Personal Trainer Body

Not One Visible Ab

I answered a tweet question today from a “fitty” I follow on there. They’re a personal trainer/nutrition twitter account, and they’ve had some decent content, but today, they left a bit of an acrid taste in my mouth. Well, no – not the OP – more like the comments section

And I already know “never read the comments” is a VERY LOUD internet rule of thumb.

The other replies? Well, I won’t get into it much, as I’m sure you can figure it out, but what was on display was a laundry list of reasons why I doubt myself as a personal trainer and nutrition coach.

As you can see, I am not what you think of when you hear the term “fit”. I do not have a visible ab (nor will I ever). I have excess skin, stretch marks, I do not nor will I ever shave my body hair. I don’t ever plan on using steroids, or even getting plastic surgery.

So why did I let those comments get to me?

Why did this HUGE TIDAL WAVE of doubt and shame sweep over me?

Because I have been fighting with my body for as long as I can remember.

I have come a very, very long way.

But I don’t know if it’s enough.

I have never felt attractive, and I struggle to accept compliments when they are offered. I have battled and inflicted self-harm on myself for years in an attempt to carve my body into a shape that is more appealing to wider society. I have been subsumed in images of plump muscles with visible veins and all the rest my entire life. I have never had a role model in the fitness industry who was also built like I am, or shared my enjoyment and happiness with finding strength and teaching others how to build muscle and confidence through movement and nutrition. I cannot help but wonder if I’m fooling myself into thinking I could possibly pursue this as a life path, let alone one day making it a full-on career.

I will continue at it, however. I have plans to enroll in a L2 Master Health Coach course offered by Precision Nutrition later this year, funded entirely the clients I currently work with. They deserve the best coach I can be, and with their support, I’ll be able to give back to them a level of personal training and support that rises to the level they have earned. I love my clients a ton, and I am deeply thankful they’ve given me a chance.

Maybe it is enough. Maybe I am enough.

Taking It Further

In the last few months, I’ve made the start on a new journey for myself. I’ve decided to become a certified Nutrition Coach and certified Personal Trainer.

The idea was lit for me by my former fitness coach, Jason, who runs a large online fitness group situation, and has taught me all of the fundamentals of body recomposition, strength, and nutrition. He and I parted ways as coach/client back at the start of this year, but I don’t think our connection is broken. In fact, after further emails with him, he suggested I should become a peer, and in fact, that’s what I’m trying to do.

As of earlier last week, I finished up my Nutrition Coach certification through Precision Nutrition.

See? It’s Official!

I have another six chapters to complete my NASM Personal Trainer certification, but that’s well underway. I know I can do this.

Doing all of this refocus on my skills and abilities at the gym, and turning those skills into something that could make me money, has been a huge learning curve and massive leap of faith. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but there will be, if all goes well, a change in my whole life, once I get these certifications under my belt and start working with actual clients to do actual coach/client interactions.

I cannot wait, to be honest. I simply cannot wait.

In the meantime, I’m also stepping up my own game at the gym.

I’ve recalibrated my calories and macros to set me up for recomposition and growth. I’m hitting personal records and busting through them again. I can feel the power and strength I’m growing in my flesh. I

Coincidentally, I’ve also given up alcohol, remain smoke free, and am making deep progress with my mental health as well.

Stay tuned. Daddy’s turning a new page, it seems.

Body Consideration

I’ve been a thick man most of my life. I’ve got a stout body, with thick thighs and broad shoulders, and have almost always been heavier than I should be. There were those brief and fleeting years of being near my perfect-weight (for the BMI chart, at least), where I had gotten so thin from running/starving myself/avoiding my mental health demons, but that never lasted. Not like my current weight/size has.

Currently, I’m sitting between 190 and 200 lbs. I still have about a 32” waist, and my damned 31/32” inseam, and still at 5’9”, where I’ve been for about a year and a half.

Right now, I’m debating my direction with my fitness. I am torn between two physiques. One involves me doing a deep-dive into cardio, into really limiting my calories (and carbs) to lean out again, to shrink, to show the muscle curves under my flesh a bit more. It’s a familiar chase for me – I’ve done that sort of routine and regime a number of times, with some success.

On Mount Hood, sitting at around 175lbs, thinner without starvation, but no gym, only cardio and bodyweight workouts during COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, 2020

But there’s this newer, more powerful version of me, sitting here, writing this out. I’m sipping my morning coffee, about twenty pounds heavier than I was two years ago, and wondering if this is where I want to be. Since the gyms reopened after being shuttered to help slow the spread of COVID-19, I made a choice to grow. Really, really GROW. I wanted to put on as much muscle as I could, instead of chasing ”thin” and, for a time, that’s felt really good. I still enjoy it, really. I enjoy adding more weight to the bar, more reps to the circuit, and all of that. But that growth has come at a weird cost. I am running smack-dab into some old emotions, still, about the size of my body and my acceptance among others. I guess maybe I need to adjust who those ”others” might be. I’m still figuring it all out for myself.

Thicker, stronger, 195lbs, muscle growth across chest, back and legs, eating a bit more to foster the growth, April 2022

As I stand now, these arms have powerful hugs. This chest is strong and firm. My shoulders are powerful and defined, as is my upper back. I have legs that can move and press over 600lbs multiple times. I can do things I’ve never been able to do before. If this is Dad-Bod, then I’m embracing it with my full force.


I bought myself a massage last week. It was from a friend of mine who’s been doing massage therapy for over a decade now, and it was the first time I’d ever let anyone who I wasn’t actively fucking touch my body. Ever.

Jesse’s touch was amazing. He is very skilled at what he does, and knows how to work with a man who’s body is akin to that of a mountain gorilla. He didn’t pull any hairs, and recognized where on my body there was tension and stress. What I wasn’t prepared for, and what I’m still trying to process, is why I’ve been so resistant to letting someone, a professional in the art of massage therapy, touch my body.

I am a survivor of abuse. Child abuse, from both my father and grandfather, and sexual abuse and assault from both lovers and random hook-ups. I’ve had my body manhandled and hurt by other male figures in my life, for most of my life, in fact. I say ”have had” as though I’ve been a passive recipient of these actions, which is the part I’m still grappling with as I type this, but that’s neither here nor there. Not yet, anyway.

What is here is a man who has desperately needed to learn how to stop flinching at the touch of another.

What is here is a man who’s finally recognizing, after twenty years of being out, and forty-four years on this planet so far, that his body is his own, and that body autonomy really fucking matters.