WNiF Magazine - Summer 2019 Edition | Page 16

CHANGING YOUR NEW MUM GOAL SETTING LANGUAGE By Jen Dugard Y our new-mum client walks into the gym. You congratulate her on her recent arrival, move through her pre-exercise questionnaire and then it’s time for goal setting! Goal setting with a new mum is easy, right!? Clearly she is here to ‘get her pre-baby body back’ and you will do everything you can to help her do exactly that. put her body and mind through huge challenges, and is adjusting to being a mum – sleep-deprived, sometimes alone and confused as to whether she is doing it right – upon stepping back into the gym to find that little bit of solace for herself, it has been confirmed that she is not enough just the way she is. She must once again strive to be ‘fit’, to be ‘smaller’, to meet society’s expectations to ‘get her pre-baby body back’ and she believes she will not be enough until she does exactly that. You have been taught to help her emotionally connect with her weight loss goals and so you start talking about how she feels now she’s a new mum and carrying extra weight; how she feels when she tries to put on her old jeans and she can’t squeeze them past her thighs; how she feels when her husband wants to make love with her and all she can think about is how her tummy will jiggle and how she’d just rather not. You drill into all the ways she feels crappy about her postnatal body, giving her ALL the incentives you possibly can to help her truly feel more and to connect into all of the things she’s not. Clearly she is here to ‘get her pre-baby body back’ and you will do everything you can to help her do just that. Little do you know that this woman has a history of body image issues. She has spent her late teens, 20s and right up until she has had this baby beating herself up about what her body is or isn’t, and truly believing that her worth is wrapped up in what she looks like. And now, even though she has grown and birthed another human, 16 WHAT’S NEW IN FITNESS - SUMMER 2019 WHAT’S NEW IN FITNESS - SUMMER 2019 And so, with new goals written down and instructions to hang those jeans in a place where she can see them EVERY SINGLE DAY, you lead her into the gym to begin her workout. I know that we do this as Fitness Professionals as I have done it myself with clients. I have asked them about clothes they can’t fit into anymore. I’ve requested they dig around in their wardrobe and find that item they can use to ensure they stick to their aesthetic goals which I wrapped up in emotion so they would be driven not to fail. I have also been that client, and when I look back at my fitness journey I know my relationship with disordered eating BEGAN when I got my first a trainer. I was pinched and measured, given my goals, and told to eat half of the sandwich and only the low-calorie yogurt. Don’t get me wrong, I was a willing participant and I loved the results I got. But I recognize now it simply fueled the ‘not enoughness’ I had felt my whole life and my mission to be smaller was driven from a place of wanting to be loved rather than of love for myself. 17