How To Find The Best Personal Trainer

“Caveat emptor”

It’s no secret I hate New Year’s Resolutions. Personal trainers, however, love them. The New Year marks a huge surge in health and fitness resolutions and many people hire personal trainers to help them achieve their goals. But just as making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t equal a slam-dunk to better health, teaming up with a personal trainer isn’t going to magically make you a fit beast.

These days, it’s possible for anyone to market him or herself as a fitness expert, personal trainer or the trendy new “health coach” title, with no formal education or professional certification. But when it boils down to it, regardless of education, certification or nothing, all trainers are not created equal. In fact, there are a ton of differences from one to the next, from truly passionate professionals to those just earning a paycheck. Only some are what I’d consider exceptional, like my friend and best trainer I know, @joefitness. Others, not so much.

In my years working at a gym, working out in one and observing the trainer-client relationship, I’ve come up with some guidelines for what I feel is crucial when choosing a personal trainer. Even if you’re not in the market for a trainer, these rules apply to group fitness instructors and even your workout buddy. So choose wisely!

1. They’re Passionate
Whether you’re just starting out or looking for someone to take your fitness level to the max, when you choose a personal trainer, you’re essentially putting your faith in him/her to get you where you want to be. Some days, it’s going to be 50/50 your effort and theirs, other days, you might need it to be more like 20/80. Especially on those tough days, which trainer is going to motivate you and make you push past your limits: The one who’s just counting reps or looking at the stopwatch? Or the one who’s animated, gets in your face, maybe even yells (encouragingly) at you? I don’t know about you but my money’s on the one who seems like they give a damn.

Beyond the passion for their clients, really great trainers have a passion for fitness themselves. This isn’t a career where one can just “talk the talk”; the best trainers are the best in their area of expertise, whether that’s heavy weight lifting or running; bootcamp or BodyPump class.

2. They Customize
Every person is different. We have different body types and genetics. Different triggers, motivators and values. Different goals and objectives. Different strengths, weaknesses and interests. With all these differences in our bodies and what makes us tick, it’s easy to see why a great trainer would never use the exact same program for multiple clients.

The best trainers know every person is different thus every training program must be different. And it goes beyond just the exercises themselves. Every person has very different emotional cues and needs a customized approach to his or her training. Some people want to be yelled at and need to be pushed to the point of exhaustion. Others need a more encouraging approach and someone to motivate them to make working out a habit they’ll stick with once the training sessions are complete.

In the summer, I love adding the paddle board to my workout mix.

I love adding the paddle board to my workout mix.

3. They Mix It Up
Great training doesn’t end with customizing workouts. Our bodies are designed to adapt and the same workout will get progressively easier on us. So just when you think you’re getting the hang of it and the workout routine nailed, the best trainers are gonna come back with something that makes you want to die. But that’s the only way to get stronger or faster, grow and progress.

It’s like the Insanity class instructor at my gym, Johnny. He’s awesome. He leads us through the movements, encourages us and makes the effort to give attention to each individual, pushing everyone to work harder. And the best part of Johnny’s approach? He changes his class every single time. Never does he give us the same combinations, rarely do we even do the same moves. He’s always mixing it up and throwing out new stuff – for which, my body pays dearly!
4. They KISS
That’s probably sounds creepy – what I actually mean by KISS is this: Keep It Simple Stupid. The first time I ever worked out with a trainer was a quick session with my co-worker at the time, JoeFitness. This was several years ago when I was still somewhat of a fitness newb; the only piece of equipment I used was the treadmill. Between all the weight machines, cables, racks, resistance bands – you get the idea – I was a little nervous to work out with Joe. You can image my pleasant surprise to see the only piece of equipment he brought to the workout was a Bosu ball. But that workout kicked my ass. I couldn’t do abs for a week, they were so sore! Best of all? The fact that Joe made it simple encouraged me to try it again on my own.

Trainers have tons of equipment and accessories at their disposal. And I’m not saying they should never incorporate TRX ropes or cables, medicine balls or machines. But in the case of the new-to-average trainee, the less complicated, the more likely they’re going to stick with working out when they’re no longer side-by-side with the trainer. After all, a common excuse many give for not wanting to go to the gym is not knowing how to use the machines and equipment. But there’s no excuse for not knowing how to run or bike, do pushups or lunges!
5. Their Work Speaks for Itself
Training isn’t the easiest service to judge. If you see a stranger with a great jacket, it’s appropriate to ask where he bought it. That co-worker who always has gorgeous highlights? You can ask what hairstylist she goes to. But it’s not exactly socially-acceptable to compliment a random person on their muscular arms or round, perky butt and ask “Who’s your trainer?” For one, they may not work with a trainer but, more importantly, you might be greeted with a disgusted look or smack.

The good news is, if you really want to know how good a trainer is, chances are you can find out somehow. From online reviews to Facebook crowdsourcing and other word-of-mouth methods, reputable trainers will have at least one success story. Many have their own websites, full of testimonials and encouraging before-and-after client pictures. This works both ways and can help weed out the bad ones too. Just as happy clients will sing the praises of a great trainer, unhappy ones will really tell it like it is.
I feel it’s important, especially this time of year, to remind anyone thinking about teaming up with a personal trainer: Caveat emptor. “Let the buyer beware.” Virtually anyone can be certified to train or just call him or herself a health coach. When you choose a trainer, you’re essentially “buying” his or her expertise and knowledge. Do your homework, ask for recommendations, even try a single session with a couple different trainers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. And don’t forget to have clear goals in mind and outline your expectations right off the bat so you both have the best chance for success.

Do you have a great or a horrific story of working with a trainer? Any more tips to add? Comment below or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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Don’t Be One of Those Damn Resolutionists

“Tomorrow you’ll wish you had started today.”

Now that it’s December, we’re just days away from one of my most dreaded times of the year – January. I don’t hate on January because it’s cold, I curse it because it’s the worst time of year at the gym. There’s suddenly wait times for cardio machines. The weight room is packed to the point that scoring bench or time on the cables feels like winning the lottery. And the parking lot becomes unbearable – that’s if you can even find a spot. It’s all thanks to a little something I despise: New Year’s Resolutions.

At first blush, people may chalk up my hatred of New Year’s Resolutions and a suddenly-crowded gym as me being a snob. Yes, I get extremely annoyed when I have to wait for a treadmill because of all the newly-inspired walkers and runners. Yes, it frustrates me when I can’t use the cables because a newb thinks it’s a great space to do pushups and calf-raises. But the part that pisses me off most is knowing 95% of these new members are rarely going to return past Valentine’s Day so there’s really no point to them being there and making the rest of our lives more difficult for a few weeks. I know, could I be more of a snob?

Furthermore, as someone who loves health and fitness, and encourages others to make a place for it in their lives, you would think I’d love New Year’s Resolutions and respect that people are taking the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. False. What I love is helping people who are serious about starting and sticking to a routine. What I respect is seeing the same people week after week, gutting through tough workouts. Believe me, if you’re new at the gym, I don’t automatically look down on you. If you’re serious about working hard and sticking to it, I am the nicest, most encouraging person. I love when people ask me for advice or to put together a multi-week workout plan or to show them some new lifting moves. I never get annoyed waiting to use the cables or my favorite treadmill when it’s being used by a regular gym-goer. I respect what they’re doing and would give them a high-five when they’re finished… if it wouldn’t seem weird.

But I have no love or respect for New Year’s Resolutions. I think they’re almost as bad as The Biggest Loser (what, you thought I’d be a loyal supporter of that show?). I think it’s time I explain the reasons I hate them. It’s because they both give people an excuse to delay their health and fitness goals and, worse, sets them up for failure.

If you’re really serious about wanting to start an exercise routine and eat better, why wait? There’s no better day to start than today – not tomorrow, not next Monday, not January 1 – today. Delaying the process to some ideal start date isn’t going to magically make it easier or guarantee success. It’s going to be hard work and take a ton of effort, regardless of when you start. Delaying is just lazy and an excuse not to do it now.

And don’t even get me started on the failure rate of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t know what the statistics are of how many resolutionists fail and, quite frankly, I don’t care. I don’t need to know the stats, I see them, year after year.

Let’s be honest, there’s never an easy or ideal time to try to start a fitness or healthy eating routine. But trying to start in January? That’s just gotta be one of the worst. Think about it:

Is there a worse time:
1. To force yourself out of your warm bed or off your cozy couch in favor of heading outside for a run or to the gym?
2. To pass up a warm, comforting bowl of mac and cheese in favor of a cold salad and skinless chicken?
3. To try to learn cardio machines and brave the weight room than when it’s the most crowded it’s going to be all year?
4. For those who are self conscious than being around that many more guys in muscle shirts and girls in spandex? Oh, all that spandex…
5. For those who are intimidated to try group fitness classes than when they’re packed and only those who know to get there early even get a spot?

And is there a worse time to stay motivated for all of this than when it’s sooo easy to hide in baggy sweats and layers, or slip into big sweaters and forgiving stretchy pants?

If you must make a New Year's Resolution, make it this.

If you must make a New Year’s Resolution, make it this.

Health and fitness can’t be a resolution. It has to be a long-term commitment to a lifestyle. That’s it. No getting around it. Instead of following the sheep and putting a start date of Jan 1 on when you’re going to finally make a change, think instead to a milestone down the road. Sign up for a 5k that’s three months from today. Focus on the “end” date to give yourself the motivation to stick to it – but then, don’t stop there. Have you always wanted to feel more confident or be stronger? Keep that in mind, day in and day out, to stay committed to yourself. After a point, the positive effects and lifestyle will begin to set in and you’ll just want to keep going. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes.

Am I being too harsh on resolutionists? What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions now that Jan 1 is near? Comment below or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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Why You Should Compete With Others, Not Just Yourself

“Be thankful for quality competitors who push you to your limits”

One of the best things about running is that anyone can do it. It’s not a sport only for those who have the luxury of time and can train hours every day. Not something a person has to naturally be good at or have God-given talent to do well. It’s not a sport afforded only by the wealthy, as it doesn’t require expensive equipment or machines; all a person really needs is a quality pair of shoes and some decent, weather-appropriate clothing.

And for those of us with a little bit of a competitor inside, running is a sport in which anyone can compete – as an amateur, joe-schmo adult. Competitive racing isn’t only reserved for high school athletes or those with college scholarships. Go online and you’ll find a nearby 5k, 10k or other race just about every weekend. Runners of all ages and abilities, shapes and sizes line up, weekend after weekend to compete. Granted, most adult runners don’t necessarily “compete”, in fact, most who run don’t do it for the thrill of competition at all. But there’s a school of thought among amateur runners and something I hear a lot that, when you run, it’s all about competing against yourself.

No. Compete with others to be your best.

No. Compete with others to be your best.

Where did this idea come from that runners should only worry about competing against themselves? Basically, we’re told we shouldn’t worry about trying to be better than anyone else, but focus on being better than you were yesterday. Am I the only one who thinks this is bullshit? Competition is about being the best, being better than others who are on a similar playing field. Yes, sometimes that means being better than yourself and pushing past your own limits but, in a lot of cases, that success only comes from the motivation and drive to be better than someone else.

I was thinking about this as I prepare for a 10k I’m racing on Thursday morning. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for several days now; as a result, haven’t been running as much or as intense as I normally would training for a 10k. See, when I signed up and started training for this race, my goal was to win it. That’s right, to be the first woman to cross the finish line. Period.

A lot of people will say this is a terrible attitude. Running should be about achieving your personal best, not running faster than someone else. And, you can’t control how others perform, only yourself, so why set yourself up to potentially fail at something, no matter how hard you try. There’s definite truth to all that and I certainly wouldn’t advise a first-time runner to try and beat other runners. But for me, the desire to be the fastest on that day, in that race, against whoever else shows up only fuels my training and performance.

When I train at a 7:15 min/mile pace, that doesn’t mean I’m planning to run the entire race at that pace. When I do sub-7 min/mile sprints and intervals, it’s not so I can sprint for one minute every five minutes during the race. It’s prepping my body, my legs, my lungs and my mind to be able to dig deep and push that hard if the situation warrants. If I’m in second place in the last mile and I can kick in the gas to pass that woman in front of me, I need to be able to do that. I want to be able to do that.

It’s like the first (and only) 10k race I ever won outright. Prior to that race, I felt breaking a 44:00 10k was out of my reach. I ran that race in 42:40. I didn’t train to run it that fast, I had never run more than 2 sub-7 min/miles in a row. But passing everyone within the first mile was encouraging. Hearing people cheer me at mile three at yell, “You’re the lead female!” was empowering. And knowing the next female was only a little ways behind me when I looked back after passing mile five lit a fire inside and drove me to push that last mile faster than I thought I could. It’s what made me win the race AND put up a personal best I never thought possible.

That’s the thing about the power others have over us. Sometimes, other people force us to push past the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves. Why do you think so many people hire personal trainers, go to group fitness classes, have a leg day buddy? Even the most self-motivated person sometimes needs an outside voice to tell them they can do more, and push them to do it.

I’m not saying you should always set a goal of winning a race, of placing top three in your age group, etc. Sometimes, a personal best or just finishing is a victory in itself. And yes, you can’t control what level of runners are going to show up that day and how other racers perform that day. But that’s not setting us up for failure, that’s the spirit of competition and what makes us the best we can be. If you push yourself to the max and give that race everything you have, you’re not a loser or a failure.

Due to this nasty cold bug I can’t seem to shake, I’ll probably go out there on Thursday no longer looking to win. I’ll mentally prep myself to enjoy the run and take it easy so I don’t make myself sicker. But if I happen to feel 100% within those first few paces, you bet your ass I’m running the rest of the way with every intention to be the first woman across the finish line.

I expect to get some backlash from this, so let’s hear it. Do you feel I’m wrong? Should running be all about personal victories? Or, do you think it’s okay, even healthy, to compete against others? Comment below or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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Thank Goodness It’s Monday

“Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays” 

What do you mean it's already Monday?

What do you mean it’s already Monday?

Poor Monday. It gets such a bad rap. Countless memes bash Mondays. Susanna Hoffs dreams of Sunday never ending in the Bangles’ song “Manic Monday”. And who hasn’t heard the famous quote above from the classic movie, Office Space?

For some, the horror that is Monday is so great, it even spills into Sunday. The so-called “Sunday Blues” set in for many as early as Sunday morning, where anxiety and dread of the upcoming week becomes consuming. What a shame, Sundays are the best! Relaxed mornings, long workouts, football, the chance to get organized and prep healthy food for the week…sorry, back to the upside of Mondays.

Me, I like Mondays, both at work and in the gym. I’m a creature of habit and enjoy getting back to routine after the weekend.. Don’t get me wrong; I love the chance to relax on weekends. It’s absolutely imperative to get a break from the grind and routine of weekday life. But there’s something comforting about getting back on a schedule.

In my work world, I always seem to have calm, productive Mondays. Everyone’s getting back into the swing after the weekend. Emails and new project requests are pretty minimal, as most are focused on catching up on their own to-do lists. Mondays are a great chance to start fresh and kick off a new week.

I also love starting off the week with a great Monday workout. I usually get in my toughest run on Mondays. I’m mentally fresh coming off the weekend and psyched to push hard. And I know nothing feels better than knocking out a solid run early in the week. Plus, I tend to get a little fatigued as the week goes on so this is my best opportunity to crush some speedwork. For me, it’s the best way to start the week.

Make your Monday awesome.

Make your Monday awesome.

On the flip side, Monday can be the perfect rest day. If you take advantage of quieter weekends at the gym and put in two long, hard workouts, enjoy a rest day on Monday. Or #TreatYoSelf to a splash of yummy flavor in your coffee or something special for breakfast every Monday morning.

My point is, there’s no reason Mondays have to suck. If you struggle with Mondays, just try changing your perspective on them. Attitude and outlook are everything. So find some positivity. Draw something good out of Monday. Put in some effort to make them awesome! Never have a “case of the Mondays” again.

If all else fails, there’s always Monday Night Football to look forward to.

How do you feel about Mondays? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311. Or, share some positivity and help others get through the day using hashtag #MondayMotivation.

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Why Dogs Are Good For Your Health – And Just Awesome

“Dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole”

Most people know I enjoy running with my dog, Burton. In the past few months, I’ve also adopted another occasional running buddy, Blitz. Yep, another dog.

It’s true, I love dogs. They’re wonderful, sweet creatures and bring so much positivity into life. Plus, they’re good for your health too. I’m not making this up! There’s oodles of research out there that proves owning a dog provides a ton of health benefits, mental and physical.

I was thinking about this on my run today – well, on both my runs today. Allow me to explain. Burton and Blitz are what I’d call, highly energetic dogs. They’re also both really strong and fast so I sadly can’t take them running together. Instead, I often go for two runs, one with each dog.

But anyway, back to my runs. They ended up being pretty great! Nice, chilly morning, legs felt good and the miles went by really fast. Something about splitting a typical 6-miler into two 3-milers made it seem shorter. But the best part of running today was that I almost didn’t.

You're not just going to sit there all day, are you?

You’re not just going to sit there, are you?

See, I was having one of those mornings where I just didn’t really feel like running. We’ve all been there, right? For me, I was home alone (for those who aren’t familiar with the North Dakota/Minnesota area, this weekend marked the opener of deer hunting season) so I got caught up enjoying coffee and some DVR, then started feeling guilty for being a bum so I decided to do some cleaning, then before I knew it the morning was nearly gone and I hadn’t made it out the door to run yet. It would have been really easy to blow it off in favor of a million other things I wanted to get done today but, luckily for me, B&B weren’t having it. Both were being their usual, energetic selves, and kept looking at me as if to say, “Aren’t we going running today?” I knew they needed to burn some energy and, deep down, I knew I’d be happier and feel better if I went running. So I layered up, laced up and headed out, first with Burton, then with Blitz. It was great.

That’s the thing about dogs. They don’t let you slack off. They remind you that running is fun, it’s freeing and it really is the best part of your day. The same rules apply to walking. I’ve had tons of bonus cardio moments just taking each dog for a walk. Dogs remind you to get up and get moving – they’re kind of like personal trainers. Other than the fact they nap excessively and are willing to eat just about anything.

Fellow dog lovers, has your furry friend helped keep you in shape? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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Slim-Fit, Regular, Curvy – Let’s Add Athletic

“One size does not fit all”

Okay, I’ve gotta vent a little about something. But don’t worry, this won’t just be 600 words of me bitching and moaning – well, it will be that, but also with a solution to the problem!

Over the years, and especially the past few, I’ve found it difficult to find nice, everyday clothes that fit well. Let’s be honest, I think most of us struggle with this. Bodies are not “one-size-fits-all” so we can’t all expect that every one of us who commonly wears a size X is going to fit into that the same size X. For me, personally, my primary struggles come as a result of my more athletic than average build. Big legs, big arms, broader back and shoulders in comparison to a smaller waist and bust. It’s always a challenge for me to find pants that have enough room in the legs without being too big in the waist; or shirts that aren’t baggy throughout the midsection, yet that can accommodate my large arms. And of course, there’s always the desire to avoid the “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” moment that comes with a broader build.

Retailers just don’t commonly make clothes that match athletic builds and conventional sizes then tend to follow – and don’t always work for every body.

This dress wouldn't have fit without a talented seamstress

This dress wouldn’t have fit without a talented seamstress

A wonderful real-life example of this happened to me last fall, when I was shopping for a bridesmaid dress. Beautiful style of dress, very fitted through the waist, legs and butt. Upon taking my measurements, the sales girl laughed a bit and said, “Well, your bust and waist are size 4…but your legs and butt are closer to a size 8. Wow, we usually don’t see that big a difference!” Thanks, lady. I’m well aware my body isn’t exactly proportionate or one that completely identifies with one size. Sigh, #athleteprobs.

I know I promised you a solution, not just bitching. Don’t worry, I’m getting there.

Now think about real life: Athletes have plenty of choices when it comes to training wearables. There are base layers and everyday workout clothes that stretch and move. You can buy shoes specific to your sport, your foot, your stride. There are even special undergarments and socks; all designed specifically for athletes’ bodies.

While it’s great to have an abundance of choice for workout clothes, what about everyday clothes? Most of us don’t make a living being athletes; we have normal jobs and normal lives where we wear normal clothes – that often don’t quite fit our not-exactly-average bodies.

So here’s my solution: I want clothing companies to take note and start designing clothes for the athletic body. Take pants for example. There’s slim-fit for those with thin builds, regular for “regular” and curvy for bodies that are bigger through the waist, hips butt and leg. But there’s really no option for those of us who embrace leg day and speedwork runs; those of us who could use a little extra room in the quads without the waist being so spacious. Imagine walking into a store, browsing the pants and having the choice of Regular, Slim-Fit, Curvy – and Athletic!

Or instead of shirts being simply Small, Medium and Large, maybe they could have an option that fits nice in the midsection but doesn’t look like you’re having an incredible hulk moment in the sleeves or the above-referenced “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” disaster. They could offer both “Regular” and “Muscular” cuts, kind of like how you can get pants in both Tall and Regular options!

I know I’m not the only one who has these struggles. Anyone else love the idea of clothing companies stepping up and making special options for athletes? Or if you’ve had a great #athleteprobs moment like me, comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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Inspiration, Encouragement and Therapy – Social Media’s Positive Side

“Strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.”

Think about how different our lives would be without social media. It’s a game changer. We can find out what friends are doing at all hours of the day, catch up on news, post pictures and memories, and share our opinions on everything happening in someone else’s world. No doubt this open, say-and-do-anything virtual world offers a lot of advantages – but has an ugly side too.

Social media has gotten a bad rap when it comes to bullying. In fact, “cyber-bullying” is now a legit term for bully behavior that goes on within the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram world. Just as anyone with a keyboard and internet connection can utilize social media with good intentions, the bullies can post hateful comments, unflattering pictures of others, even exclude people from virtual groups or events. Sadly, it’s now easier than ever to cut others down and be mean just for the sake of being mean.

There's lots of positivity to be had on social media

There’s lots of positivity to be had on social media

But on the flip side, social media is also a wonderful avenue for spreading positivity and lifting up others. For me, personally, social media has been a source of therapy. Allow me to explain.

I haven’t always had a healthy relationship with health and fitness. In fact, for most of my 20s (and I admit, still a little bit here and there today), I struggled with anxiety over gym life and real life. Like many, I put on a few extra pounds in college and was a far cry from being a good example of healthy. Right before graduation, I decided it was time to clean up my act, drop a few pounds and feel better about myself. Once I started getting into the habit of working out, eating better and not drinking so much, all that happened. I looked better and felt better. In fact, I started getting a lot of comments on my new fitter, trimmer appearance. People seemed so much nicer and friendlier than when I wasn’t as fit.

Then it struck me – was I not as well-liked or accepted by others when I heavier? Would people’s attitude towards me change if I didn’t keep losing weight, or worse, if I gained some back? I quickly became addicted to exercise. I had a massive fear of gaining back all the weight I lost if I took off even one day from cardio. I prioritized the gym over everything – and everyone – else. But it didn’t end with the constant need to break a sweat. I started skipping out on fun events with friends because I was convinced I wasn’t thin enough to be out in public and, worse, those extra calories from a night of drinking would instantly make me fat. I was so self-conscious and anxious all the time about how I looked and how people would judge me based on that, not my personality. I felt like I wasn’t good enough for the man I had in my life. I damaged some relationships. I was even advised by someone very close to me to seek therapy.

Fast forward to now and I’m starting to get to a balanced place in my life. I’ve been working hard on this the past few years and it’s a daily process. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to take a day off from cardio (rest days really are necessary!) and I know I’m not going to gain weight because of it. I no longer blow off Sunday brunches or decline weekend getaways with girlfriends because Saturday is long run day and Sunday is heavy lift day. I accept that I’m not skinny and, shy of completely changing my workouts and eating perfect all the time, I’m never going to be.

While I didn’t seek out professional therapy, I’ve found social media to provide it in a strange way. I’ve managed to surround myself with a circle of really good people. They’re people I don’t know and will never meet but I see them as “friends”. We share like-minded goals and interests, and encourage each other – often in 140 characters or less. I follow fitness journeys, and see others facing my same struggles. I see people with different fitness abilities and levels, yet everyone’s always doing the best they can. These are the people who aren’t striving to compete with or be better than anyone else, just trying to be a little better than they were yesterday, and be happy. I see a lot of positivity exchanged. I see quotes and memes that reinforce the idea that nobody’s perfect nor should they strive to be.

Yes, there’s a lot of fake and negative stuff that happens on social media but there are also a ton of real people, good people and positivity. Just as you would surround yourself with good people in real life, find these people in your social media life too.
They’re free therapists and cheerleaders!

Can you relate to any this? Share your story in the comments or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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