This week marks the beginning of my new career adventure as the director of SEED PT Ltd.! Somehow, what started as a blog post last September has now turned into my actual job and a limited company. It's been pretty overwhelming but I wanted to write a blog post which introduces SEED PT Ltd., explains the new adventure and reasons behind it, and also try and justify why, having promised a monthly blog post from March, I promptly went off the blog radar for 4 months... (soz)
The last few months have gone by ridiculously quickly as I finished my role at the uni of herts and prepared for the start of this new adventure. The hardest thing about the whole decision making process which saw me quit my job at the university, apply for a different fitness related job, withdraw from that interview process and commit to a self-employed career, was actually coming up with a company name. After about two weeks of thinking while simultaneously despairing at the fact that practically every suggestion from my family was along the lines of 'maybe something anonymous, like ABC Fitness, so that when you hide your earnings in the Caymans (or go bankrupt) no one will trace it back to you.'... (helpful), I decided on the acronym of SEED - sport, exercise and eating disorders. I hope it will encapsulate the idea of both physical and mental growth and development, as well as loosely cover my aim to educate people (and therefore 'plant seeds' of ideas - genius). My motivation for getting back into the fitness industry was not about helping people to change their outwards appearance, but because over lockdown, I stumbled across a new approach and attitude to exercise that massively changed my own outlook towards food and nutrition. And I want to share!
The fitness industry (and society as a whole) is so geared towards a punitive approach to exercise and nutrition, i.e. going to the gym is not a pleasant experience, rather a necessary one to atone for eating badly, or to earn food/drink, or to fit into the beauty standards of 21st century society. Dieting and the pursuit of thinness (more recently, fitness), is so deeply engrained in our everyday lives and activities that it's hard to notice and even harder to question. Children start to hate their bodies from a terribly young age because they have been taught to via rhetoric like 'no pain, no gain', 'no excuses', 'war on obesity', 'clean and detox foods', 'low fat', 'bikini bodies', 'summer shred', ALL of which are pretty much tag lines for a product someone is selling. Billions of pounds are made every year by companies who insidiously instruct people to hate their bodies in order to sell them a solution. Just 5% of women naturally possess the 'ideal body' that's supposedly what all women should look like. FIVE percent. Yet photoshopped images, ad campaigns, social media posts, critically underweight models and actresses, persuade us that we're the ones who are abnormal for not possessing visible abs or for having cellulite. It makes me so angry that this is the case, and am committed to educating others and making change!
My interest in the intersection of fitness and eating disorders stems from having lived in this intersection for years. Being sporty, competitive and performance driven doesn't make anyone immune to developing an eating disorder, which is a mental health condition (pretty much akin to depression or OCD or bipolar). Eating disorders are wildly misunderstood and unfortunately fitness professionals, PE teachers and sports coaches regularly (though unwittingly) contribute to or directly trigger disordered eating behaviours amongst their clients and athletes through their language, expectations or modelling poor eating behaviours themselves. At a high performance level, eating disorders amongst athletes are common but also usually dealt with fairly efficiently due to the input of sports nutritionists, psychologists, and high level of input and interaction from teams and coaches. It's the recreational gym-goers, teenagers and the likes or you and me for whom eating disorders and disordered eating behaviours go unchecked or dismissed by coaches, teachers and PTs. My intention with SEED PT Ltd. is to educate both young people and their coaches and teachers about eating disorders and also the role that fitness has in both prevention and recovery. I'll be doing workshops and talks for school pupils and parents, as well as CPD style training sessions for PE teachers and sports coaches. This input needn't stop at school level and I hope to deliver corporate wellbeing talks across different companies and organisations too. After all, eating disorders can affect anyone at any age and stage of life.
So there we have it. SEED PT Ltd. in a nutshell (or seed coat as google reliably informs me). I'm so grateful for all the support I've received so far, including from you! Thanks for reading my blog post and for taking the time to find out more about what I'm working on at the moment. I always love hearing your stories, comments or feedback, so please do sign up for an profile on my website and stay in touch via commenting, messaging or receiving my mailing lists. And if you're looking for a positive personal trainer to give you some advice about getting back into training or exercise, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! My Hiit, Fit and Lit classes are continuing over the summer on Wednesdays and Sundays at 6pm. These are £3 Zoom classes suitable for any age and ability and are all about exploring different movements, getting the heart rate up and spending 30 mins doing some fun exercise! I've also got a Friday morning class, Flexy Friday (7:45-8:15am) which is a stretching class. You'd be welcome to pop along any time so get in touch if you'd