If how we see ourselves is a major player in whether or not we succeed in our weight loss, fitness, sport, or life goals, how do we help our clients see themselves better? How can we help our clients be satisfied with their bodies? What can we do, as personal trainers, to help our clients “see” themselves in a more positive light once they have achieved their goals, or at any point in their training? How can we use the tools available to us to help them achieve a level of happiness that will put them in the best position to achieve their other goals; health, lifestyle, or otherwise?
Did you realise that the way you dress can affect your self perception (12), your chances of success (13), and even athletic performance (14)? Different clothing choices can make you feel better, smarter, or more empowered (15).
The concept called “Enclothed Cognition” (16) found that what a participant wore affected their ability to perform in a simple test. A study at Harvard University showed how you dress can affect your mood, your ability to lose weight, and other aspects of your behaviour (like the likelihood of you cheating at a game!) (17).
In addition to this, there are simple geometric solutions to “working with what you have”. For example, clothing that ends at the widest part of your body will draw a line through that part, drawing the eye, and making it seem wider. Think of common optical illusions like the ones below:
Where the line is drawn, in context with it’s surroundings, will make it appear longer or shorter than the other line. The same is true for what you wear, you can make some parts appear bigger
than what they are. Stylist and Personal Trainer Charlotte Downey, from Streetstyle + Fitness, has designed this course to help your clients see themselves in a more positive light, improving their self-perception, self-esteem, chances of success, and self-satisfaction (18).
14 Kyle CR, Caiozzo VJ. The effect of athletic clothing aerodynamics upon running speed. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1986 Oct;18(5):509-
16 Hajo Adam, Adam D. Galinsky. Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48 (2012) 918–925 Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208, USA