Personal Trainers Shouldn’t Need To Look Like Models

Throughout my career as a fitness trainer, my body confidence has definitely improved. And I’m happy to say, I haven’t been body shamed by anyone other than myself. But isn’t that just as bad as another person shaming you? 

For a while I put ridiculous expectations and focus on my training, backed up with strict diet. I’ve been a fitness model, body builder, fashion model, athlete and also very average.

I did all this mostly out of personal interest and it taught me a lot about body transformation. Especially how empowering it felt to control the physical appearance of my body – not just performance outcome! As someone who had competed in sport her whole life, this was a new benefit. When I was a professional athlete, my coaches didn’t train me aesthetically. I really enjoyed being able to work that into my fitness scheduling during the start-up days of becoming a personal trainer. Body transformation fitness schedules were something I fell in love with. I then went on to help hundreds of women lose thousands of pounds. Whistler Fitness Vacations was born!

Weight Will Fluctuate!

Over my career, my lowest weight has been 115 lbs, my highest weight was 195 lbs. My normal weight is 175 lbs. I’m 5″7 and when I’m 175 lbs, my waist is about 32 inches. That’s 100% healthy.

When I was my highest weight I also was in bed for 3 months with a medical condition. Eating what i could for energy and definitely not doing any exercise.

When I healed, the weight took about a year to actually normalise back down to healthy. I didn’t apologise or feel embarrassed about being heavier during that time – it just felt so exciting to be feeling better that my weight wasn’t a thing I thought about much.

Thankfully my client base has (pretty much) always been filled with lovely people. I know they genuinely are hiring me to have a great workout, and love that I keep the focus on them. #Blessed 🙂

Your Body Is Not Your Business Card

If you’re a trainer reading this, and feel judgement from your clients – perhaps it’s time to rebrand your business. Bring the focus over to your clients, not to you. Your body is not your business card – it’s your happy customers and their results that is your business card.

It’s a pleasure to share with my client base (and followers) my story of body confidence. I wish it upon everyone.

Read: 50 Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids

When looking at the damaging effects of a parents words in it’s relation to food and body image (example, “don’t eat that, you’ll get fat”) the research is clear. It’s gonna mess your kid up. Nearly all of my clients with low body confidence recall parents who made this mistake. 

What Is Body Confidence?

Body confidence is what happens when you do everything that you know is right in your fitness and food choices.

And body beautiful is a result of treating yourself right.

You won’t be ‘happy’ with your body if you’re not treating it well.  I wish that every trainer could reach the same place of peace.

Success for me as a fitness trainer is about helping others with their ‘sense of self’ and body image. I’m a mesomorph with muscles and larger bone density who spent her formative years lifting heavy and playing sport. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

My advice for the first step? Try focusing on what your body can do, not what it looks like.  
Whistler Fitness Vacations

Cat Smiley

Cat Smiley has been named Canada’s top trainer 3 times by the International Sports Science Association. She is a certified Master Trainer of Fitness Sciences (ISSA), Life Coach, Nutritionist, Executive Business Coach and the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. Prior to that, she spent 10 years building her personal training and boot camp company - while also working as a professional athlete and nationally syndicated health columnist. She inevitably hit burnout and learnt a ton of lessons along the way. is a mash-up of all the things she did to keep her passion for fitness training alive, almost 20 years later. - Find my site helpful? Please mention Whistler Fitness Vacations to your personal training clients if they ask you about fitness retreats! It really helps (and I really appreciate it!)