I realized my issues with food ran much deeper than I thought, while studying at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I began to understand my saddening relationship with food and my body is an intense reflection of my relationships with men, how I feel about my sexuality and my lack of acknowledgement for the sexual abuse I've experienced. All of these issues are still true and real for me, although now that I've removed the chronic dieting, the binge eating and the toxic exercise beliefs from my current reality, I am ready to heal in ways I never knew was necessary. I took a four-month hiatus from working out, shortly after I left the Personal Training business. I was burnt out. I had been lifting weights for so long, never having achieved what I deemed to be a lean, cut, built, thin body. Not to mention, I couldn't ever get through a workout with my trainer --who was also my friend-- without vocally bashing my body, becoming distracted by my "lumpy" stomach and complaining how things jiggled while doing jump squats.
So, I was willing to endure even MORE feelings of lumpiness, flabbiness, weakness and not being able to feel my triceps muscles when I flex, in favor of coming to some kind of resolution, as far as what activity or movement my body was truly calling for. After thoughtful and consuming review of my entire exercise history; from becoming a Kickboxing Instructor, lifting weights in the all-women's gym where I was a trainer, doing hot yoga, dance, trampoline classes etc. I realized all these activities were done primarily in the company of women. Perhaps my issue was not in the activities I chose to do, but the fact I was unconsciously protecting myself from men by doing them. When I was finally ready to rejoin the world of exercise, I decided to try a little solution-oriented experiment...
Now, because I've convinced myself I'm too fat, not conventionally pretty, not smooth or flirt-worthy around guys in general, it became clear that the only solution, moving forward, was to work with the hottest male trainer I could find-- and in Los Angeles, they sprout up everywhere, like...kale and quinoa salads. I joined a swanky, chichi
gym athletic club and scouted out the most attractive, conventionally "hot" trainer in the building. I eventually spotted a blonde-haired, blue-eyed all-American man with sparkly white teeth and a full sleeve of tattoos. Hired.
During my consultation, where a typical, vulnerable client is asked to reveal all complaints about his/her body, talk about their food, which is usually shame-based and succumb to being weighed measured and pinched in favor of getting a body fat reading, I said NO THANK YOU to all that nonsense. I told him I am not interested in losing weight (which made his beautiful jawline drop) and that I'm only interested in getting my workout mojo back and of course, conquering my fear and shame around men and growing my confidence as a grown, beautiful sexual being. (I didn't tell him that last bit. Duh!)
For me, just so you know, working out is NOT as pretty as it apparently is on Instagram. I don't wear makeup, my hair is always a mess and matted to my face, my sweat not only drips from my eyebrows, onto to my lashes and then off the tip of my nose, it often pools in my butt crack and onto my pants, as you can read here, AND let's be real; a fart, a grunt and/or a queef is just a box jump and a sit-up away. The moment will come, I'm sure, but it's worth the risk, because I don't spend half the session verbalizing my discomfort in my body, or how my stomach is jiggling. I'm not constantly trying to convince him, no, really, I have a lot of muscle. You just can't see it.
As an Eating Psychology Counselor, who specializes in Body Image, I am aware I deliberately chose my trainer based on his looks and when I was a Trainer, I couldn't stand people judging me based on mine, as I didn't fit the lean, cut, shredded mold of trainers on TV. But here's the deal; I did not hire the hot trainer thinking I'd look hotter. I hired the hot trainer hoping I'd finally FEEL hotter. He's the type of guy I'd typically shy away from in social situations because I'd spend so much time deciding for him that my friends are way hotter and I am not worth looking at twice. I wouldn't have the same zest for this experiment, had I not been a trainer myself.
I'm now able to enjoy a workout, claim my strength and let my intelligent humor, sharp wit, and charm shine through...at 6:30 in the morning. Talent. I feel so much closer to finding my fearless, authentic and confident self in the presence of men and as it turns out, the hot trainer guy and I have a great time together. He makes me laugh and I, of course, make him laugh harder...but it's not a competition ;-)
(This is not my trainer.)