Working in the fitness industry makes you a target for body pressure, something personal trainer Camilla Lorentzen has experienced first-hand several times. Comments have been made about her lack of knowledge in the field because of the shape of her body. Camilla shares her thoughts with us.
When I started studying to become a personal trainer two years ago, I was nervous. I knew I wasn’t going to be the fittest one in class, the one with the finest physique or with the most touching weight loss story to tell! But I knew if I just worked hard, I could become a really good trainer. Not just because of my passion for health, but because I had a burning desire to stand out and be an advocate for the normal, the achievable and doable.
And here I am, two years later, feeling I am in the process of achieving these things, but I also feel the constant pressure of needing to change. Because now, more than ever, most people associate a personal trainer with an amazing body, a strict diet and a fitness regime most people can never uphold. There is an underlying expectation that I, and my colleagues in the industry, should live up to these standards and ideals created by the media. An ideal that, if you ask me, is not healthy to aspire.
We are daily lavished with images of beautiful bodies in perfect poses, and are hit with the hard fact that if we should fail to achieve the same, we might as well “die trying”. Meanwhile, research actually shows that these images hardly motivates, but rather cause lower self-esteem, not to mention all the negative thoughts that build up in the recipients head about their own body and self-worth.
The fitness industry has exploded over the last few years, and the number of so called inspirational pictures overflows social media and yet here we are: with lover self-esteem than ever and a view on health that is heading down the tube.
What is it with this industry, which claims to stand for a good public health, really doing? Why is there such a huge pressure on both the people in my profession, and the others, to look a certain way, when there is no doubt at all that it does more harm than good. What’s become of the idea that every workout is a good workout and that taking care of your health is about so much more than how we look?
Good health means being comfortable in your own skin as well as being comfortable around others. That you take the time to be active and eat nutritious food, and at the same making sure you’re happy and connect with the people in your life. It has very little to do with reducing your fat percentage from 25 to 20, so that the contours of your stomach will show.
Yet here we are, the fitness industry, showcasing perfect bodies, post perfect pictures taken in the perfect light and the perfect angle, thinking we are making the world a better place. When we in fact should be showing that we too are humans, we make mistakes and we have our weak moments, so that the threshold to contact us, the threshold to get started, lowers.
Name: Camilla Lorentzen
Lives: Oslo, Norway