The health and fitness industry is not always a pretty business. Cheryl Lin of Eat Train Love was confronted with inhumane expectations in which she resorted to excruciating diets and a ludicrous method of dehydration.
Many personal trainers get caught up in perpetuating the stereotype and often have disorders themselves, explains Cherly Lin, founder of fitness company, Eat, Train, Love. One of the most controversial aspects of the health and fitness industry are the standards of perfection and the criticism women face. It’s a subject with many unpleasant truths beneath the surface that are is not acknowledged publicly. Cheryl discusses the harsh realities of the industry faced in her younger years as a personal trainer and her entrepreneurial journey.
Most people are envious of Cheryl’s assertive confidence and cheerful ‘can-do’ attitude but her mindset did not come without a strong price and sacrifice. There was a time where the nutritionist was filled with self-doubt and avoided cameras whenever she could. By entering the fitness industry as a personal trainer at 19. Cheryl was instantaneously thrown into the degrading world of highly unrealistic body standards and extreme lifestyles with the pressure to look the part. Furthermore, the supplement industry had just started to boom which led to a huge influx of powders, bars, and pills. “Aside from protein shakes and meal replacement bars, I tried a variety of supplements such as thermogenics.” Cheryl also recalls, “I was taking supplement pills that were supposed to improve my metabolism but my body broke out in hives and I could not continue. That was probably my tipping point.”
Inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s famous rhetoric ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid’, Cheryl wanted to make a real difference and Eat Train Love is beyond being just another fitness company. Eat Train Love started in 2014 with the aim to encourage others to cultivate healthy relationships with food and exercise. Her fitness company expanded rapidly which attracted a global community. Due to the industry becoming exceedingly competitive with new arrivals of weight-loss pills and ridiculous cardio programs that promote severe health-threatening conditions in return for short-term benefits, many trainers are facing insecurities about their own bodies.
Cheryl shares, “I’ve seen many personal trainers who project their goals onto their clients. It doesn’t occur to them that not everyone would like a 6-pack or able to do 20 sets of pull-ups. Many have forgotten that they are helping their clients to achieve their goals, rather than using clients as a way to fill the void they have because of their insecurities.”
There’s a growing fitness industry, but we need to teach people to cultivate a healthy balance with food and exercise. Eat Train Love empower others to make changes in their lifestyles out of self-love through Cheryl’s programmes have helped many create positive changes.
Today, Eat Train Love is a movement, a support system, a community, and a family. “The message we spread is not only that of positive change, but also female empowerment and charity through fitness,” explains Cheryl.
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