Let’s table the obvious damaging effects of diet culture for a moment and talk about the one thing that fat loss coaches will never admit:
Years ago, I bought into the idea that “my body was my billboard.”
That’s the point of being a personal trainer, isn’t it? To convey some sort of lifestyle and commitment to health based on what you look like, right?
That’s what we’re told.
That’s what fitness pros have been deduced to: a certain aesthetic so as to communicate: “I’m dedicated! I can help you look like me!”
What no one warns you about is the constant pressure.
Who will hire you if you gain 5 pounds?
Who will hire you if you’re not lean 24/7?
If you’ve been taught your body is your billboard, you end up spending an inordinate amount of time perfecting your billboard thinking that this is what it takes to build a business.
Hint: it’s not.
(Not to mention that this is also the premise that has lead to a wildly undereducated industry. Got abs? Mastered the booty-pop mirror selfie? CONGRATS YOU’RE A TRAINER!!! Sigh. I digress.)
Something I’m very aware of is that I would not have been able to grow and scale my business to where it is now if I were still obsessed with my body.
It was all-consuming. It’s all I really cared about. It’s all I had time for.
And when my income wasn’t reflecting my efforts, I thought: “I just need to lean out a bit more and then people will hire me.”
So instead of doubling down on how I could serve my clients & nurture my audience, I doubled down on my workouts & selfies.
“Look! I’m worthy of your money! Look at this selfie! Pay me! I’m worth it! I’m finally lean enough to be worthy of your money.”
Sad. Sad. Sad. Sad.
And not good for business.
Never mind that it’s not good for your soul.
Nor is it a place you can truly lead from.
I work with 70+ clients at any given time- sometimes 80+. How can a coach obsessed with every morsel of rice she’s eating & meticulously tracking every +.01/-.01 on the bathroom scale truly hold space for those people in a profound way?
The worst part? If I was really hating my body that week, I’d live vicariously through my clients.
I wasn’t aware of this back then- but I’m painfully aware of it now.
Subconsciously I was thinking: “Jesus, Christina. You seriously can’t lose 5 more pounds? You’re a fraud.”
And then to my clients it would be something like: “You need to get serious about these last 5 pounds.”
If I was a practicing Catholic, I’d never leave the confessional after re-reading those words here.
Again, tabling the obvious damaging effects of peddling diet culture, here’s what I know now:
–>I am far too educated to allow myself to deduce my work to my appearance.
–>My clients are souls trapped in human bodies having a human experience. Who am I to teach them their greatest accomplishment will be to master weight loss? Who am I to shrink their life so that they can simply look a different way? Aren’t they more important than that? Don’t their souls want, need, and crave more? (They do. All souls do. You just can’t see that shit when you’re in diet culture. And you sure as shit can’t see that when you’re paying someone to confirm that for you.)
–>I never wanted people to “like” me in my personal life for what I looked like, why are clients any different?
–> Using my body as a billboard meant that my business success was out of my hands. It was subjective. People had to look at my body and decide for themselves “Oh, yes. This human body seems suitable for me & I approve of it so I will hire it.” OR “Oh, no. Her legs are too big. I never want my legs to look like that. This body is not desirable for me, so- no money for you.” UHHHHHH. Yeah. Can we not? Can we not do this to ourselves?
–> My clients don’t hire me for what I look like. And it’s a good thing- because two humans could eat the same + move the same and still look wildly different. Your ass will probably never look like mine, and guess what? It doesn’t matter. Your ass will look like your ass and it’s a good ass because it’s yours. End of story. PS Genetics are a real thing. Let’s stop pretending like they’re not.
Disassociating my income from my appearance has been the greatest burden off of my shoulders.
I can gain 5 pounds and not catastrophize over what my clients might think.
I can be consistent AF on social media without having to hide my body.
I allow my clients to also not feel shame or hide their bodies. HELLO. Aren’t you in the business of empowering your clients? Or only if they “look a certain way“? (Just some food for thought. Take this one to your therapist fo’sho.)
Listen, I’m not here to convince you to not sell intentional weight loss. You do you- although I disagree on a moral level whole heartedly.
But I am here to let you know that your obsession with your body hidden underneath what feels like “health”, “commitment” and a self-righteous “dedication” of sorts is going to eat you alive from the inside out.
If you’ve built your business around what you look like- where will you hide if you have a baby and can’t get your “body back” ASAP? Where will you hide after your next binge episode? Where will you hide if you get sick and can’t lift? What will you sell then?
It’s no mistake that moving away from intentional weight loss has lead to a massive growth of income for me.
I was able to lead without pressure. I was able to be vulnerable and authentic with my clients and audience in a way that is forbidden by fitness industry standards. I was able to build a business that didn’t hinge upon every ounce of weight on my body.
You should stop selling intentional weight loss for no less than one million reasons outside of this conversation- but that’s a story for a different day.
For coaches: The Confident Coach’s Club is my signature business course. 12-weeks of learning + mentorship to help you build an online business that allows you to work less, make more, and serve your clients better. This course sold out last time in 72-hours and the price increased by $300 so you mayyyyy want to get in before the price increases again next time we open the doors 😉
For everyone: If you’re stuck selling fat loss and don’t understand how else to serve your clients unless they’re getting smaller each week, my Intuitive Eating course can help. It’s 50% off for a bit longer and you can grab it here.