This morning on facebook I read a blog post from a former client about her recovery from an eating disorder. I knew when she came to my classes that she had "recovered" and was healthy again. However I never really spoke to her in detail about it. Reading this blog was a window into her personal thoughts and feelings, and gave me a little jolt of the kind of distance there can be between what we see as an observer and what is actually going on in someone's head.
I always found her to be confident and full of a dry wit that made me smile. She was one of my most loyal clients, never missing classes and working very hard at the exercises. She was (and still is, I'm sure) very strong and supple!
As a fitness instructor I have a responsibility to all my clients, to nurture and support and encourage. In the case of someone with an eating disorder, this is even more important. Recovery is a long process and it involves so many different facets; the support of friends and family, professional help, time, and learning to create new, healthy habits. If Pilates can help this process then that's wonderful. If it's not the right time, then that's fine too. I would never recommend someone who is currently ill to come to my classes, and you should be wary of any fitness teacher who says otherwise.
I'd like to finish this rather serious post with a bit of a positive message. Recovery is possible, as my client attests. Making changes in your life, whether you have an eating disorder or not, IS POSSIBLE. I'm applying this to myself right now and realizing that ever since I moved to St. Catharines, I haven't made enough time for my own exercise. There's always a reason... my son is ill... my husband is home late from work.... I'm too tired... I'll do it tomorrow...
It's time to take that step and decide that change is possible. I am in charge of myself. I can spare 15 minutes of time to work out, after my son is asleep. I can squeeze in a full hour workout when my husband does the bedtime routine.
What would you choose to change in your life right now?
Diane Archer, Pilates Instructor from the UK now living back in Canada. Blog of tips, thoughts, home challenges.