Advice. Most of us enjoy giving it. Unless we ask, we don’t always enjoy being on the receiving end.
We all realize if we have a few pounds to lose; if not more. Few would actually tell someone they knew little about, they are overweight. Yet it’s what is left unsaid that can hurt.
There is now more than ever, enormous pressure especially for women, to maintain a lean physique. Men however, are now starting to feel the “pinch.” Either way, have you ever noticed the reaction, verbal or nonverbal, if someone enters the room who is clearly overweight? Especially if most there are thinner, or to their ego, “in shape?” Stares, glares, and sometimes snickers is what greets them. Add in a look of disdain with a few whispers just for good measure.
I hate to say this as a woman, but I’ve noticed my sex to be the most critical. True enough, guys talk too. I’ve overhead plenty in the background where I workout.
I’ve wondered–why are we so judgmental of one another? Is it a stroke to our own egos that we are not “in their shoes?” If so, what if we were? Could we withstand anything from the well-meaning advice, to the gossip not meant for our ears?
Many of us can recall how we felt in grammar school, or even high school, if we were unpopular. Perhaps you were reluctantly picked as a teammate. Maybe no matter how hard you tried, you just didn’t fit in with the trendy click. Hurt feelings never really grow up. They simply morph into what we call depression, eating disorders, and maybe something more drastic, if left unchecked.
WHY THIS TOPIC?
As a nurse personal trainer, I have clients most personal trainers would not engage. Due to complexity, or whether the population I serve they would rather not, I am acutely aware of my client’s struggle. The look on one’s face as a thirty something ran proudly by him, I knew stung worse than a slap in the face. Now in need of a hip replacement, he was once a runner.
If you are a trainer, you know the uphill battle you face. You also realize that just because someone says they want to lose weight, doesn’t mean they are committed to the work involved. They are committed to the end result, often not what it takes to get there. Well, at least not at the level needed to see results. But that’s a story for another day.
As a trainer, you have to strike that careful balance; walking the line between motivation and determination, vs. humiliation. And most of us realize what the latter looks like. It can produce results, I won’t argue that. But it can produce more than that as well. It’s yet another reason why I have the clients I do. They’re just not up for the drill sergeant routine.
Whether you are involved in fitness professionally or it’s your daily mantra, keep in mind–it is an evolution. For many, it’s a revolution–one they may not be starting willingly. Perhaps it is an “or else” diagnosis that is the driving force. Maybe it’s an unforgiving dressing room mirror, outlining every billow and bulge in a clingy cocktail dress. Or that last 15 lbs of “baby weight,” which stubbornly adheres to the midsection–even if you are the guy.
If you are an elite bodybuilder, yogi, or marathon man, you are still evolving. If you are not, but still find yourself turning a critical eye towards someone less fit, consider your evolution. It may be in a state of regression, instead of progression. And like humiliation, we know what that looks like too.
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.
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