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ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,476)
Fitness Minutes: (296,538)
Posts: 27,192
7/18/14 3:49 P


There really is a lot of pressure on a personal trainer to look a certain way. People say that you should look the part. What I've learned is that you don't have to look like Jillian to be a good personal trainer. Good health does come in many different shapes and sizes.

I have a friend who does some shows. He's a great guy, but I avoid him whenever he's preparing for one. He does 2-3 shows a year and he's a mess during the prep. He's told me there is no way he could sustain that diet. it's just far too restrictive. I like him better when he's eating carbs. Lack of carbohydrates can effect a person adversely.

Talking to your hubby is a good place to start. He might not be ready to talk to a therapist just yet. but if you can get him to have a full physical and talk to his doctor, that would be a step in the right direction. Go with him if he has an concerns.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 7/18/2014 (15:55)
FITNAPTURAL SparkPoints: (78,000)
Fitness Minutes: (57,912)
Posts: 409
7/18/14 2:11 P


Thanks for your response.

Part of the problem is that he doesn't think that talking to anyone will help. I suggested it and he just says that they can't do anything. He has to come out of it on his own.

His plans are reasonable but still pretty strict. But they're results oriented and provide for a relatively balanced (if boring) diet. They're high in protein but I've eaten on the macros he would give to me if I were a client and it was restrictive but manageable and fell into all of my spark ranges. The plans he uses for himself are the kind that elite bodybuilders use for competition prep. But he has no intentions of doing a show and intends to do them for much longer than competitors would.

You also make a good point about his "image." This is something I struggle with understanding but he does have added pressure to look like a ripped and elite trainer, not just any other trainer. People are watching him in the gym and everywhere in the small town he works in. Everyone knows him. A customer in his nutrition supplement store recently told him that he had gotten fat. So when he does get back on track he has to do 2 hours of fasted cardio, weights, extra training etc. In addition to the restrictive diet. This definitely makes his depression worse. (Sidenote: I don't think this is the profession for him but that's definitely not my place to ask him to quit his job).

I've asked him to talk to his doctor or try to find a therapist but again, he won't go. Now that I've had the chance to tell someone else on the outside, I think that it may be time for him (and me) to admit that there's a problem.

Thanks so much for your help :)

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,476)
Fitness Minutes: (296,538)
Posts: 27,192
7/18/14 11:39 A


When your hubby is working with his clients, what does he recommend to them ? Are his plans balanced ? Are his plans reasonable or does he put his clients on some far out diets when he's on one ? If he treats his clients one way and himself another, then he needs to consider talking to a professional.

Is he being treated for his depression or his disordered eating ? Is he working with a therapist ? Has he talked to his own doctor about his issues with food ? I'd encourage him to ask his doctor for a referral to a therapist who works with people with disordered eating issues.

Breaking the "all or nothing" mentality won't be easy. Like many of us, he was probably brought up to be a perfectionist. It's one thing to strive to be the best you can. It's another to beat yourself up if you don't live up to a certain image.

Which is another part of the problem. As a personal trainer, he probably feels he has a certain image to up hold. I know, I work part time as a PT. I know how much stress their is on a PT to look a certain way for their clients. It's a lot of pressure on a person. Combine that with depression and I'm sure there are days he feels like the world is crashing in all around him.

That's why I would suggest starting with his doctor. talk to them about the depression as well as the food issues. Get a referral to a specialist.

The feast or famine isn't good for either of you. Would he talk to his doctor ? Is he willing to get help or his he denying their is a problem ? If he won't help himself, you don't have much of a chance getting him to change.

FITNAPTURAL SparkPoints: (78,000)
Fitness Minutes: (57,912)
Posts: 409
7/18/14 11:01 A

This should be good news for me but he's been struggling with depression and food addiction so it just makes me frustrated and nervous. Every few weeks for the last few months he's decided to start over and start these crazy diets. He's a personal trainer and makes meal plans for people but his problem isn't that he doesn't know how to eat. His issues with food are very deeply ingrained in his attitudes and behaviors. He's an all or nothing guy. It's frustrating not only because I empathize with the feelings of failure and hopelessness but also on a practical level. It's so expensive to buy the chicken, sweet potatoes, and other "diet" foods only for him to give up again and the food is wasted. I know this shouldn't be such a big concern for me but we're newlyweds and the past 7 months have been a roller coaster of strict food to fast food and of course this affects his moods and attitudes towards me. I have my own food struggles and weightloss battle to fight with different goals and attitudes about this for myself so it's a constant class. I'm about moderation and making healthy lifelong changes whereas he's doing fad diets and not letting go of his "all or nothing" attitude.

I really want him to find something that works because he's gained close to 60 pounds in the last 2 years. I do what I can to help him (including prepping the 6 meals he's supposed to eat everyday) but I can't bring these frustrations to him without making him more depressed. And tonight I'm going to spend more money at Sam's that hopefully won't go wasted. Even when I eat it, it's still too much food to buy at once.

As for me, I manage to stay in the same 5 lb range so I'm maintaining. I don't miss my workouts. I ran 2 half marathons and a few other races last year and am gearing up for my next half in November so I'll be training soon. He's not interested in joining me although I would love that. Nutrition is the hard part for me but I still manage to make healthier choices most of the time, except maybe the last week. (Sparkpeople and instragram are my saving grace most of the time).

I just needed a space to vent. Sorry for making this so long. If you're still reading this, has anyone struggled with this in your relationship or personally? Any tips?

Edited by: FITNAPTURAL at: 7/18/2014 (11:04)
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