Dear Reader… as you may remember, I sent out an invitation for colleagues to be guest bloggers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get such wonderful, warm, heartfelt words written to share with you. But here we are! So this month I’d like to introduce you to Terri.
Theresa Rindress, is my personal trainer at the NDG YMCA. She is also a group fitness instructor there as well as the coordinator of fitness programs. If you are looking for someone who is devoted, inspiring, dedicated to her career and craft, who will surely bring out the best and the beast in you – then give her a call 514-833-4799. She is a wonderful, wonderful young woman and my birthday mate!!! I am sure you will appreciate her honest voice. Thank you so much Miss T. I am humbled.
“You’re no good! You’re fat! You’re lazy! You’re a disgrace to the profession you are in!” These are the words I often wake up hearing as I get up to go to work and personal train clients and teach group fitness class – and believe it or not, they used to be a lot worse. My name is Theresa Rindress, aka Terri, and I have been a personal trainer for 8 years and a fitness coordinator at the YMCA for 5 years.
I have struggled with body image for as long as I can remember. I can remember asking my mom to go on my first diet at around 8 years old. I always felt different from everyone else. Elementary school children had very cruel words to describe me that reinforced my already poor body image. I learned early on to turn to food as my comfort. In high school when everyone was trying to find themselves, I felt constantly rejected based on my appearance and weight. Add in a dose of a terminally ill parent at home and feeling like I had no one to talk to, I developed an eating disorder – bulimia with anorexic tendencies. I hid my “issues” for years. Ironically, I was complimented for my hard work in losing weight and looking so “good” now – these words just fuelled my fire. Even though I knew what I was doing was not healthy, I was finally getting noticed and complimented, and not criticized for my size. At a certain point, the eating disorder got out of control and I knew I needed to get some help.
Fast forward 12 years and I am proud to say that I recovered from the eating disorder, but those voices still pop up in stressful times or when I am not taking care of myself physically as much as emotionally. The voices are reinforced by what I see on social media, what I see on the TVs being played all day at the gym, and what I hear so many of the beautiful, strong, fit members at the gym say about themselves. Yes, I am a personal trainer and fitness instructor, and yes I know that most people join gyms to change their body composition and I will help them reach their goals, but I refuse to encourage the negative self talk so many of us have about our bodies. It does not help us, and it does not help those around us. I threw out my scale during my recovery and I encourage anyone I speak to about weight to do the same – too many of us start our day with negative self talk because of the number on the scale.
If we are blessed enough to get up in the morning, if we are mobile enough to get out of bed and get moving, then let us be grateful and strong enough to fight those voices telling us that we are not good, or lazy and disgraceful. Some days are easier than others, but I am thankful to have the body I have that can do all the things I ask it to do, no matter what my weight or size.
For those of you struggling with your relationship to food or your body, The Argyle Institute is a great resource with their Eating Disorders Team. They assist families, couples and individuals that are struggling. You can find them here.
Peace to you.