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Mountainside Fitness

Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

While the gym can be a positive and uplifting community of people, the reality is that people have bad days. Some people pass judgment and others fall victim to comparing their bodies to another. In a perfect world, I would have the ability to convince myself and everyone else that we are perfect just as we are. However, it is not a perfect world. So, what can we do instead? We can openly identify, talk about, and normalize all of the positive and negative behaviors related to physical fitness/activity and nutrition! 

I took some time to dig deep inside myself for some of the truths or “confessions” I would like to share about my day-to-day as a fitness professional, my relationship with working out, and nutrition. I also reached out to some of my beloved Mountainside Fitness Professional friends to share their truths so we can openly identify some of the uncomfortable realities with fitness and relate to one another. 

 Confession #1

“I give myself a lot of grace. It can be challenging working at a gym and not ALWAYS working out. My relationship with my workouts starting as a member, to an instructor, moving into a director position has ebbed and flowed. I am grateful to have taken our body positivity workshop  for instructors which gave me the tools I needed to be comfortable in my skin whether or not I’ve been consistent with my workouts.” – Dani Byrd, Group Fitness Director

 Confession #2

“I do not always feel motivated or have the energy to work out and I am hard on myself when I don’t think I have done enough”

I overcome this by reminding myself that the most important thing is consistency. MORE is not always better. I ensure that each workout is focused on quality and effectiveness. Exercising regularly will lead to long-lasting results and optimal health benefits. Rockstar cycle/barre instructor and close friend of mine, Lauryn White said it best, “I don’t think people take the time to thank and appreciate their body after a workout. We think, oh I could have done more reps/sets, used more weight/resistance rather than appreciating that we showed up and did work!”

 Confession #3

“I am not always perfect and I am hard on myself when I eat ‘too little’ or ‘too much’.”

Truth be told, tracking is great when trying to meet specific body composition goals but the most important thing to remember is that food is fuel for your body. We all need to give ourselves a little grace and remember we may not always have a strong appetite, we may find ourselves hungrier than usual or maybe we just have a sweet tooth for a doughnut, that’s cool too.

Confession #4

“My biggest struggle as a fitness professional is body image and body shaming.  I already struggle with the thought that I’m not good enough because I have cellulite and loose skin from my two c-sections.  There’s this pervasive idea that all fitness professionals are supposed to look a certain way and if we don’t look that way then we are told we aren’t “toned enough” or “muscular enough”. Here’s a wake-up call: fitness professionals come in all shapes and sizes!  Being a fitness professional is about more than just looks.  It takes skill, knowledge, experience, empathy, positive energy, and most of all it’s about leading with an open heart.”- Michelle Lasiter, Group Fitness Instructor 

Sharing the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions towards fitness and nutrition is something I could spend days typing away at the keyboard about. Fitness is my passion. Working out brings so much positivity to my life, and helping others with fitness and nutrition means everything to me. 

That said, it doesn’t mean it’s not okay to have days that we don’t feel as though we are shining quite as bright. Let’s accept that, embrace it, and take the time to cheer each other on!


Author: Lisa Jordan

Certified Group Fitness Instructor to teach Barre, Roll and Release, Tone and Roll, Muscle, HIIT, HEAT AMPD, Tabata, Glutes Cardio Core, and Peak Performance Zone.