This chapter’s expert interview is with Adriana Blanc, Personal Trainer and founder of We Are Capable. She specialises in building young women’s self esteem by helping them improve their relationship with their body image, fitness, and food.
I shared recently about the effort many of us have to put into unpicking the unhealthy habits we create with food and drink when we go through burnout. We lean on coffee, booze, and sugar to take the edge off our feelings and get us through the day.
Exercise can be another crutch and something that we can build and unhealth relationship with. In fact it was this that encourage Adriana to to step away from the corporate world and towards fitness and nutrition.
Adriana decided to enter this line of work when she noticed that the fitness industry’s hyper focus on image and aesthetics as measures of ‘success’ could easily chip away at mental health (and lead to an anxious relationship with exercise/food). At the time, she saw little support or conversation on the topic, so decide to step forward and lead the charge.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Tell us about your specialism?
I help young women who tend to get most of their health inspiration/advice from social media to establish a sustainable and self-compassionate approach towards their fitness and nutrition habits that focuses more on their emotional wellbeing rather than the appearance of their body.
Specifically, my method helps young women avoid stress, anxiety, or burnout with their lifestyle by practicing these 10 mindset realisations and shifts.
Here are the first 2:
1. The hateful beliefs you have about your body have been taught to us through media, environment (family and friends) & culture (values and norms) — meaning, with time and practice, we can unlearn them and improve our self-esteem.
2. Viewing an increase or fluctuation in scale weight as ‘failure’ (without even considering the context) is rooted in fatphobia (fear of fatness) and our capitalist culture’s obsession with deeming qualities such as ‘self control’, ‘sacrifice’ and ‘hard work’ as morally superior.
So, emotionally detaching yourself from your numerical relationship with gravity & instead shifting your focus on health-promoting behaviours will heavily decrease the stress that body measurements can cause.
You can read the rest of them here: https://www.adrianablanc.com/
How can it help people suffering with stress, anxiety or burnout?
Almost every single one of my clients comes to me because of the stress and anxiety that their original approach to fitness, nutrition, and self talk has incited in them. The patterns are always the same:
- They are inconsistent with exercise because they have created a toxic or discouraging relationship with it that revolves mainly around self-criticism.
- They often self-sabotage in response to stress by over eating ‘right’, so struggle to create consistent and long-term eating patterns.
- They compare themselves a lot to others online or in person and believe that changing their body drastically will solve a lot of their life problems.
However, they recognise this is a detrimental mindset & are super ready to change it!
Do you have any tips that people can try on their own?
I have MANY! Here are a few:
- Journaling for self-reflection
- A habit tracker with habits such as “put on a workout outfit” not “do a 1 hour workout”
- When you feel especially body anxious and critical, list emotional needs you believe your “fantasy body” will fulfil. Ex: more attention from my partner. This can be a helpful way to note down areas of life you may want to give more attention to.
- When you feel yourself becoming too black and white with exercise, take it back to something simple and playful you enjoy
- Deconstruct rigid food rules or behaviours
- Get guidance from coaches/instructors that are body-inclusive and that avoid food or body shaming language
- Removing pressure-inducing forms of media (don’t purchase magazines or unfollow certain creators)
If you could only give one piece of advice to reduce stress & avoid burnout, what would it be?
If you begin to feel signs of burnout, anxiety, and stress from whatever behaviour or project you have undertaken, I promise you are worthy of asking for help.
I think many of us do not believe this and think “I can figure it out myself” or we belittle our struggles. But if being that hard on yourself worked, it would have worked by now. Avoid continuing the loop by breaking the pattern today, even if you feel a bit nervous about the unfamiliar.
I truly encourage you to seek guidance from those who have already been in your shoes and have specialised in helping you get from where you are to where you can be.
You will save an incredible amount of mental energy and thank yourself endlessly.
If you’re feeling the effects of stress and would like some support – whether that’s for you, your team or your business – drop me an email or book a free call, to find out how I can help you work and live in calm, productive ways that keep you burnout free.
If you liked this then you will love The Anti Burnout Bible. A fornightly digest of tips and tools that will help you find smarter and calmer ways of working.
It features experts support and guidance that will help you thrive inside and outside of work.