TBE - One Year In

I cannot BELIEVE it was a year ago that I started Trained By Eleanor and started working as a PT. It’s been one of the most fulfilling, exhilarating, tough, emotional, rewarding, crazy years of my life. I’d like to thank everyone who has trained with me, supported me, read one of my blogs or posts, liked something I’ve posted on Facebook, emailed me, asked me a question or answered one that I had for you. Really, truly and seriously – you are what makes me tick and however dreamy this dream-job is, I couldn’t do it without you.

I’m not going to write about why you should hire a personal trainer or start thinking about getting into fitness. Instead I’ve written something which I hope will inspire anyone who feels stuck in a rut, who is thinking about starting a new journey, be it fitness, work-related or otherwise, or just that life needs a bit of a makeover. These are the most valuable things I’ve learnt since I took control of my life – I hope one of them encourages you to do the same.

 

1.     Believe in yourself.

Change is a scary thing. It’s easy to focus on all the things that might go wrong and the things which you know will maybe alter things for the worst – money, free-time, social life etc. But trust me when I say – if you want something badly enough, you WILL make it happen. You WILL adjust to your new situation and you WILL make the best of it. Don’t let doubt prevent you from doing something that you love. TRY. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world and you never know what you might learn. Ignore the negatives – they’re not important…..

 

2.     Be Positive

I’ve always considered myself quite a positive person but this is the year that particular attribute has really come into play. And actually, you’ll find that the improvement in your quality of life really aids your ability to be positive.  Count your blessings, often.

 

3.     Take every opportunity

Not long after I first started the business I got offered a chance to work with a brand who I wasn’t sure was a good match for mine. I asked the advice of a few people I trust and realized it was be silly not to take this opportunity. Not only was it an amazing experience, but I earned a client who is still with me all this time later.

 

4.     Make sacrifices – and embrace them

There are many things, both material and otherwise, that you might have to sacrifice in order to reach your goals. It’s the nature of the beast. Yes, I have less money to treat myself to things like clothes and shoes – but when I can afford to treat myself to something, it’s the best feeling ever.

 

5.     Be realistic

Being positive doesn’t mean being unrealistic about the way things are. I’d be lying if I said that working for yourself is the easiest option. There are still rules, and unexpected twists and turns. For example, during this, my first year of business, I’ve had to save 25% of my profits to pay for a big ole’ tax bill. THE GLAMOUR!

 

6.     Be proactive, not reactive

A friend of mine gave me this absolutely invaluable piece of advice when I first started out. There’s always a LOT to be done in the world of TBE and I make sure I make lists, work hard, chase, enquire, stay hungry and keep on top of things. The work sadly doesn’t do itself but the harder you work, the greater the pay-off. Don’t sit around waiting for things to improve – MAKE IT HAPPEN.

 

7.     Ask questions

I am constantly asking for advice from others. We never know it all and we NEVER stop learning. There are people I go to for help with fitness, nutrition, business, my people skills, and many MANY other subjects. Don’t be afraid to ask and act on the answers you receive. In the same sentence…..

 

8.     Trust your instinct

This is no-one else’s journey but yours.

 

9.     Aim high

Keep reaching for more. Nothing is impossible when it comes to what you want to achieve. Remember your goals and why you did what you did and keep striving to maintain the new life you have made for yourself. However big or small your goals are – it doesn’t make them any less important.

 

10. CONGRATULATE YOURSELF

Every now and again I make sure I take time to realise how far I’ve come and how much I’ve achieved. It’s totally fine to have a little boast every now and again in ALL walks of life! To everyone who is reading this – CONGRATULATIONS on being YOU – no-one else does it better and no-one else ever will. You are AMAZING: then, now, and always.

News + Views

Happiness Rules

Over breakfast a few days ago I read a feature which discussed cynicism, or the lack thereof, observed in London recently (read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1Vmg5i4). The author lamented our transgression from negative, narrow-minded piss-takers to happy clappy hippies, high-kicking our way through exercise classes and beaming at fellow shoppers in Tesco with an energy not normally in keeping with our usual moany old outlook on life.

As someone who has a fairly sunny disposition I would say this – life is TOUGH. As mentioned in the article – house prices are huge, work is long, kids are snotty, weather is HORRENDOUS. So if you want to be chirpy you go ahead and BE CHIRPY. Go to that insanely mega-happy workout, smile for no reason, do kind things and accept compliments when they are paid. It might not fully distract you from your mortgage, but it’s a start.

Training

Small brag – as I’ve got fitter and stronger it’s becoming harder for me to find workouts that really push me apart from swimming and trail running. So I was delighted to discover the almighty Dom who I train with on Sunday, and Barry’s Bootcamp which I have been meaning to check out for years.

Spending so much time instructing others, it’s great to be told what to do and how to do it by experienced fitness professionals. Not only do I feel stronger and fitter but I’m learning so much about my own role as a PT. Now if only I could find a trainer to make me better at dealing with this HORRID COLD WEATHER.

Testimonials

I’ve added a few testimonials at the bottom of my homepage. Nothing but nothing makes me happier than a text or email from a client telling me their abs or legs are sore – it’s like telling a regular person they look 10 years younger.  Check them out here and see you next time! http://www.trainedbyeleanor.com/

PT's vs Fitness 'Gurus'

Please do excuse what I believe is my first ‘rant’-y blog piece, although this is just as much a piece of advice as it is a rant. My advice is to anyone thinking about investing in their fitness, and why they should choose a properly qualified trainer and not a filmed workout video or package deal by a celebrity calling themselves a ‘fitness guru’.

There are HEAPS of workouts by TV personalities out there and you will notice something they all have in common – every one of them appears on film accompanied by a personal trainer. This is a legality for the sole reason that people who aren’t qualified to train one-on-one cannot do so. You legally cannot call yourself a personal trainer unless you have taken the appropriate exams and so many people are getting round this by using the term ‘guru’ or ‘expert’. Gaining the PT title is a big investment and we do it so we can safely and effectively guide you towards your goals.

I didn’t know what to expect before I started studying for my PT quals. Maybe a bit of physical, a few endurance tests, some written work and basic health and safety?

The reality of course was quite different. We were tested rigourously, physically, verbally and mentally every 2 weeks on human biology, the principles of exercise, business acumen and several different types of workout disciplines. Every other weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 8:30am until 5:30pm, we alternated between the gym and our classroom, our brains overwhelmed by the amount of information we needed to retain in order to pass our exams. It was only when these exams were over (and there were many of them), following an almost heart-breaking amount of revision and an even more upsetting amount of nights at the pub sacrificed, that we could finally call ourselves Personal Trainers.

There are so many things that a personal trainer can give you that an electronic workout out can’t. For a start you’ll be in the hands of someone proficient in Health & Safety, who can judge your exertion levels and progress or regress the workout on the spot and accordingly. Each session is different and tailored to suit your goals and the rate at which you are progressing. If you’re not a people-person, all you need to do is tell us and we’ll make sure we communicate with you appropriately. We can email you extra workouts to complete between sessions and text you encouragement.  You’ll walk away with not only a better body but all the necessary information you’ll need to create your own workouts when you’re by yourself.

I am by no means calling these ‘famous’ people’s passion for a healthy lifestyle into question, or their commitment to spreading the word about the benefits of regular exercise. But the premise they are selling these short workouts on isn’t accurate. You can’t firm up your bum in 3 minutes or get a flat tummy in 8. To lose weight or gain muscle and maintain lasting results you need a carefully thought out regime, by a proper professional, that is designed specifically for you and you only. They don’t call us ‘personal’ trainers for nothing!

So please do consider putting your health in the hands of someone like me. I can promise you that it will be worth your while. 

Love

A very personal (and I admit a little controversial) heroine of mine once reminded us that ‘the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself’ and in all my 31 years on this earth, nothing has ever rang truer for me. Self-worth is such an important part of our existence – it affects all our other relationships; with our families, friends, lovers, colleagues, our bodies, our minds and our souls. I’m not talking about arrogance, but a much purer, more deserved emotion – the belief that you are a good person who does good things.

Confidence eludes some people for their whole lives. The causes for this may run deep and require help from any number of sources, but as a personal trainer I’m often faced with clients who, for whatever reason, have been made to feel that their bodies aren’t good enough.  So many of us believe that the answer to happiness is related to weight-loss – but I can tell you for certain, it doesn’t matter what you see when you step onto the scales; happiness will come when you put everything you don’t like to one side and concentrate on the things you DO love about yourself. Some examples might include your loyalty, your honesty, your ambition, your intelligence – none of these things will change with your weight – they are here to stay.

We all have days when we have trouble loving ourselves. Very often people with low self-confidence will undertake a hobby such as running as a way of tangibly bettering themselves time after time. But take a step back and imagine your life without your job, your runs, or anything that you feel may define you. Are you still an interesting, awesome person? OF COURSE YOU ARE. It’s a tough job stripping away everything that shapes you – but you’re so much more than just those elements. You’re YOU – and you’re you before you’re anything else; a doctor, a mother, a father, a wife, an assistant, a sibling, a CEO. Get right down to the nitty-gritty of who you are – and LOVE that person.

Love is one of those things there will never, ever be enough of.  Love is infinite – and that includes self-love. As I said earlier it isn’t egotism, it isn’t being up yourself. It’s being safe in the knowledge that you are, and will continue to be, the best you possible. Don’t be afraid to say ‘I’M GREAT’.

NB: For those who don’t know – the quote at the beginning is a part of Carrie Bradshaw’s very last words from the final episode of Sex & The City. Full quote below. I HEART CARRIE.

“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”