There were two deaths in the family, there was an affair (come to find- affairs with an S), there was alcohol abuse. There was A LOT going on.
My ways of dealing with these issues were: take on extra clients to stay busy, take on extra group fitness classes, stay super strict on my diet, drink TONS of caffeine, go tanning every day, get my nails done, get my eyelashes done, get hair extensions, set goals and do visualization techniques to generate more willpower (of course)....and.... to start binge eating again.
Yup, The binge eating started making its way back into the picture. I was so embarrassed and ashamed!! I thought I had crushed that terrible habit!!! I couldn't believe that I was right back to binging in the presence of stress! I justified my actions because I had not to gone back to throwing up... I was a personal trainer. I was better than that.
Unfortunately, I felt a strong compulsion to throw up.
So- I did the only thing I could think of to stay ahead of the binging.... I started doing insane amounts of cardio. INSANE AMOUNTS!! I started chasing my calories. Some days, there were A LOT of calories to chase.
What I didn't know at the time was- cardio in excessive amounts can actually add stress to your body. my strict dieting, binge eating, cardio craziness, and my home life stress actually began to damage my metabolism once again. No amount of cardio or goal setting was staying ahead of my broken metabolism, resulting in my gaining weight once again! Those 20 lbs I thought I had lost forever began creeping their way right on back. I could not believe it.
I was frustrated! How could this be happening?! I was working out A LOT! I was being so strict on my food!!! Yeah I would binge out, but I would make sure I would burn that amount of calories during my cardio sessions!
I figured I would just have to work harder to stay ahead.
I wish I could tell you that I had an epiphany right then and there, but I didn't. I proceeded with the extreme approach, convinced I needed to set better goals, I needed to have better willpower to be more motivated to keep up with my exercise. I continued to push this narrative to my clients. It was the only way I KNEW I could get them results.
It took me a few more years of this insanity to finally hit a wall.