There seems to be a stigma associated with exercise and Eating Disorders. I will admit that while really struggling with body image issues, I sometimes get in the habit of over exercising. It’s something I struggled with the specialist I saw while getting help for my ED. I had a hard time finding balance. With food, exercise, life. It took a LONG time, but for the most part, I figured out how to strike a balance with my food and exercise. I still struggle with body image issues and I don’t think I will every be fully recovered, which I’m ok with, but I am determined to feel more comfortable in my own skin.
Something I find that is really helping me, is working with a personal trainer. I mentioned it while getting treatment and was told this was a bad idea. And in fairness, at the time, it probably was. But she kind of made it sound like it would never be a good idea. And since finishing treatment in January, 2015, I have mentioned the idea of seeing a personal trainer to some people who know of my issues, who echoed the same concern as my doctor.
So I did what I do with any big decision. I thought about it. For a long time. Last summer, I was ready to begin seeing a personal trainer, but decided to wait 6 months and see if I was still wanting to see one and if I felt like it would be a good ideal. I ended up waiting a year and brought it up to my therapist during a “tune up” a few months back and she asked me why. I told her I was interested in toning up. Not losing weight, but firming up my muscles and working more on definition. I also wanted to find different ways to switch up my routine as things were getting a little boring. She said it sounded like a really healthy approach and to go for it.
Initially, I really wanted to work with the amazing Laci Davis of Super Strength Health. Her background made me think she would be able to help me with my goals while remaining in a healthy state of mind. She is a body image superwoman and inspires me in so many ways. Ultimately though, I decided I wanted to work with someone in person.
Here’s my cheerleader, Laura Voss of Oh My Fitness:
A friend recommended her and although I was nervous to talk to her about my goals and issues, I knew it was important for her to have an idea of what she was dealing with.
I was honest with her and without going into my whole story, I told her I wanted to focus on toning my muscles and strengthening my whole body. I wanted to focus on upper body strength, learn to do pushups from my toes and have overall better flexibility. I explained that I didn’t want to be weighed or measured or do check ins by using these methods.
Laura listened and was able to figure out my base fitness level without focusing on pounds or inches. She pushes me without expecting too much of me. I work harder and better, but not to the point of injury (like a previous personal trainer). I focus on form instead of speed and although in some areas, my progress is slow (I can do 5 pushups from my toes), I have noticed huge improvements in other areas (I’m a squat machine!).
Instead of constantly checking the scale to see the numbers fluctuate, I haven’t given too much thought to how much my body is changing. But I noticed some slightly tight clothes are feeling more comfortable and my muscles are definitely more toned. I find myself more motivated to avoid late night chip snacking and over eating and am slowly making these changes and not focusing on restricting. I’m finding my happy balance
Have you had a personal trainer? Do you have a workout buddy?