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.

A Shift

I’ve spent a lot of time over on Twitter these past few years.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter became my go-to for information, communication, connection to the outside world, and a source of joy while the world around me seemed to be undergoing a seismic shift. I leaned into my connections, shared so much of my life, and found new ways of perceiving things, while also being entertained and feeling like I was part of something bigger, part of a community that spanned the globe.

These days, with a new CEO and lots of new, up-ending changes over on that site, my engagement with things over there has waned. Because I also do not engage with Facebook or Instagram, suddenly and without warning, I’m finding that social media in general has lost my attention. I don’t want to play a part in the whims of so-called billionaires, nor do I find that I have much that I feel I need to share about my life.

I recognize that I’m here, on this blog, sharing my thoughts to the wider world, and that part of me will always exist in the online world. Hell, I came out on gay dot com and America Online before I came out in the physical realm. I have always enjoyed finding new creators and writers and thoughts out there online, along with the plethora of ways that humans express themselves with their bodies, words, and clothes. I will probably always enjoy those elements of social media and the internet, but I do not, and will not, enjoy watching these spaces be perverted and contorted into the needs and whims of those who run them, as some sort of thought experiment or cry for help or replacement for therapy and medication.

So? In the interim, until the Next Big Thing comes along, there’s this blog, this collection of images and thoughts that are mine, and I’ve resumed my usage of Tumblr. Going back to that platform feels like I’ve dialed back my life about a decade, and while it’s still rather clunky and weird, I rather like the fact it’s clunky and weird, and that I have total control over what I see, who I connect with, and that there’s a light-touch algorithm shoving information into my face day after day.

There’s also this massive urge to just hermit for a while. I know I am dependent on social media for my fitness business, and that’s fine, but it’s also possible to make that separate and apart from my personal life, as well. I haven’t quite sorted out all of the thoughts and details.

Maybe it’s time to finally read the books I’ve been meaning to get to.