Confessions of a Personal Trainer

Everyone writes when they’ve conquered there demons. I wanted to do it a little different.

I wanted to write this while life was hard. Whether you’re a parent, a personal trainer or an investment banker, your health isn’t always your number one priority. And sometimes, that’s OK.



In the beginning it was all swell –   😀 

The Dingis family added a second girl to the crew. She’s lovely.

We chose Sarafina because it sounded great. It’s derivative of Seraphim (a type of angel)…it’s also a character in a South African musical on apartheid.


At the same time as having a new edition to the family, the number of personal training sessions I was doing doubled in the space of a month. As the kids say, it was off the chain. This isn’t the sob-story part. These are all amazing things. I’m glad the work I’ve put it is paying off.

But then…very quickly the mood fell…

The first 2 months me and my wife were averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Sleep then got better (4 hrs a night, felt like heaven), then it got whole lot worse! So many times I’d get home and neither me or my wife could manage to cook, so I was eating cereal for dinner. And then again for breakfast the next morning.

In short my diet went to pot;

  • Eating too many  at carbs
  • too much sugar
  • having cereal
  • not having any veg at all
  • eating out constantly

And annoyingly, I knew that most of these problems stemmed from the lack of energy I had because I was not sleeping at all!

And now… the stress is starting to tell

My training suffered as well.

I’m happy with my weight and how I look, though it’s obvious I’ve been leaner. The biggest problem was that my training hasn’t excited me! I had been playing with the idea of hitting a 200kg squat…but honestly, I don’t care!

I mean, I still get in 2 sessions a week, which most people would be happy with. But when you’re trying to inspire people to live healthier and exercise, when you’re livelihood depends on how you look  and when you need to keep learning so that you always have material to teach other people to live healthier and more fulfilled lives, then 2 sessions a week is mediocre.

The problem with my training was that I wasn’t focus. I didn’t want to focus. I wasn’t improving. Staying healthy wasn’t a priority. Making sure my family could eat was. Making sure that I didn’t feel like I was going to buckle under the pressure and responsibility was the priority. That’s not an excuse. If I went through that again, I’d make the same decisions to save my sanity, and not my waist line.

What am I doing now?

I’m coming out the other side, so hopefully I’ll be sorting out my snacks and carb intake, but nothing more. I’m in good health , thank God, so I need to take baby steps! I find a good way to reset is a fast, or some type of weekly/monthly challenge (like having no sugar, eating 5 portions of veg everyday etc.)

I need to prove to myself that I don’t need sugar. That food is great, but I’m in control. That I have way more food than I need, and I can be appreciative of that by eating the food and keeps me healthy, and not just alive.

Here are my 3 priorities in taking control of my health

  • My focus is re-establishing sleep routines and drinking enough water.
  • I have forced myself to train – by training with clients. This gives me social motivation, as I can’t let my client down, and it’s booked out in my calendar.
  • Eat veg for snacks. (I got into the habit of eating raw red peppers like apples. Delicious!)

Let’ see how it goes. If you see me, ask me how it’s going, or tell me your health woes.

Or you can visit our Facebook page – – and do the same!

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