Responsibilities as a Personal Trainer
As personal trainers we’re taught to firstly motivate our clients, secondly educate them and thirdly inspire. We help clients who want to change their bodies and ultimately change their lives. We jump and shout when you hit your targets but when does this become unhealthy?
When does bragging about how many calories you lost in a workout or how good you were on your diet. We know different personalities are more determined and motivated whereas others are quite laid back, so it’s hard to see any potential problems.
If we all take a step back and look at the fitness industry as it stands just now, it’s quite scary how much we normalise eating disorder behaviours. I personally think some personal trainers out there are pushing clients too hard psychologically by implication actually encouraging some of these eating disorder behaviours I see quite often in the gym.
Thankfully people typically grow out of the “hardcore” mindset and it’s just a blip in the road but what happens to those who stop going?
What am I getting at here?
This is a pretty grim chat but I had to voice my opinion, we interact with our clients one to three times per week on average. We’re in the position to identify eating disorder symptoms in its early stages. Clients come and chat about their week, tell us exactly what they’ve eaten, we know how much they’ve worked out… we are in a perfectly good position to spot bad habits that could turn into something more serious.
As a personal trainer it is our responsibility to offer advice and most importantly understand when it’s necessary to refer your client to another health professional.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorders
This is one of the most common eating disorders. Binge Eating Disorders are when people consume excessive amounts of food over a short period of time, normally to the point of discomfort. They will normally feel ashamed and guilty. It’s important to watch out for signs of Binge Eating Disorders.
Some physical signs are:
- Eating to the point where they are full and in pain/discomfort.
- Weight cycling
- They eat alone or in secret
- They are dieting a lot
- They eat very fast
- They dislike their body.
- Have anxiety and/or depression
- Are always stressed or go through periods of intense stress
- Have feelings of shame when eating
You can have a look here for symptoms of binge eating disorders.
Symptoms of ANOREXIA NERVOSA
Clients that have anorexia will typically have an intense fear of gaining weight. This causes them to restrict the amount of food they intake which leads to weight loss. This is obviously extremely dangerous and can have serious health implications. It’s extremely important to note that someone in a larger body can also suffer from anorexia.
Some physical signs of anorexia are:
- Inadequate energy intake
- Feeling fatigued all the time
- Thinning and/or losing hair
Some behavioural signs are:
- Fear of gaining weight
- Denying that their hungry
- They repeatedly weight themselves
- Cover up in multiple layers of clothing in order to hide their body
Some emotional signs are:
- Social withdrawal