In the past, "risk-taker" was not something anyone would label me as. I am someone who likes predictablility, schedules and itineraries (ask my poor husband who knows that laundry sorting happens every Friday and the mopping of the kithen floor happens every Sunday) So the decision to go out on my own and create my own business is not something I would have ever imagined I would be undertaking.
So why did I do this?? What in my right mind made me decide that this was something I absolutley needed to do? What was the catylst of this very risky move? One word:
Yep. Good old values. My inner Jiminy Cricket was chirping load and clear and I listened. I was faced with a situation where I would be going against everything I believed in and stood for in order to help my employer make a profit. I was being asked to placate my client's harmful and destructive health habits. So what are these values I was so intently set on defending?
First Do No Harm
This is the golden rule as far as personal training goes and also for health care professionals (or so I thought). Allowing my client to hurt themsleves under my watch is the worst thing I could possibly do and I will not stand for it. If a client insists on engaging in destructive behavior they can do so on their own clock but I refuse to be a part of it.
Eating Disorder Prevention
I am 6 years into recovery from a 10 year battle from my eating disorder of anorexia and exercise addiction (you can read more about this in the "About" section). The promise I made to myself when I was discharged from treatment in 2007 was that I would never idolly stand by and watch someone fall into the same self destructive patterns and behaviors I used to engage in during my eating disorder. It robbed me of so much. Not only was my health completely jepordized I also gave up on many of my aspirations and goals as a performer and lost many relationships in the process. I refuse to see another human being (whether I like them or not) fall down the same self destructive and endless pit of an eating disorder or disordered eating.
My client was insisting on reducing her body fat to a level considered far too low and unhealthy not only by my standards but by the standards and guidelines found in every medical book out there. This client's doctor (who worked with me in the same concierge medical office) advised me to assist my client in reaching this body fat level because even though her behavior was obssesive and harmful to her over all health, "there are worst things she could be addicted to". Yes. This was told to me by a medical professional. The reality was that if the client did not get her way she would be very upset and possibly leave the practice along with her family which would translate into a big profit loss. I put in my 2 weeks notice the day after I was told by the doctor to enable my client in her self destructive habits and soon after Asteya Fitness LLC was formed.
A Safe Exercise Space
I created Asteya Fitness in order to provide a "safe" place to exercise. There are no weigh-ins, there are no before and after pictures, and there is ABSOLUTELY NO negative self talk allowed. I want to provide a space free from the endless media cycle of air-brushed perfection and triggering "gym talk". I wanted to service those who desire to exercise but fear seeing a personal trainer because they are already beating themsleves up so much and don't need another person to point out their "weaknesses". I want to give these people a safe space in which to find the joy of movement and start loving themselves for what they have rather than coveting the things they don't. Is this all pretty hippie dippy? May be. Am I fooling myself that in a world of cross fit and "no pain no gain" people might actually want to work out like this? Possibly. But I am willing to take that chance because I refuse to compramise my values.