Looking Like A Fitness Leader

Fitness looks different on everyone, but all of these looks share the same base guidelines. I don’t need to tell you what these are, because everyone knows. There’s a difference between fitness leaders – and influencers who promote body positivity.

Lets look at Ashley Graham for example, an overweight supermodel who is drop dead gorgeous. She promotes ‘beauty beyond size’ which is 100% awesome. Beauty does indeed go beyond size. That’s not the discussion. 

Ashley could be a fitness trainer and be very successful at it. She’s committed to her personal fitness with daily workouts, and has terrific form in all the exercises that she does. Her personality is magnetic, and yes, of course I’d love to have her take me through a workout.

Yet would I look to her as my fitness leader?

Not a chance. She openly loves burgers, fries, coke and cigarettes.

Oh Cat C’mon That’s A Small Thing

Um no. It really isn’t.

Food is important to me, and if someone is leading me towards self improvement in body, mind and spirit, they have to have their relationship with food on point.

Trainers shouldn’t be overweight in the long-term, but sometimes it happens. I mean, trainers get sick too… they go through divorce or sadness. They have emotional eating issues sometimes.

But it shouldn’t be a long-term thing.


5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Body Image (When Your Job Is To Boost Everyone Else’s)

Getting Real With Yourself

If you’re a trainer and become overweight, be honest with your clients about it, and selective with how you promote yourself. You might not want to take on new clients until you can bring your weight back to the size that should be representing you.

You’re not going to feel good if your clients are more on track with their fitness than you.

I’ve been in the fitness industry since 2001 and seen lots of exciting changes happen towards trainers rocking the Internet with all body types.

Read: Body Positive Influencers You Should Follow

Since disassociating the idea that my weight is directly associated with how fit I look, my success has sky rocketed.

Leading With Truth

It’s very important to be a genuine leader to your clients.

If you don’t feel good about how you look, get to work on making the necessary changes.That’s the inconvenient truth – schedule time for yourself to workout, and clamp down on your eating habits. Do this for at least 3 months, and see what happens to your body (and how you feel about yourself).

My journey to becoming as self-confident and passionate about helping women finds body love stems from quite a few struggles of my own.

Because of this, I’ve worked hard at getting my client base on board with some social guidelines when they work with me.

This has been the backbone of my longevity in the business and I feel very blessed.

You’re Right, It’s Not Fair.

Who cares. You’re not 3. By now, life surely has taught you that life isn’t fair.

By trying to be on track with your fitness but not with your food, you’re swimming upstream. Sure, that’s how leaders win sometimes, but in this case, your clients are losing if you maintain the ‘anything goes’ mentality in the kitchen openly in your leadership role.

Truth Bombs Are Hard

I wish you peace, sustainable results and happy meal times if you’re currently a little bit heavier than you should be right now, as a personal trainer.

It might not feel fair that society thinks that trainers should look like a certain way, yet that’s not the point.

Move past the fairness of it all, and get your food patterns back on track – starting today. Promoting a healthy relationship with food is truly part of being authentically the best fitness professional that you can be. 


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. CatSmiley.com 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!)