Things The Trainer Told Me

I decided to enlist the services of a personal trainer. Since running alone wasn’t helping me find my misplaced waist, I thought that perhaps hiring someone to force me to do the strength training that I loathe might make a difference.

Finding a personal trainer is not the easiest thing to do. If you don’t have a recommendation from a friend, you are stuck trying to find someone from the Yellow Pages. I managed to find some sort of online directory of personal trainers and received two recommendations in my area. I was called by both of the businesses. One left one message but the other left several. Being my usual busy self, I didn’t call either back. But then on Wednesday I was diligently working in my office when my cell phone rang. The number said “private” so I thought it was my dad or other family member. It wasn’t. It was Kevin the trainer.

He seemed somewhat cool over the phone, quickly surmising that I might need a push to get going into a training regimen. We made arrangements to meet at my house on Friday evening.

I arrived a little late on Friday after getting stuck in traffic. Kevin came in and while I ran to change, asked to use the bathroom. Normally this would pose no problem, but as I currently do not have a powder room thanks to the remodel, I had to send him to the cat litter infested 2nd bathroom. I changed and met him downstairs.

I thought that we were going to work out first, but no, first we were to talk about my history and my goals. He asked how much I weigh. I told him. He then asked about my goals.

“Well I want to find my waist, first and foremost. I also want to fit better into my clothes and look better.”

“So what you mean is that you want to lose weight,” he summarized.

“Yes, but since I have a history of an eating disorder, I don’t like to focus on the number on the scale as it is very triggering for me.”

“Well girl, at XXX pounds, you seriously need to focus on the number on the scale! Go buy a scale. Get on it often. You really need to lose weight. You are way too heavy. We’ll worry about your eating disorder when you get down around 108 pounds,” he finished, chuckling.

I am not happy, though I try to remain civil.

“What is your goal weight?” he asked.

“YYY,” I replied.

“What? You do realize that I weigh YYY?” he smirked.

“YYY is a good weight for me. Not everyone carries weight the same way,” I explained patiently.

“Well we will deal with that after you lose the first 36 pounds.”

Then he told me to get a pad of paper and a pen so that he could go over my free nutritional program. Here are the highlights:

  • Fasting is good for you. You can fast up to 40 days.
  • Hunger is good for you. You feel better when you’re hungry. Where did the stupid idea come from that we should eat when we are hungry. That is ridiculous!
  • Skip meals.
  • Go to bed hungry if you work late. You will feel much better in the morning than if you had eaten something.
  • No snacking. 2-3 meals a day are plenty.
  • Margarine, Crisco, and canola oil are all industrial waste products and are toxic.
  • Milk from the grocery store contains toxins. Only raw milk is to be consumed.
  • Bread is full of poisons and should never be consumed.
  • Avoid the “fatal five” at all costs: corn, potatoes, pasta, rice, and bread.
  • Splenda and Equal are poisons.
  • Eat only organic protein, eggs and vegetables, period. Nothing else should be consumed.
  • The only liquids you can drink are water, tea, coffee (both unsweetened), and Xanga (whatever the fuck that is.)
  • Following this regimen will lead to my being off medication for my longstanding difficult to treat depression, my ADD, and my infertility.

I smiled and dutifully took notes through this entire lecture. Only once did I bother contradict him, when he said that hunger makes you feel better, I interjected that it makes me have migraines.

“That’s what people believe, but it isn’t true.”

“Well the medical literature disagrees with you completely on this, but let’s not quibble.” I don’t think that he even picked up on my thinly veiled disdain. He was on a roll.

Finally, after my 45 minute lecture, we began the workout. It was kinda anticlimactic after all the ridiculous things he had said during the previous hour. It was a simple, effective workout.

Afterwards he explained to me that my trainer would be another person, a woman who just wasn’t available that evening. That perked me up. I decided to give her a try before calling it quits with this organization. And unfortunately, they only sell 10 session packages, so I was stuck with a large out of pocket if I didn’t use the remaining sessions.

But back to Kevin. This guy really rattled me. The bogus nutritional information was no big deal. I’ve heard much of that crap before. Yet the part that really screwed me up was his focusing so heavily on the number on the scale. The more I do that, the nuttier I get. Before long I’ll be back to vomiting, refusing to eat, and taking Super Dieters Tea. If I continued with this man, I would be admitted to an eating disorder facility faster than you could say “Jack Sprat.”

The sad thing was that I told him about my eating issues and he made fun of them. With his 108 pound comment, he was essentially saying that if I restarted my bad behaviors it would be OK as long as I moved from being the fat, disgusting hog I currently was. As a person who has spent years working with teens affected by eating disorders, It galled me that he was so cavalier about this problem. If he was triggering me so easily, just imagine what would happen if he came upon one of my at-risk patients.

This weekend, I found myself starting to have those bad thoughts that I used to in the past. “Don’t eat. You can go without food. You’re so fat you need to stop eating.” I was hearing him in my head. This really scared me.

All I wanted was to find a trainer to help me meet my goals in a healthy way. The last thing I wanted was to revisit my eating disorder.

[tag]eating disorder, exercise, weight, diet[/tags]

Published by: teendoc on October 15th, 2006 | Filed under exercise, weight

10 Responses to “Things The Trainer Told Me”

  1. EJW Says:

    Run. Run far far away from this man. He’s insane and not listening and will not be good for you. Don’t listen to his BS, you’re so much more than a number on a scale.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Bah! I hate him too. The scary thing is he has clients who are not doctors, who are not as well informed. They will listen to him and be worse off for it, when they went to him in the first place to get healthy. I’ve had trainers tell me all kinds of crazy diet stuff. One said: Eat half your calories for breakfast and don’t eat again until late at night. Your digestive system needs time to rest during the day.

    What an idiot, though his exercise regime was simple, effective and practical…

  3. MetalChick Says:

    This guy is an irresponsible ass. And raw milk? Um, isn’t it illegal in this country? E coli, anyone?

  4. Thalia Says:

    Clearly he is a dangerous lunatic. Is there some kind of professional association to which you can report him? Toobad. Let’s hope this chick is a darn sight better.

  5. JMW Says:

    I agree with the other commenters. This guy sounds half cracked. It’s lucky you are a doctor and know that his information is bogus.

    I too had an eating disorder and do NOT have a scale in the house. You are SO RIGHT and he is SO WRONG, the pounds don’t matter so much as your level of fitness and health.

    My sister has always weighed much less than I do. We now know she has a bone density issue. So much for my adolescent envy of her 88 pounds. Don’t let this arrogant weirdo get you down!

  6. Neko Says:

    The guy is a Freakin idiot. There’s no freaking way I would ever call for his business again. Drop him! I seriously doubt he has client recommendations. They’re probably all freaked out.

  7. Francine Says:

    Hey Lady!

    While I DEFINATELY think that having a personal trainer is the way to go (I have one too), this guy is NOT it!!! I understand your pt about giving the woman trainer a chance and hopefully she’ll work out better, but run fast and far if she shares the same philosophy that he does… Personal trainers though, do tend to have very individualistic approaches so it is likely that your next trainer will be a sane one – as opposed to the lunatic you recently met with!!!



  8. Julie Says:

    Are you fucking kidding me??? First and foremost – you are absofuckinglootly beautiful! He’s a complete asshole. Seriously – find out if their studio is part of IHRSA (email me and I can look it up for you) and report his sorry ass. I don’t need to tell you that everything he said is total and utter bullshit.

    I feel sorry for the client he has that doesn’t know any better. Who takes his word as the gospel. She/He’ll be in the clinic with the eating disorder.

    He should be ashamed of himself!

  9. Ravenbajan Says:

    He doesn’t sound like any personal trainer I’ve ever met. (Mind you I’ve only ever dealt with 2 of them). I would definately start looking for another company. If they employ jerks like that who are so uninformed it is not a good sign.

  10. Anonymous Says:


    As you know, I am not really given to adding comments but this entry just blew my fucking mind.

    I also had an eating disorder in my teens and early twenties which really messed me up. I really related to what you said about not weighing yourself, not fixating on weight loss. Do not doubt yourself, Liana, I feel strongly that his kind of thinking will tend to send you over the edge if you have been there already. What a total fucking arse. I was so shocked about what he said I have been talking about it all day. I think the guy should be struck off – whatever – not sure if they have lists for PTs.

    I also related to the loss of your waist. I think mine was fading from view in my late 30’s (I’m 42 now) but the latest IVFs and miscarriages have totally hidden it from view. It now reamins a distant memory. But – I have started regular yoga again and I’m doing the Paul McKenna self-hypnosis tapes ‘I can make you thin’ – scarey title, but it’s brilliant – and backs up the kind of therapy I went through to cure myself all those years ago – accept your body, eat when you’re hungry, eat whatever you want, enjoy it, stop when you’re full. I know this works, I just need to remember it sometimes. I know that anything else is woman hating, head fuck and I just refuse to do that to myself again.

    Many good wishes to you.

    I always am an admirer of your strength!


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