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?
I would bring up the subject of seeing a mental health professional. Many people fall into a pattern of daily habits that make them feel “ok”. Some common ones are eating, drinking, and drug abuse. But exercise and other physical activities are also often used as a sort of crutch to get through stressful events and feelings. We (unless you are a licensed mental healthcare provider) are not the people for this situation. This is a touchy subject for some people. You need to be careful who you discuss this with though. We cannot share personal information with anyone without the consent of the client. Often a person has to come to the realization that they need help on their own. I have not run into this with over exericsing, but I have with the more common ones. Many of those people still have not come to terms with their issues. Try not to let it affect your outlook or sense of professionalism.