I Am Not A Weight Loss Expert

I have been a Personal Fitness Trainer for over 20 years, and I am not a weight loss expert. A photo of Tracie Thompson, personal trainer holding a Monkii 360 ball
Often when people meet me and find out I am a Personal Fitness Trainer they are shocked. I’ve even had people ask me “why would people come to you for weight loss?” I always understood why they ask. They are under the impression that a sleek body, a fitness physique makes you qualified to be a Personal Fitness Trainer, and it’s not true.

Being a star athlete does not make you a good coach. Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky are among several star athletes that didn’t make the cut as a coach. Some of the best coaches of all time were not great players like Erik Spoelstra (NBA Miami Heat), Tommy Lasorda (MLB Dodgers), and Joe McCarthy (MLB Yankees) who never played in the major leagues. Personal training is no different. A great body doesn’t necessarily make you a great trainer, and a body that doesn’t match a mainstream “ideal body” does not keep you from getting educated in fitness, learning to apply that education to others, and successfully guiding people on their own journey.

Even though I have been asked that same question many times, I recently had an epiphany. There is a major problem with people asking that question. You are probably thinking, “Yeah, because the question is rude.” But that’s not it. That’s not the problem. I actually don’t mind them asking if they are willing to hear an answer they may not like. The issue is that they think the only reason to work with a Personal Fitness Trainer is to lose weight! They may even believe that exercising is only for weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain prevention. Now that is a Major Problem!

I am not a weight loss expert. I’ve never said I was a weight loss expert. Now, let’s be clear. I am not saying that I have never worked with a client who lost weight. I’ve had more clients lose weight from exercise than I can count. I’ve even had clients come to me with specific goals of losing weight. I had one client who wanted to lose 100 pounds in 6 months and another client who wanted to lose 56 pounds to donate part of her liver to her husband. Both of them were successful, not because I am a weight loss expert, but because I am a fitness expert.

I am a Personal Fitness Trainer. I specialize in joint-safe exercise. I create fun exercise experiences. I am certified in pre and post-natal training. I have special training in back and core training. I have certifications in Surfset Training, Aerial Yoga, and so much more. I continue to read books, take all kinds of educational classes, and certifications in a wide variety of health, fitness, and nutrition topics. Through the years I have focused my education on what my clients need. I once got certified in Tai Chi to better serve a handful of clients!

I enjoy classes that have a wider view of exercise. Exercise can and should be so much more than regulating weight. I would even say that exercise is not even about weight. If you are looking to exercise for stress relief, health changes, joint mobility, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular improvements, mental health, to improve in a sport, and for the fun of exercising, then I am your expert.

I will never consider myself a weight loss expert. I think of myself as an exercise specialist and an exercise coach. I meet my clients where they are without judgement and I guide them to their own personal goals. I believe weight loss is often a side effect of finding exercise you enjoy, that improves joint pain, and makes you feel good in a supportive atmosphere without shame or judgement.

I am okay with not being a weight loss expert. I am happy to be a Personal Fitness Trainer who provides a safe space for anyone who is looking to make small changes or even completely transform their well-being. If that is you, you are welcome at 4Fitness.