For years whenever I’m at a social event and it's discovered that I'm a Personal Trainer I get lots of comments saying: 'Oh you must be really fit and you must work out every single day'. That on top of the usual glancing over at my plate to see whether what I’m eating is what they consider healthy or not. This is where I can’t help but wonder which mental image of a Personal Trainer they’re comparing me to? Are they referring to the fit girls and fit men that stand in front of mirrors taking gym selfies and posting them on Instagram? Or do they have a vision of me waking up at the crack of dawn going for a run around the Marshwood Vale? I do neither. It could be argued that my fitness levels are well above average but this is definitely not due to me spending time on the cross trainer or a treadmill. in fact I’d go as far to say that I hate treadmills. I'm an outdoorsy nature loving hike addict who loves to move and dance in every shape and form (other than going to a boring machine filled gym).
Going back 11 years I was a size 24. I weighed 17 and a half stones. My body confidence levels were at an all-time low and I was a serial comfort eater. I remember the day that I decided that I was going to join a gym. I was greeted by a tall slim lady who although very lovely, didn’t realise how unfit I was. We filled out all the relevant forms and headed on to the gym floor for my induction. Where this might certainly not have been the case, I felt that everybody was staring and laughing at me. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that had let myself become so big. The trainer began in a bubbly voice: 'Right then Charlie, we're going to start with the treadmill.'
My mouth went dry, my legs felt like jelly and I got on to the dreaded machine. The trainer pressed start and quickly increased the speed not realising that walking was about all I was capable of. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by telling her that I couldn’t go anything faster than a slow walk so I carried on. After two minutes I was gasping for air, after three minutes I thought I was going to collapse and after four minutes when she said 'Right now Charlie, we going to start the workout'. I quickly hit the emergency stop button and held back my tears as I'd convinced myself that I was about to have a heart attack.
That was my very short lived gym experience. I quickly left never to return to that gym and went home to eat what I remember was a gigantic meat feast pizza in an attempt to myself feel better. It wasn’t until a couple years later when my size was becoming a serious health issue that I decided to try and find a Personal Trainer. I did manage to lose a stone in those two years however there was a long way to go and I felt that I didn’t know what to do or how to get to my end goal of being a size 12. The search for a PT was on.