So I’m a fully qualified Personal Trainer – but I wouldn’t say I’m your typical Personal Trainer and I actually used to think I wasn’t deserving of the qualification because I didn’t fit in to the whole ideal of what a PT should be like (whatever that is!). Each and every Personal Trainer is unique and I think it’s important that you find the one that suits your personality and energy best. I know that having somebody shout & scream at me to get a few more reps out, would make me stop, drop and cry. (I’m a sensitive soul) Whereas some people need that, and that’s okay. Some people love the whole #gains, ‘sweat culture’ and ‘no pain, no gain’ (this really annoys me because it means you’re totally ignoring your body telling you to stop because it’s actually causing you injury – but again we plough through, with bad form, because we’re desperate for that aesthetic change rather than putting our health first).
It’s taken a while for me to find myself as a Personal Trainer – when I first qualified, I felt anxious and started comparing myself to PT’s in the gym with incredible physiques, owning it with confidence – I felt like I didn’t belong in that world and wasn’t deserving of being a PT. But then I realised – I’m not them and they’re not me. I need to be the Personal Trainer that I want to be and believe in.
So I really listened to the callings of my heart. And thought about what types of workouts I love. And do you know what? I am a PT who prefers NOT to be in the gym. There. I’ve said it. Now don’t get me wrong – I love to lift weights and do still go to the gym but I LOVE home workouts – I can focus on myself without comparing my journey to anyone else and I’m in an environment that doesn’t make me feel anxious. I can focus on working out without the thought of someone judging what I’m doing (not that people do, I sometimes have a negative mind chatter going off in my head!) So I thought that rather than pretending to be a PT that loves the whole gym see and that fakes it in the gym, doing something that I don’t enjoy; to be a home PT – whether it’s in my clients homes or my own, where we focus on using the strength of our own bodies.
Some people want a PT that helps them lose weight, creates a certain physique, coaches them for a competition and uses measurement techniques such as weighing, taking body measurements, fat percentage etc. And whilst I understand why it is done – it’s just not something I personally believe in. I don’t believe in defining ourselves with numbers and putting happiness on those numbers. There shouldn’t be an end goal, that when we’ve reached a certain weight/look that we should just stop exercising – human bodies NEED movement to keep ourselves healthy.
I feel the fitness industry is so driven by aesthetics – that if we achieve a certain look that we will be more worthy or a better person – people think that they will be ‘happy’ when they look a certain way or have lost those few pounds. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Happiness and who we are comes from within. We want to focus our mindset on FEELING happy within – this doesn’t come from how lean your muscle is or the weight on the scales. We are absolutely BEAUTIFUL in this very moment – and although you might not be 100% happy with how you look (we’ve been conditioned to think we should look a certain way) – I don’t like the thought of body shaming about what we want to change at the start of an exercise program. It’s incredibly detrimental to our mental health and makes us think that there is something wrong with us. I’m not a fan of before/after photos either as it makes us think that the person we were ‘before’ was unworthy and not deserving of happiness based on how we look. I just know that I couldn’t ask a client…
“So what do you want a PT session for? What do you want to change? Do you want to lose weight? To ‘tone’ your arms and core? To ‘tone’ the back of your legs to get rid of cellulite? Oh, you’re butt needs lifting because it’s too saggy” *insert eye roll* …
…because to me, that’s incredibly offensive and insinuating that there is something wrong that that person in that moment. To just point out – cellulite shouldn’t be shameful, it’s part of being a woman and having cellulite doesn’t determine if you’re healthy or not, or if you are a good or bad person; we should focus on a strong core and butt not for it to ‘look fashionably good’ but because it helps support out posture & pain reduction improves the quality of our life! It’s okay to want to grow and make changes in life but still with self-worth, self-respect and self-love. You are already strong AF – you have incredible strength inside you and it should be celebrated
We tend to have a fitness goal (particularly around the new year!) – smash it for the first few weeks by overtraining, then realise it isn’t maintainable or the biggest thing – enjoyable. If it isn’t enjoyable – you won’t stick to it. Your exercise routine, whatever you do, needs to be something you enjoy doing so that you want to do it regularly. Whether that’s power lifting, swimming, climbing, Yoga, walking – just MOVE! We’re talking about doing this for life. Not a quick fix.
So let’s focus on why we should exercise. Whilst I understand we want to look good naked, and training for aesthetics isn’t a bad thing, I’m not saying that. But we need to focus our intentions on something other than just what we LOOK like. My fitness ethos and philosophy is to exercise to NOURISH our bodies and because we love our bodies. Our bodies NEED movement. Focusing my intention on this has been the biggest game changer for me.
I want to take care of my body, my home, that I’m in – for life. I exercise because I want to be HEALTHY. Did you know that by exercising daily you can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. We shouldn’t just be weight training to grow a fashionable booty but for SO many other reasons – to aid better function and to improve the strength in our bones, to name just a few. Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health. I LOVE Shona Vertue and everything she believes in too – head over to her Instagram stories to check out her ’99 reasons to exercise’.
There is no quick fix. There’s no 8 week or 12 week plan. No diet pills or skinny teas. We are talking about our lifetime here. Your life. Your beautiful life. ’Caroline Inspired’ sessions focuses on this. It’s at the heart of what I do. I want my clients, whether they have personal sessions, or whether they come to my classes, to live a happy, healthy life that they truly deserve.
Click here for some ‘Caroline Inspired’ workouts to do at home.