Thursday, September 23, 2010 • McLean, VA 22102

Hello!It has been a few days since
my last post (thankfully by now my glutes AND all else for that matter, feel much better so I am able
to sit in this chair). Today I would like to touch briefly upon how I came to
love exercise, food and become a personal trainer. What sparked me to write
about this is an article I came across this am online, while in my pjs (with
coffee of course).  I found it on the BBC news online site titled,
"Call for Gyms To Help Fitness Addicts"- which is about the dangers
of over-exercising and how gyms should do something to help individuals when
those signs are spotted, according to an eating disorder charity in the
UK.  "Doctors say up to 75% of sufferers (over-exercising) also have
eating disorders and are risking serious health issues"- BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. I used to be
one of those people.In my late teens, early 20s,
I used to workout daily, running 5 miles a day and eating under 1000 calories.
I weighed 98 lbs at 5'1. I was only living on oatmeal and veggies. No fat
whatsoever. We all need a little fat- right? My fuel was running low, my hair
and nails were dull, yet I continued to compulsively push myself running
outside, at the gym, when I traveled, basically wherever there was ground to
run on and weather never stopped me. This behavior lasted almost 10 years,
starting slow, with eating issues, that finally led to bulimia and anorexia at
age 26. This is obviously the abbreviated version.So back to the article, I
believe that gyms should by some guidelines within their facilities for
trainers to spot, yet there is a fine line on how to do this without being
invasive with the client/member, so not sure how such "guidelines"
would be written. I don't believe we have any at my gym yet, but will
definitely ask. By starting my career as a personal trainer at a gym and
outside of it, I hope to be better able to spot the signs of over-exercising
and eating disorders by really listening to the client during the fitness
assessment (a questionnaire/sit down with client to assess goals, body fat,
etc). Possibly spend a little more time on questions that might raise red
flags, such as goals and the time in which they would like to accomplish their
desired goal. There is a huge amount of psychology that comes into play as a
personal trainer and the key will be knowing how to ask, when to ask and when
to state your concern in a caring, yet respectable manner.Many times, people would ask
me why I was working out so hard and for so long and if I was training for a
marathon. I always replied, "Oh, I do this all the time. Just for
me.", but I do recall those questions had me thinking about the
abnormality of my over- exercising and eating habits. I knew deep down I was
truly far from the right path to live the healthy, fit lifestyle I so desired.
Those questions often had me asking, "Why am I doing this to
myself?"- yet the blind can't lead the blind. So the pattern repeated
itself. Again, this is the
abbreviated version. Today my world is a 360 degree shift from the past and it
did not come easy, but it did come thanks to the support and love I have from
family and friends. As a trainer, I can now help others live a healthy
lifestyle through moderate exercise and eating balanced nutritious meals. Now I
hope to be able to recognize the destructive signs I once had and perhaps help
that individual surpass that scary, dark place. Life is too short. Time 
spent with friends and family enjoying a delicious meal (with wine of course)
is just way too good to give up. Taking a day off from working out here and
there is perfectly ok. The body is an amazing machine, but unless your mind is
on the same page, it could be vital. It's all about balance.If you want to read the article that sparked this blog, please cut and paste links below into your browser. Also, make sure you ask talk to your gym and see if there are any guidelines in place, if anything, it might at least spark their interest.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/health/newsid_8012000/8012162.stmA more recent one below:http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/somerset/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8819000/8819184.stmNow to get some breakfast and coffee (yes, more!).Thank you!Michelle