Posted on: Monday, June 10th, 2019
Hi! My name is Louise – or Lou for short – and I am a huge fitness and nutrition nerd. I live in Haarlem, Netherlands, with my two doggos, Eleanor and Lola Bean. I moved to the Netherlands from Canada just over 5 years ago, where I left a budding career in law behind to do things that make me feel a whole lot more inspired. For me, those things include making the fitness industry a less intimidating space and calling out diet-culture’s BS wherever I see it.
For a personal trainer, I have some pretty critical opinions about the fitness industry – and some pretty high hopes that together we can make ‘health’ a more diverse and inclusive concept. It’ll be quite a journey, so let’s get to know each other. Here are five things to know about me:
1. My biggest resolution for 2019 is to show up, try, and accept that occasional failure is part of the process. I have long wanted to add my perspective to the choir of empowering voices taking down diet culture in all its awfulness – I know I have something to add to the conversation – but until now I’ve spent a lot of time on the sidelines paralyzed by the idea of messing it up. So here’s to the times I’ll inevitably come up short, and what we can learn in the process.
2. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that you can be healthy at every size. I owe so much of my diet culture-bullshit detector to many amazing Health at Every Size, or HAES, practitioners. HAES is a scientifically-sound movement that acknowledges that well-being and lifestyle habits are more important than any number on the scale and respects the natural diversity of human bodies. All bodies deserve to access fitness and to be represented in the industry without shame or pseudo-scientific weight-based ‘concern’. If you are interested in learning more about HAES – I’d love it if you did! – you can do that here.
3. And while we’re talking about it, my personal training will never be weight-centric. That isn’t to say that I am entirely anti-weight loss, per se, just that I don’t centre the pursuit of weight loss as a central goal of getting fit. Weight loss *can* improve someone’s health, but actively trying to lose weight is more likely to be incredibly detrimental to health – both mentally and physically. I far prefer emphasizing taking care of ourselves in a more holistic sense, and trusting that our bodies will settle where they are best able to help us thrive.
4. With regard to nutrition, I don’t believe foods ANY are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In fact, the idea that foods carry some sort of moral value (goodness, for example) is the ugly voice of diet culture talking. We have been force-fed all kinds of wild – and often contradictory – food rules to keep us confused and disconnected from our body’s natural feeding cues in order to sell us all kinds of unnecessary diet supplements and plans. I am passionate about debunking food-related myths and helping people re-learn to listen to – and trust – their bodies. Oh, and FYI, carbs are our body’s BEST energy source, and they are freaking delicious – there is absolutely no reason to fear them.
5. At its core, I think exercise should be joyful. I like to think of every training session as an opportunity to celebrate what we are capable of. I won’t try to convince you that every day in the gym is a party, life can get heavy, and that impacts all facets of what we do, but even on the tough days the reason for showing up to workout should always be one of joy. I’ve made it my mission to find and implement individual, joyful fitness plans for all of my clients.
And there we have it. If you’re itching to know more, go ahead and follow me on Instagram at fit.withlou. And please, when you do, I’d love it if you’d introduce yourself too!