In April my husband and I decided it was time to up our health and fitness goals by finding a personal trainer. This was a big step for me as I am in my 9th year of recovery from 17 years of eating disorders. Being in recovery from eating disorders can be tricky; not only are food and fitness the answer, but they can also be the problem and the trigger. I also, simply put, loathe working out.
The hunt was on to find a trainer that would be firm but not pushy. Someone who would support and guide, but also allow me to go at my own trigger-less pace. A fitness expert who would not weight me, measure me or body-fat test me. And finally, someone who would not shove supplements, nutritional programs or protein powder down my throat but who would answer questions if I asked on my own. Or maybe even gently slip info into conversation in a non-threatening way.
In addition to needing this specific trainer described above, I also needed an environment in which I could be comfortable. I did not want a big box gym with already toned bodies in hip workout gear with sweat slightly gleaming on perfect skin and make-up. I also preferred not to be on display during this process in front of dozens of people.
Many of the above reasons are what I have heard from others as to why they give up on their fitness goal. Intimidation, embarrassment, militant trainers, self-consciousness and fear of the unknown.
One day when I was at the coffee shop, I ran into a friend of mine. Or shall I say, a much smaller, healthier and happier version of a friend of mine! I asked what he had been up to and how he had reached his fitness goal. His answer was simple: Top Notch Trainers.
He said it was a little place with a small but knowledgeable staff. A staff that has also worked at the "Big Gyms" and equally despised the environment so they broke out on their own. I was intrigued and called the same week.
Much to my surprise, I was met with a reassuring, non-pushy, non-"salesman" voice on the phone who had an understanding of my eating disorder and body issues. I made it clear there would be no body-size assessment of any kind. I also did not want to talk about food or nutrition as I have extensive education on the subject. My grandmother was in Hospice at the time and I was struggling with emotional eating, the last I wanted was to be called out about my nacho and chocolate choices by a personal trainer with 3% body fat. Not only did he agree, but claimed he understood. I was skeptical but accepted the free trial workout session to see if we were a good fit.
To say I was surprised when we arrived is an understatement. TNT is not a gym, but rather a training/workout facility. There are no machines, unless you count the stationary bikes used for warm-up and bike sprints. Danny, the trainer I had spoken with over the phone, greeted us with a warm smile and firm handshake. He introduced himself as one of the trainers and also the owner. True to his word there was no weighing, measuring, body fat assessments or food lectures. The initial meeting was part workout and part assessment. He kept his part of the deal and made it almost fun; in turn we both felt comfortable and signed up for a 6 month contract.
In the past few months we have worked out with Danny a minimum of 2x per week and not only have a dropped almost 2 dress sizes, but I have learned a lot about myself and personal training:
*Although I still loathe working out, at TNT, I enjoy the overall experience and my time there.
*I love feeling stronger and healthier and the weight loss is a great bonus.
*If you choose the right trainer and the right environment for you, working out can be a very positive experience.
*If you workout in a comfortable environment, you can actually allow your body to work without the tension and uneasiness of feeling scrutinized.
*If you pay for a contract with X no. of workouts each week, you may actually continue to show up instead of burning out after a few weeks or months and giving up completely.
*If you commit to your health, put all the pieces in place and trust the process, it is possible to not only succeed, but excel.
For more information about one-on-one training or Fit Camps, contact Top Notch Trainers at http://www.topnotchtrainers.com/