I have a client who regularly spends 3-4 hours working out per day. I do a corporate class at her office and then she had asked me for personal training sessions on days I am not at her office. We started going with this just fine, but she began to tell me all the other things she’s been doing, and finally the last straw for me was catching her at the gym for 4-hours. Straight.
She is obese and has a terrible diet. Initially when she had asked me to train her I had suggested her money would be better spent on a dietitian, but she was not open to the idea. Instead she said she knew what she had to do as far as nutrition and just needed the exercise part. She has not upped her game as far as nutrition goes so she is trying to exercise more to make up for it.
I confronted her about the amount of time she is spending working out and told her I would no longer be willing to personal train her if she kept up at this rate. Things were better for a little while, but she has fallen back into her habits.
How do I address this again in a meaningful manner?
she is very fortunate to have you as a trainer. Your willingness to call her out on that behavior is commendable. The fact that she scaled back after you told her that you would not continue to train her shows that she values you are a trainer.
Her behavior may be consistent with exercise bulimia http://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-bulimia-symptoms-treatments-an…. The fact that she fell back into that habit after she had stopped for a while indicates that there is an addiction problem of a sort.
As Christine indicates, this may require counselling by a professional. I would try to find somebody who specializes in that type of problem. The long-term negative health effects are serious.
However, you will need to have another conversation with her in hopes that she recognizes her problem. You cannot make her go to seek out help but you can point out what the consequences may be.
This is a very tough situation. We care for our clients and hate to see self-destructive behavior. At the same time, our influence only goes so far, and so does our responsibility.
Good luck for you and your client.