I recently discussed this with a fellow coach who’s researching disordered body image amongst fitness professionals. She calls it the elephant in the room—I agree. For years I said ‘no’ to life because I was either too exhausted from training or felt uncomfortable with my body. She asked me what my inner dialogue was when I was in the thick of it. It was interesting. I’d never had someone call out my disordered behaviour. It was always danced around because as a fit pro I could get away with it. It was considered normal, healthy. I masked my own truth with athletics and continued to buy into the belief that what I was doing was OK, because I was an athlete and a coach. But I’d put expectations on myself to look a certain way to be acceptable. The real truth was I was struggling every day, hiding behind athletic pursuits to keep me on ‘track‘. My sacrifices for athletics were being blurred by what people saw as ‘healthy’ but a lot of it was fear of a bigger body. I was paralyzed by the fear of messing up. I kept doing more bodybuilding shows because I was scared about what would happen if I didn’t; more CrossFit until I royally messed up my endocrine system. I kept doing more because there was always more to fix. I finally threw up my hands and said: ENOUGH. The 3 biggest dial movers that helped me quit obsessive exercise to control to my body: 1. Investing in coaches to help me get out of my own damn way: took out the guesswork & meant I could trust my training was honouring me, not hammering me.
2. Quit perfectionism: radical honesty & cultivated self trust
3. Eating for function: gaining weight from a decade in a deficit was one of the hardest but most freeing things. Now, I modulate between maintenance, surplus, deficit because nutrition and bodies flux.
My trophy for the struggle is what I learnt: things can look different and you will be okay. You just become a better human along the way. Hacking the societal system of what ‘health’ looks like is how my clients redefine health on their terms. As a collective, we’re change makers. We do this together through The Bold Collective. My clients learn about what they're truly capable of, to stop second guessing themselves, feel like an athlete in the gym but participate in life outside of the gym. Sound like the kind of goodness you need? Go here to get on the waitlist for The Bold Collective. You can learn more about it here.