A personal trainer increases self-esteem in obese individuals. In the direction society is headed today, many individuals are looking to personal trainers to get back the lives they once had. The way of this sedentary living has been paved by the user-friendliness of technology, and its ability to do our complex jobs without our needing to get up to actually do anything.
According to Waitley (2010), “Self-esteem is confidence in and respect for yourself” (Self-Esteem, p. 22). Most obese individuals are fragile in this respect, and this is where working closely with a personal trainer can help build this. In this paper I will talk on the following points, drawing sources where necessary to back-up my thoughts: (1) personal trainers increase self-esteem through creating small, achievable goals; and (2) personal trainers increase self-efficacy in obese individuals.
Personal trainers increase self-esteem through creating small, achievable goals an obese individual can attain with minimal effort. Goals that an obese individual can attain with minimal effort include anything from committing to a few sessions with a personal trainer per week, to walking from the back of the parking lot to their work building, to walking upstairs versus talking an elevator. These actions require the body to work, which over time can benefit the mind.
According to Dr. Nauert (2009), in a study of 207 overweight, sedentary children between seven and eleven years of age “…[one group was] randomly assigned to…continue their sedentary lifestyle…[and the other]…exercise for 20 to 40 minutes every day after school for an average of 13 weeks…” (Exercise improves self-esteem, n. p. ). Of these groups, the 20 to 40 minute group was the one to benefit most psychologically.
In fact, Dr. Nauert (2009) quotes Dr. Karen Petty, postdoctoral fellow in psychology at the Medical Center of Georgia’s Georgia Prevention Institute, saying, “Just by getting up and doing something aerobic, they were changing how they felt about themselves” (Exercise improves self-esteem, n. p. ). As we can see, even small minimal tasks can have an impact on obese individuals. So how does this increase self-esteem in obese individuals?
Well, if a personal trainer can get an obese individual to feel good about themselves, by the number of small tasks they complete, then this can motivate them to strive for the goals they have set for themselves with the help of the personal trainer. According to Casey and Forsyth (2015), “Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment” (Teaching tip sheet, n. p. ). This is similar to Waitley’s definition of self-esteem. Personal trainers increase self-efficacy in obese individuals.
Coburn and Malek (2012) assert that verbal persuasion from an esteemed source, the personal trainer, impacts self-efficacy in a positive manner. In addition, “a person…who is known to possess expertise in a given area (e. g. strength development or bodybuilding) can significantly influence a client’s self-efficacy by offering encouragement and stating, for example, that the client ‘has potential’ ” (p. 138). A key weapon the personal trainer has in his/her arsenal are the words with which he/she lifts up his/her clients. According to Kovar (2015):
When clients lack confidence in their abilities, it’s crucial to reinforce their best efforts and achievements with recognition. Praising small accomplishments goes a long way in boosting self-efficacy. Offering positive feedback—like “Look how far you’ve come” or “You should be proud of your balance achievements” —reinforces a connection to the progress a client has made. (Building self-efficacy, n. p. ). As personal trainers, we have a lot of power and influence on our client base, and it is up to us to use it wisely, as too often can de-sensitize and not enough can cause program inconsistency.
So how does this increase self-esteem in obese individuals? Well, how you word your conversations with your clients can make or break their spirit and willingness to stay the course. I have my own personal experience on how personal trainers increase self-esteem in obese individuals. My dentist, Roy, husband and father, is an obese individual. What is difficult for him is losing weight. There are many factors that contribute to this: his almost brakeless job, sciatica in his lower left back, lack of sleep because of having to tend to his son who has Down syndrome, and not getting in regular meals during the work week.
Roy is a tough guy. He won’t show weakness, nor does he seek pity from others. He is such a hard worker, and can fool you for his size, that I refer to him as a tank with a Ferrari engine. I trained Roy all through the summer. You can believe he was bummed when I told him I’d pick up in the New Year. Well, since we had our last session in the summer, he has been asking if I’d be back to work with him and how soon—very eager. He and I both know that he has gained weight since our last session, but this has definitely been made worse as his middle sister passed away in mid-September of this year.
He’s told me that he has eaten to numb the pain. Clearly, we can see that my presence and words make him feel good about his future; they lift his spirits and improve his self-esteem. A personal trainer increases self-esteem in obese individuals through creating small, achievable goals for them that make them feel good about themselves and want to further pursue their own goals, and they increase self-efficacy in obese individuals, which aids in raising their motivation and self-worth levels.?