Personal Training and ED

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 balanceHeavy Black Heart on Google


Have you had a personal trainer? Do you have a workout buddy?

10 thoughts on “Personal Training and ED

    1. It was scary as I knew I would have to tell them I have issues, even without going into all of the details, it was tough. Next time I’m in Portland, I will definitely give you a call for a session together =)

    1. I definitely gave it a lot of thought. I was worried I wanted it for the wrong reasons and figured if I waited a good while and still wanted it, then it was right for me.
      Thanks Johanna =)

  1. I am also in ED recovery and I am training for a marathon. One thing that has really helped me separate my ED habits from exercise is to ask myself “Am I working out today because I enjoy it and it feels good, or am I working out because I feel like I need to burn calories”. If my answer is the latter than I do not work out that day. I discovered this trick on Kylies blog and it really helps when I am having a bad body day (days where my ED rears its ugly head), which is luckily happening less and less often. I wish you the best of luck!

    1. Hey Molly – thanks for the kind words and sharing what helps for you – it’s a good idea to exercise when you enjoy it. I know it sometimes feels like a chore to me, so those should be rest days. I will check out Kylie’s blog too!

  2. I love my personal trainer. My body is very silly, with dodgy knees and other bits that occasionally don’t work well… she always manages to find something to do that works with whatever my body is capable of, rather than pushing me into something that will injure me.
    Sounds like you have found a good trainer! You need someone who will respect and work with your needs and goals.

    1. Oh I didn’t know you were seeing a personal trainer. I’m glad you were also able to find one to help you and work with you. It’s important to find someone respectful. Thanks Susan =)

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