Personal training is kindness training

That sounds ridiculous, but the truth is that many, many people are not able to look at their own habits/behaviors without harsh self-judgement.

Learning to listen to your own body requires patience & self-kindness. This means things like making sure you are getting essential nutrition & not shorting yourself on calories, and forgetting that old maxim of “no pain, no gain” (because it’s just not true).

A good example of not being kind to yourself is longing for something that’s gone. I did this myself recently, but more as a mental exercise. I went back through my life from the age of 8, and looked at a snapshot of weight & health every ten years, so 8, 18, 28, 38, 48.

Here’s how it turned out:

I was the same weight from age 18 – 38, when I got breast & thyroid cancer. But by the time I was 48, I was a lot heavier, but some of my chronic health issues were gone. And by 2020, I had none of the lower back pain that had plagued me since the age of 6. So, I thought to myself – if I wanted to turn back the clock & go back to my body at a younger age, would I want to go back to the grinding back pain? To the IBS, to the years of cancer & fear? Because when you try to re-enter your past, you might be thinking only of the good stuff. When it’s all in perspective, it’s no longer so attractive. For me, I’m quite happy where I am.

For some people – and for some women in particular – choosing to be a target weight can impair your wellbeing by keeping you under-muscled. Your body may be very light on a scale, but it may also function poorly and not even aesthetically please you. The scale is just a number – just one number defining physical characteristics. There’s no way it tells the story of you.

Your past is what has made you YOU. You’re the improved version of that person from before – you’re wiser, more experienced, and way more capable of being empathetic. You are more than your body, just like your body is more than the number of pounds or kilos you weigh. You’re a miracle, walking around.

When you think of yourself, start there.