Early on during my downfall into anorexia, an avid healthy gym goer, quickly became unhealthy.
Anorexia coupled with my obsessive compulsive disorder meant daily 3 – 4 hr cardio sessions at the local rec center. After months of this behavior together with lack of food made for an obvious decrease in weight, that soon became quite apparent to everyone around me, very unhealthy. People were noticing and asking questions. My determination in the gym was once a personal accomplishment, now was metamorphosing into grave concern for my health and well being. Months of daily strenuous workouts lasting over 4 hrs at the same rec center attracted unwanted attention and concern from the trainers & consequently I was asked to leave basically kicked out. You can imagine I was utterly devastated.
Anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, exercise compulsion, lack of food, my daily routine was were I drew comfort. Being banned from the gym definitely put a huge setback in my everyday routine not to mention turned my life upside down.
I was told by the rec center trainer if I wanted to return to the gym all I needed to do was provide a doctor’s note! No doctor in their right mind was going to sign any letter allowing me to work out considering my mental, emotional and physical state.
This spiraled into a crazy weekly schedule. Working out in different gyms everyday in order to avoid being SOUGH OUT and KICKED OUT. I would wear two sweaters when I worked out to give them an impression I was bigger, hit the gym later in the evenings when there wasn’t as many trainers at the gym, researched the internet for “medical” conditions that I could use if and when I was every questioned about my recent weight loss. It was mentally exhausting!
This evokes many questions surrounding trainers responsibility?
When you are given the honorable title of Personal Trainer, what rights do you possess when it comes to peoples health who work out at the gym?
What responsibility does a trainer have when it comes to someone you suspect at the gym has anorexia? And/or an over-exerciser? Do you have any right to approach them? Do you as a trainer have the right to expel them from working out at the gym?
People who suffer from anorexia pose a threat of fainting or worse due to electrolyte imbalances sudden heart attacks. Since they generate liability for the gym does this give trainers/gyms the entitlement to refuse people at their own discretion?
If trainers and gyms have the right to question and ultimately remove people from the gym the deem to be a liability, does this then give trainers and gyms the privilege to query people who are considered obese or at a unhealthy weight range? What about people who engage in physical exercise that smoke? Anorexia, obesity, smoking all pose a health liability to gyms and to personal health. Where do you draw the line?
On the contrary do trainers and gyms not have a responsibility when they see someone suffering, punishing, abusing themselves to help? If they see someone who is grossly overweight, should they not ask for a medical clearance? If they recognize someone who has classic symptoms of anorexia should they not step in and help? If someone smokes and workouts is it not a trainers duty to educate and advise them of the dangers?
As a gym member do you think anyone has a right to make their own assumptions of your health and question you or ask you to see a doctor for medical clearance? And should anyone – trainer or not – have the right to remove you from a gym because they have surmised you to be unhealthy based on nothing but their perception & judgement?
What do you feel as a trainer, gym owner or as a patron – is the correct way to handle these situations?