Actually, seven of them (maybe more).
I am not perfect.
I am a recovering perfectionist, but I've learned over the past few years to embrace my imperfections and quirks.
They make me who I am. They make me more relateable. They make the whole fitness and fat loss journey seem a little less intimidating.
So, here you go, seven confessions that I lay at your feet:
1. I get awfully lazy sometimes.
More often than I would like to admit! Especially if I take more than one rest day in a row, for whatever reason, my motivation to hit the gym just drops in the toilet. It seems to take a supreme act of will to get going again.
My favorite thing to do on Sundays (and heck, who am I kidding, Saturdays too) is to lie on the couch and watch movies and nap. Heck, I'd do that everyday if I could.
2. I eat junk food and drink alcohol just about everyday.
I don't believe in strict diets and deprivation, so I indulge in some less-than-healthy treats each day. I keep the portion sizes reasonable and within my macro allotment for the day (most of the time!).
I'll save 10-20% of my intake for treats, like dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, baked chips, etc. My coach Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques calls them "preemptive cheats" --- foods that, while not the most optimal choices, can help you feel satisfied and prevent binges later. Some weeks I'll have a small glass of wine each night, and other weeks none at all.
3. I have very average genetics.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a fast metabolism. Never have, never will. I have hypothyroidism, so that doesn't help matters either. And after 25 years of lifting weights, I have a hard time gaining muscle, especially in my glutes and shoulders.
I have to watch what I eat, especially portion sizes, even at maintenance. I am only 5-foot-nothing tall and weight around 110-115#, so my basal metabolic rate (BMR -- resting metabolism) is pretty low, around 1200 calories. Even with my active lifestyle, that doesn't give me much wiggle room. And since launching my online training biz, I spend more time sitting on my butt in front of my laptop, so I need even fewer calories to get by. So I tend to put on a few lbs. in the winter when I'm spending less time outside and not really training for anything --- soccer, races, competitions, etc. And the holidays! I can't turn down all the wonderful sweets.
So, I don't have it any easier than anyone else, except that I've been practicing what I preach for the past 25+ years and honing what works for me. I still have to be very patient when it comes to my results.
4. I'm not always motivated.
I love to exercise. It feels amazing when you throw up weights that you never dreamed you'd hit just a year or two ago. The Runner's High is a real thing --- when I'm feeling good, the weather's perfect, I've got great tunes in my ears, and my legs feel light and springy... It really does feel awesome. It feels like this is exactly what my body was made to do --- run, and run fast. I love when sweat rolls down my legs and arms, and I have that familiar ache in my lungs and legs. It "hurts so good" (thanks for that oh-so-appropriate phrase, fellow Hoosier John Mellencamp).
That said, I feel extremely unmotivated at least a third of the time to work out. I have bad and even just mediocre training sessions. More so than great ones. But habit and keeping in mind how good and accomplished I'll feel afterwards is what keeps me going. The memory of those great sessions gets my sneakers on and my butt out the door. It's not always easy, but I do it 95% of the time.
5. I am the biggest klutz you'll ever meet. No, really.
I know this seems highly unlikely when you see my videos or me in person at the gym doing complicated lifts, but it's true. Just ask my husband.
I am the queen of tripping, burning, cutting, bruising, spilling, and bonking my head. I can't count how many bruises I've ended up with at the end of the day and had no clue where they came from.
I have tripped over equipment in the gym, fallen off a treadmill and a stability ball, hit my head on the barbell in the squat rack, dropped weights on my feet, crushed fingers in machines and between dumbbells in the rack, lost my balance, and on and on. And most of these have happened in front of clients. I have learned to laugh at myself over the years, because I know that if anything it makes me more relatable, and it's a moment that is just funny and shows my clients that it's okay to mess up in the gym and it's not the end of the world. We all do it. It takes a bit of the intimidation factor of it.
I think what draws me to lifting more than anything else is that it's a good challenge for me in terms of proprioception and it requires complete focus, which I struggle with with my ADD brain. It's hard to zone out when I run, because it does get monotonous. Lifting requires more targeted focus for a short period of time with breaks built in. So for the 30-60 seconds that it takes to do a set of an exercise, I can focus. But then I get a 30-120 second break before I go again.
6. I wear make-up to the gym.
If you'd told me I would do this on a consistent basis 10-15 years ago, I'd laughed in your face. I was of the no-make-up-ever, mismatched t-shirt and soccer shorts camp for the longest time. I looked down on those who had perfect hair and make-up and matching spandex in the gym. But now, I understand. All too well.
I look pretty haggard with a natural, clean face. I've accepted it. Not only do I have the wrinkles of a 36-year-old, but I still struggle with a lot of acne breakouts, scars, and scabs, as well as melasma patches. I wear just enough make-up to cover up the dark circles, scars, and blemishes so that I'm not touching and mentally nitpicking and stressing about my appearance while I'm lifting. So I don't feel self-conscious about if people are looking at my zits or not. It actually allows me to forget about my shitty skin for a while. And since I don't sweat much no matter how hard I work, it doesn't really present a problem as far as streaking or causing more breakouts. That said, I usually skip make-up if I'm outside (away from mirrors) or not around other people for the most part.
If this makes me shallow or high-maintenance or whatever, so be it. I'm okay with it.
7. It drives me crazy when people tell me to take extra rest days or take it easy on vacation.
Partially because of #1 above (don't they know how naturally lazy I am?!?) and partially because I have a pretty good idea of how my body handles various workouts, programs, and exercise volume. I know when it's too much. I'm not afraid to take a day off. I have no problem resting, believe me. I've been lifting and exercising my entire life and I've been a trainer for the past 8 years, so I kiiiiiiinda know what I'm doing (defensive much? ha!). Usually people have no idea how much I'm actually working and resting, just what they see on social media or on one particular day or week.
And what seems like a lot to them really isn't all that much for me.
Plus, I just really like working out! It makes me feel accomplished, productive, and good mentally and physically. It' a good thing for me, not something that I feel I have to do.
I have many more confessions to add, but I'll leave some for another day. ;-)
The biggest take-away here is that I just want you to know that personal trainers are not perfect. We're not these mythological creatures that do everything perfectly to the letter and eat kale and grilled chicken day in and day out.
We are human and do and love the same things that you do. We just may have few more years of practice honing our skills and strategies for getting fit and lean. We're in this business not to be these gods of perfection to aspire to, we're here to help others learn how to achieve their goals and still have a life at the same time.
Do you have any fitness confessions? Feel free to share over on the B Kinetic Fitness Facebook page --- you'll be surprised how common they are!