Fat to Fit
Seth goes to the gym for the weigh-in and violently throws up before he gets on the scale. This guy, there is something WRONG with this guy. Sure enough he falls 3 pounds short of his goal and says “throwing up cost me some weight.” I want to let my readers know that there are several types of people who become personal trainers. There are the JJs of the world, who have always been fit and get into training because they understand working out. There are the Adonises, who get into the fitness industry to help others. And now we meet a Seth, a guy who got into training because he is terrified, TERRIFIED, of being out of shape, unhealthy, and fat. Seth is doing a decent job of covering up the depth of his issues, but I see right through him. He is giving a lot of clues. You know how some psychologists get into the field because they are crazy themselves? Seth is like that, but for fitness.
Anyway, Dave shows up for his weigh-in and, at 356, has lost 24 pounds in the last four months on his own! Go Dave! He wants to lose another 80. Ambitious, that’s for sure. They start their first workout and Seth goes for the 25-lb dumbbells, saying “science says the more mass you have, the more you can lift.” WHAT? I have never in my life heard that. I wouldn’t have a 300-lb client try to lift more than a 150-lb experienced lifter just because they are more massive. Sure enough, Seth is totally deconditioned, much to Dave’s amusement. Seth is kind of pissed that Dave is laughing, and takes it out on him in a lakeside workout circuit. Dave loves getting his ass kicked, since it reminds him of the drill sergeants in the military. Seth’s goal for the workout is to make Dave throw up, since it’ll give him a great gauge of his work ethic. This is where my eyeball started twitching. Seth really does view vomit as the be all, end all of fitness and hard work. That is such a fucked-up way of relating to the human body, I can’t even. What Would Clare Do? Clare would view pushing Dave to muscular failure as a good gauge of his work ethic. Muscle failure. Not vomiting. Write this down, Seth, because science says muscle failure should be the goal of a strength-based workout.
Several weeks in, though, Dave has a bad week and it turns out he is eating fried chicken. “I haven’t had any milkshakes or cookies,” Dave reasons. Um, Dave, we gotta talk, bro. It’s about sodium. Sodium makes you bloat, especially if you mostly avoid it and then have even one high-sodium meal. Seth over-reacts and says it erased all the work they did. Not exactly, but it definitely means that he needs to hydrate better and watch total calories. Turns out Dave has put himself in a box and figures he will always be fat. Seth says he needs to start feeling the lifestyle, and shares the story of how he had to get back in shape and made all kinds of decisions based on what would make him thinner. I KNEW IT, guys. He sounds exactly like I did just after college when I had disordered eating. I would literally go to the grocery store and scour labels for the lowest-calorie bran flakes, and would buy the ones with 10 fewer calories a serving even if they had less fiber and fewer vitamins. That is NOT GOOD.