Why I Don't Love When Health Coaches Post Pictures Of Donuts

You've seen the pictures, the ones where the super fit 'coach' is eating a donut, smiling. I mean, you possibly could have seen this on my own page years ago.

You're wondering, how does she eat that, and look the way she does? You're literally perplexed because you thought that donuts were 'bad'. Yet this coach is saying things like balance, and you feel like okay, maybe I could eat a donut too. 

You eat the donut but you don't stop at one, you eat 7 and then you feel sick. 

Now you're upset with this girl, hating her because you don't understand.

I get it, I've been there and felt that exact same way.

Here's What's Up

When a coach/trainer is posting pictures of themselves eating a donut (or any other food you deem as 'bad'), I want you to know that I'm about 97% sure that they have nothing but good intentions. 

What their goal is most of the time is to show you that you can actually eat food you love, and love your body. Which is true. They want you to see what is possible when you take the steps needed to love your body, and learn how to listen to your body (this is called intuitive eating!).

But here's the problem:

A lot of the time there's no context, all you're seeing is a donut and you're racking your brain as to how that makes sense. 

Is it the job of the coach to tell you the exact way how to get to where they are? I mean no. They do that for a living, and I know they would be happy to teach you how to feel normal around food. But I think as coaches, we need to do better. We need to show more, and give more.

We need to:

  • Share context. Okay cool, you're eating a donut. Tell us a little backstory.
  • Not use the word balance when it comes to food. There's nothing wrong with the word balance, but when used in the context of "had my donut, now off for my green juice", it only perpetuates diet culture and confirms that one of those foods is 'better' than the other. 
  • Realize that while YOU (the coach) may be in a good place, your post, without any context or education, can be very triggering for those who don't have the same knowledge as you. 

Before I was a coach, I would see a picture of a trainer I looked up to eating a donut, or whatever, and I would use it as an excuse to eat the same thing. "Well if she can do it so can I" kind of thing, you know? But the thing was, I wasn't her. I didn't know her relationship food, if she was actually happy or not, and what she did to get to that point of freedom. 

It was not the coaches fault as to the choices I made, but I do believe as coaches we could do a better job of sharing backstory and educating our followers on social media. 

To the coach reading this, it's not your job to worry about how every single individual is going to interpret your picture or your words. Their actions aren't on you. But I know you, and I know you want to free women from dieting and help them love their bodies—so with that, let's collectively make sure we're doing everything we can to share the truth. Because they deserve that.