Above the TOXIC

Early training years flashback… As a new trainer, still finishing my degree in Kinesiology at Penn State, I wanted to dive into the fitness industry–excited to learn and grow! Almost all of my clients were older than me at the current gym I was training at. (Side note, I left after 5 years because of the toxic environment).

I remember that I had a handful of female clients, we will call them Karen, who came to me wanting to work off their baby weight from having children. I was pumped to work with and inspire them. I cautiously asked, “Awe, how old?” To my surprise their ages were close to double-digits! Well, I thought, then I have my work cut out for me!

When I was training them, I saw their struggle with self-image and battle the yo-yo diet affects. It was more than just weight itself, it was their self-confidence and their mind set.

They would say to me “I can’t wait until you have kids, gain weight, and have no time!” Instantly, two things ran through my mind. First, I had no intentions on giving up on myself or my fitness and goals just because I want to have kids. Second, that’s kind of a mean thing to say to someone.

These women had that ‘if I can’t have (or achieve it) mentality then you can’t either’. That, right there, is TOXIC. That type of thinking and talking will eventually break you down, and one day you may even believe that you can’t do something that you had your mind set on. Misery loves company, no matter the cost.

I hate to use the word jealousy, but it could be a little part of it. Mix it with the “Karen” mind set of bringing other down, and you have a toxic tornado that could carry over to relationships, workplace, and other aspects in your life.

If you’re in the path of a toxic tornado, I urge you jump, leap, or run as fast as you can to free yourself of the negative Nancy’s and Karen’s in your life. Sometimes it’s those closest to you. Sometimes it’s an acquaintance. You can feel the effects, and it could be the one thing holding you back from being the best you.

Surround yourself with love. Surround yourself with positive Penny’s in life. Surround yourself with those who lift you up to get you closer to your goals. End of story.