I got my new gym gear on and stepped foot in the massive gym space. A male trainer approached me and told me he was going to run through some tests with me.

Tests? I was a little confused and scared, no one mentioned ‘tests’ they said I would be shown how to use the equipment. The trainer took me to the small ‘consultation room’, sitting on a table were lots of pieces of equipment which looked like they belonged in my GP surgery. He told me that he needed to weigh me and measure my height. Okay, this was painless. Then he said he needed to take my blood pressure. At this point I panicked, you see at this point I had a very real fear of having my blood pressure taken, but instead of mentioning this for fear of looking silly, I kept quiet.

He wrapped my arm, and I felt my palms starting to sweat, he took my blood pressure and then it was over…

The trainer explained to me that my blood pressure was very high, and that he didn’t know if he could allow me to use the gym. I laughed uncomfortably and found myself having to explain that I had a fear of having my blood pressure taken and therefore that’s probably why.

He looked at me, and said nothing.

By this point I felt absolutely awful about myself, I was trying to make a difference to my health and now more than ever I felt like I didn’t belong here.

We eventually finished all the ‘tests’ and the trainer decided I needed to wear a heart rate monitor, because he was “so concerned”. We walked over to the treadmill and I stepped on, he increased the incline and speed, it was pretty slow.

My heart rate was still high, mostly because by this point I felt like the elephant in the room. It felt like ‘Hi I am the overweight girl who can’t even train because her heart rate is too high!’

And then came the comment I’ll never forget ‘Well, you must be scared of treadmills as well…hahaha’

In this moment, my willpower had been diminished to nothing. I had been so excited and ready to conquer this new, intimidating experience and it wound up being incredibly embarrassing.

As my heart rate wouldn’t drop the trainer couldn’t carry on and I now needed a referral from my GP.

I drove home in tears, feeling ashamed and disgusting.

You can mark this under ‘things you shouldn’t say as a coach’…or human.

I’m sharing this story with you because whilst it was awful, it also didn’t stop me from finding people who wanted to help me and didn’t see me as just another statistic. Luckily, my Doctor was horrified by this experience, she wanted to see me succeed, signed the relevant forms and wished me luck.

Unfortunately when someone is ‘overweight’ assumptions are instantly made based on their appearance.

This needs to change.

I’m sure people could take a look at me and think I’m at the beginning of my journey, yet they couldn’t be more wrong.

My size doesn’t affect my ability to show up, workout and push my body.

Ten years on and now that I’m a coach, I use experiences just like this one to remind that everyone who walks through the gym door has their own story to tell, their own experiences and their own anxieties.

Each person is an individual and requires a different type of coach, and they deserve a coach who know’s they work well with. Your coach should be a personal choice, not every coach is the right coach for you. 

In the book Big Fit Girl, Louise Green writes about how you should interview your coach, don’t just let them interview you. As coaches we have all the ‘necessaries’ which we need answered before we train someone, like medication and health status, but what about the ‘real person’ stuff. You’re not only about to pay this person, you are trusting them to help you achieve your goals.


{FIVE things a coach shouldn’t be doing/saying}


“I’m the best coach here.”

You know what, they might be a great coach, with a ton of experience…but it doesn’t mean they are the right coach for everyone. I actually think a majority of coaches are an expert in a particular field. Even if they are unaware of what it is, they likely have a passion for helping a particular client.

Whilst I can help and create programs for a wide range of people, I know female fat loss. I’ve lived it, breathed it and continue to develop my skills because it’s what I happen to be passionate about. I’m not the best coach to program for marathon runners or bikini competitors, and I’m 100% comfortable with this.

Also, they shouldn’t ever bad mouth fellow coaches, there are enough clients for everyone. If they know their client base, then they are more likely to refer you to someone who will help you get the kind of results you want. 

“So your goal is to lose weight right?”

Coaches should be asking you what your goals are, and whilst it might be to lose weight, they should not be making an assumption before they get to know you. Not everyone joins a gym to lose weight, many people are comfortable with their size but want to become more active.

“To lose weight you need to cut out all carbs and fat, this is what I ask everyone to do.”

No, just no.

Firstly, you do not need to cut out any food group [unless you have an intolerance] because all foods are useful in various quantities. There are various things to consider like:

  • Quality
  • Quantity
  • Timing

I might upset a few coaches with this, but, a basic PT qualification here in the UK provides very little nutrition education. The information provided is basic and outdated at best. Therefore many coaches will make their nutrition advice based on other diets or strategies which have worked for their other clients.

You are an individual and in reality it might not work, it might not be the best strategy for you and could lead to further frustration or lack of results.

“Oh sorry, how many reps was that? I just need to respond to this text…carry on…”

Your coach should be entirely focused on you, and your workout during the session. You are paying them for their expertise, if they are unwilling to monitor you, motivate you and help you make progress then #byefelicia

“If you want to train with me, then you need to be as dedicated as I am.”

You do not need to be as ‘dedicated’ as anyone else. We like to feel take care of, and if your coach is taking care of you, helping you make progress and getting you results then you will remain consistent.

We all live different lives, and have different schedules therefore your coach should be listening to your answers during a pre coaching assessment and programming according to you. If you say you can get to the gym 3 times per week, but they schedule you 6 workout sessions — is this realistic for you?


Lastly, don’t assume that because the coach has the qualification you cannot share your anxieties or fears about exercising. They should be able to listen and reassure you, this is part of their job — it doesn’t matter how often they hear a question, they should answer it like it’s the first time they’ve heard it.


As a fat loss coach, I’ve spent a lot of time questioning whether you can want to lose weight and still love your body. The reality is that I eat a healthy and balanced diet, and I workout – my weight is an irrelevant part of this process. 

When we can approach the way we eat and move from a place of love instead of anger and hate we can actually achieve results we didn’t even know were possible. It’s actually easier to eat MORE of the right stuff for our body’s when we love ourselves, because it becomes non-negotiable. Image for home page on website_CTA for 'what should I eat?'

Consider someone you love, you want the best for them, right?

Now imagine that relationship with your body – I know!!

Get started today – become a Lose.Live.Learn Insider!




5 Comments on “You must be scared of treadmills” and other things you shouldn’t say…

  1. That trainer was completely out of line! In my opinion, they should lose their job for treating a client that way! You were there to change yourself and he….oh! I am so angry for you but so proud as well that you fought through the trials and changed anyway! Hopefully my journey will go as well!

  2. Wow! This is such a sad story. Sad in the way that I can’t believe people in the fitness world could be so insensitive. A lot of people would have walked out and never went back. Thank you for sharing.

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