There’s a new show on Lifetime called “How To Look Good Naked”. In this show, hosted by the ‘Fab Five’ Carson Kressley, women are asked to strip down and stand in front of the mirror to have a look at themselves. Carson then begins the week long process of getting these women to be truly comfortable in their skin. I am not a fan of reality shows, but I must say, this one did catch my attention. For one, anything that helps women get over their desire to be something other than who they are is a fabulous thing. For another thing, I love that it’s a show that really does encourage women to ignore the anorexic-looking fashion models and come to happy terms with the beautiful bodies they were given. All good stuff!
As a long-time personal trainer (some years back), I’ve seen my share of women trying to be a size 5 when their bones were a size 10. One of the greatest challenges I used to have with these women was the fact that I am, by blessed genetics, a small woman who’s never had to diet a day in my life. I can eat what I want (which, by the way, is quite healthy) and never gain an ounce. So, when meeting women clients for the first time, they’d take one look at me and say “How could you possibly know how it feels to be fat?” Or something of that nature. In short, it was a battle from onset, getting them to understand that I was on their side and that I COULD help them. What most of them didn’t realize at first was that my mission, if we were to name it, was to get them NOT into a size 5, but rather to get them healthy, strong and happy with what God gave them. In other words, I wasn’t there to ‘resize’ them, I was there to encourage them to look at their bodies through new lenses and create a more healthy foundation on which to enjoy that body.
My success as a personal trainer was due, in large part, to my attitude toward these women. I made a point, with each woman I worked with, to constantly (and sincerely) compliment them every time we met for a session. I also made it a point NOT to criticize their ‘lapses’ but instead, encourage them to accept what they’d done and move on. I knew, instinctively, that the best thing I could do for them, especially in the beginning, was to get them to stop being so critical of themselves and learn some compassion.