Nutrition NASM CPT Podcast

NASM-CPT Podcast: Eating Disorders and Fitness

Rick Richey, MS
Rick Richey, MS
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Host and NASM Master Instructor Rick Richey talks about eating disorders and non-triggering with expert Abbey Griffith.

She is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Eating Disorder Recovery who has devoted her life to helping people of all ages, shapes, and sizes find a wellness routine they truly enjoy.

The two cover topics such as warning signs inherent of eating disorders, tools to guide clients and much more.

See all of our nutrition course offerings here - if you are interested in learning more on a professional basis. 

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  • Scope of practice for trainers when it comes to eating disorders
  • Signs a client might have an eating disorder
  • The impacts of eating disorders in fitness
  • Gain valuable tools on how to help your clients within scope

Certification MENTIONED:



00:00:02 Rick Richey

You were listening to the NASM CPT Podcast with Rick Richey, the official podcast of the National Academy of Sports Medicine

00:00:13 Rick Richey

Welcome to the NSM CPT podcast. My name is Rick Richey. Thank you so much for being here today and I want to point something out. In the previous episode of the NASM CPT Podcast or a few back, there was a sneak attack. The sneak attack was in fact a different podcast called The Fitness and Wellness Master Class.

00:00:33 Rick Richey

Podcasts and it's a podcast that I was like. It popped up and I was like I don't remember having this topic. I don't remember reading about it or having a conversation about it or presenting on it. And then I realized it was another podcast that slipped in there and gave you the opportunity to listen to something new that NSM is doing.

00:00:54 Rick Richey

And I wanted to listen to it and the thing I love about it is that you can earn continuing education credits EECS by listening to it going online, paying a $35 fee, taking a quiz from listening to the podcast called The Fitness and Wellness Master Class podcast by NASM and this one was on hydration so.

00:01:15 Rick Richey

I'm usually here with a big old Cup of coffee and I'm here with Crystal Clearwater right now. Drinking during this podcast, yes, and so I encourage you to listen to that podcast. And if you need CC's or C use, you can get those by listening, going online, paying for it, taking a quiz based off the podcast, and.

00:01:35 Rick Richey

You 2 can get your continuing education credits. I believe it is .2 credits for each one of those $35 fee allows you to do it and if you don't want to pay the fee, you can simply learn by listening to the podcast. Anyway, it's brilliant.

00:01:51 Rick Richey

All right, Speaking of brilliant. Today I have a wonderful guest with us, and I was she was brought to my attention by presenting at Optima and her name is Abby Griffith and she did a presentation at Optima on disordered eating and this is going to be an important conversation for us to have today, so I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to have this discussion.

And as you know, if you were watching the Facebook live, as this is going on, you can ask questions and so Abby and I are going to talk for a little while. We're going to learn from her.

00:02:28 Rick Richey

And then you'll be able to ask some questions, and I want this to be an engaging session, so please as you listen to it and start to put your questions in our producer, Greg will gather those questions and then we'll ask those questions as we get toward the end. And with all of that said.

00:02:49 Rick Richey

Abby, thanks for being here.

00:02:51 Abbey Griffith

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

00:02:54 Rick Richey

It is wonderful to have you present today and I want you to do just a little bit for us. Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you're from, what your background is, and your education and your experience regarding disordered eating.

00:03:08 Abbey Griffith


00:03:09 Abbey Griffith

Sounds good, so hi everybody, my name is Abby Griffith. I am here in Atlanta, GA technically Decatur. If you guys are familiar with the area an I'm actually here in my office at Clarity Fitness, which is Georgia's first body positive Wellness Center. We've got classes, personal training, the whole shebang. It's a really great place. I love it.

00:03:29 Abbey Griffith

So much I'm so proud of. This awesome.

00:03:31 Rick Richey

I used to live there, by the way, I don't know I do that.

00:03:34 Rick Richey

Yeah, I was indicating.

00:03:36 Rick Richey

Lived on the corner of Clermont and Scott Blvd.

00:03:38 Abbey Griffith

That's amazing. We're on the main square, like right behind the gazebo.

00:03:42 Rick Richey

Oh yeah, yeah.

00:03:45 Rick Richey

Right now you keep.

00:03:46 Rick Richey

Going I'm gonna stop interrupting, but you know, I gotta throw that out there alright?

00:03:52 Abbey Griffith

Later is so that's perfect.

Abby's backstory

Awesome so yeah. So Decatur's been great there. So amazing great community. I was born and raised in Cleveland OH and went to school in Miami FL so I've kind of been all over the place. I actually went to school for Industrial Engineering an that's carried over a ton for the business side of things. I got my NSM CPT.

00:04:15 Abbey Griffith

About three years ago now an have been in personal training as a client, since I think 5th grade. So it's been a minute. I've been really involved in eating disorder, prevention, and education since I found out that I was struggling. Actually in my junior year of college. So I had gone about 10 years.

00:04:37 Abbey Griffith

Dealing with anorexia and had had no idea, and that's unfortunately the case for a lot of people, men, women, all shapes and sizes, who just really had no idea that that was something that was going on because a lot of the things that are very focused on in that disorder.

00:04:57 Abbey Griffith

Are very very supported by society, which is things like the ossan rigidity and pressure and control around food and exercise, and that's not what intuitive and tuning in and being there for yourself looks like necessarily. So that was my new passion after I figured out that that was going on and hope that I can.

00:05:18 Abbey Griffith

Educate people on that as well.

00:05:20 Rick Richey

So some people have no idea. I can understand I was listening to the the fitness and Wellness podcast and I could understand how people don't know that they don't drink enough water, but it's harder for me to understand that people don't know that they're not having enough food. Can you dig into that a little bit and explain what's going on?

00:05:40 Abbey Griffith


How to Tell when you need more food

So that is. I remember when I was first brought into therapy there was this long sheet of questions that my therapist had sent my way an it was check the box. Yes completely agree. Don't really care. Definitely disagree. an A lot of the questions that were in there were things like.

00:06:01 Abbey Griffith

I very regularly think about what I'm going to have for dinner lunch breakfast today the next day. It's almost always on my mind. I think about how much I'm going to be working out or what I'm going to have to do to make up for things that I have eaten, or it ways I haven't moved.

00:06:22 Abbey Griffith

Um, I feel guilty if I skip a workout, I feel guilty. If I eat certain things an while, I'm not diagnosing anyone or saying that if you have said yes to any of these, you immediately have an eating disorder. Those are actually things that are very, very, very common that can snowball and are honestly kind of an issue in themselves.

00:06:43 Abbey Griffith

Because there really doesn't need to be guilt an hostility towards yourself, regardless of what you're eating. That mindset doesn't help you make different decisions. It doesn't help you feel your body with things that feel good. It's just a way to beat yourself up. And that's not perpetuate ING Health and Wellness, that's.

00:07:03 Abbey Griffith

This kind of toxic beat yourself up mindset that we need to start to shift away from, especially in the fitness and health industry.

00:07:11 Rick Richey

Since you've been through this, you know it's a personal experience and I'm gonna, I'm gonna say thank you for sharing.

00:07:18 Rick Richey

This story and making yourself vulnerable and in front of our audience to Share your story. So I want to just dig into what that looks like a little bit more.

00:07:27 Rick Richey

How does how does it?

00:07:28 Rick Richey

Start and how does that snowball into something that becomes a disorder?

How an eating disorder starts

Definitely so my story could be completely different than anyone else is, but personally for me I was always raised in a family that was very type. A very perfectionisty, if that's a word very much so.

Everyone is very, very focused on achievement. Next level, next goal To Do List. Knock it off an. That's a. That's a tough mindset to have on everything all the time. I think that it can be productive to a degree an doesn't need to be how you run all day everyday.

'cause that can be very daunting and very obsessive when it gets escalated. My family was very focused on weight loss all the time. There was a lot of negative body talk from both parents from distant family, close family about what they hate about their body or how they wish that their body could change or how they wish that their physical abilities could change.

Um, in terms of what they could lift or how fast they could run an that was a big judgment factor that I was brought into from a very young age. I was going to healthy kids. Healthy weight at five I was going to Weight Watchers at eight it was. Yeah, it was a lot of stuff going on that was sending the message. That weight loss is good.

Weight gain is very, very bad all the time, no matter what, and so I just that was normal for me. So that was what I moved through life. Knowing and believing that if I gained weight that was very bad, very unhealthy. And that's not true. That statement alone cannot be carried over to every situation always, and.

We need to start to look into weight gain, might not mean health lost an if you are looking at all the buckets of health, all of the components of Wellness, social Wellness, emotional, physical and really taking in the big picture. Just because you gained 510 pounds doesn't mean that you're in a really unhealthy situation.

So that was that was my start.

00:09:42 Rick Richey

Uh, yeah, so there are a lot of things there to to breakdown and so a couple of them are some real serious environmental factors that are going on and the environment is just where you are and what influences you. So your environments are familial there. The people you hang around with there.

00:10:03 Rick Richey

You know you got it from the family and the even extended family. I've had the the community in the environment which I find to be very interesting is that these companies and maybe maybe the weight watcher class is allowed. You know, the five year old to come in.

00:10:24 Rick Richey

Because they were thinking well, this is part of an early adopting good thought process, but the purpose of being brought into it wasn't necessarily that it was more. It seems more than it was trying to prevent and keep. And there's this negative.

00:10:43 Rick Richey

Concern that's going on about any type of weight gain, which obviously for a 5 year old who has to develop their body. You know there is. There's so much to be broken down in this situation that I just. I'm bothered I'm bothered by it. You mentioned the Wellness.

00:11:05 Rick Richey

UH, components as well, and when I was in school we talked about the Wellness wheel and you mentioned it and those those components could be environmental, which is what we were just talking about and intellectual. So what's in stimulating you? Intellectually, your social environment, physical environment, spiritual phucked financial.

00:11:25 Rick Richey

Your job, your emotional well, being all of these are components of this Wellness wheel and and you can implement and put more things in it and as a personal trainer I feel like you know we're we're good at the physical because that's why people come to us. But there are more components for that.

00:11:45 Rick Richey

As well, and we should understand that our job as a fitness professional is not as you mentioned it. I think it's wonderful you've you've covered your bases really well, right? So we're not diagnosing anything.

00:11:58 Rick Richey

But we need to be able to recognize certain things. Kim, can you now speak to us about maybe?

00:12:09 Rick Richey

What do they call it like red flags for eating disorders, red flags for, and different types of eating disorders? And if maybe you can kind of go down the list of what a few of these main eating disorders are, what they look like by definition, let us understand them a little bit better. And then what some of those red flags might look like.

Disorders and red flags to look for

Definitely. So just for starters, the main eating disorders that you're going to hear a lot are anorexia nervosa, which is your restriction of food really trying not to eat. That's the most common one. That's what a lot of people see in the typical eating disorder world as.

00:12:51 Abbey Griffith

The token eating disorder, but there are a lot more that are very, very less commonly recognized. There is binge eating disorder that is in fact an eating disorder. A lot of people say, oh, I binge on this or oh, that person just needs to stop eating so much and get more focused. There's actual psychological stuff that's going on.

00:13:12 Abbey Griffith

Behind the scenes if it is to a degree of an eating disorder an I think that that's really important to recognize that no matter how amazing of a personal trainer you are, if someone is truly dealing with binge eating disorder, there's other stuff that needs to be brought into that equation. So paying attention to that.

00:13:31 Abbey Griffith

Bulimia, which is some kind of excreting what you have eaten. Some people use laxatives. Some people make themselves sick. There is a type of getting rid of in air quotes for those who are listening. What you have eaten by working out, which is an exercise based eating disorder. So if people are.

00:13:52 Abbey Griffith

Constantly running the cardio up to make up for something that they might want to eat, or something that they have eaten or had drink and drink drunk. That's really good waiting.

00:14:04 Rick Richey

Some trouble conjugating today.

00:14:09 Abbey Griffith

All of the grammar is happening in my brain right now.

00:14:11 Rick Richey

I love it. I love it continue.

00:14:14 Abbey Griffith

OK, so those are those are.

00:14:16 Abbey Griffith

Some of the big ones there is also A and you knew understanding of one that has come out. That's actually based with people who have diabetes. Insulin makes you.

00:14:29 Abbey Griffith

Less hungry and some people have used that in terms of restricting so they'll abuse medication or really use something that they have as a resource for a different serious health issue to help them restrict calories or help them keep their metabolism high or whatever it is that they feel like they're doing, and that's another very serious.

00:14:53 Abbey Griffith

Issue so as on top of these major behavioral things that you can see happen, I really want to stress that it's not size specific. It's not gender specific, it's not age specific. A lot of people think that it's people that look like me that have eating disorders an it's not it's.

00:15:13 Abbey Griffith

Men, it's people of all races, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic statuses, an it's really important that we're not diagnosing, oh, she doesn't have anorexia yet because she's not small enough, which was what led to living in a state of anorexia for a really long time. 'cause I was never I until the end.

00:15:34 Abbey Griffith

I was not in a place where my body was noticeably.

00:15:38 Abbey Griffith

Different or quote unquote abnormal an? That's a really unsafe standard to set someone having a problem on.

00:15:48 Rick Richey

Interesting yeah, 'cause in my mind I I look at people and I could you some people? There's a clear Association with an eating disorder or at least a clear assumption and an based on how the size of a person is. And especially you might see somebody that's really small.

00:16:10 Rick Richey

They're exercising a lot. I want to break down a few things one.

00:16:14 Rick Richey

Um, a lot of people eat.

00:16:18 Rick Richey

And exercise and a lot of my clients exercise so they can eat and they like eating and they want to be able to do that. There's there's clearly a point where there is a disorder and there's also a range where that's clearly not going to be a disordered situation as a Type 2 diabetic.

00:16:39 Rick Richey

I have more carbs on days that I know I'm going to workout. I have fewer carbs on days that I know I'm not going to exercise because my blood sugar depends on that and I can limit and restrict some of my medications because I can handle how my food intake and my exercise.

00:16:59 Rick Richey

Relate to each other food intake and exercise can relate to each other.

00:17:05 Rick Richey

Um, can you help us understand where that spectrum starts to get a little bit more concerning? And when we need to deliver a different message to the people that are doing that.

A healthy relationship between food and exercise

Definitely, so I like to think about exercise and movement or exercise and eating as two different pillars that are going toward the same Wellness goal. So I totally love your example with being type 2 diabetic. I think that that's a great example of where we do need to play into what we know our body.

00:17:50 Abbey Griffith

Feels best in an is safest an using our medication wisely. I think that that's all exactly spot on. What I have a concern of is when people start to workout so that they can eat or eat so that they can workout. I think that when it's of do this so that you are allowed to do that in terms of.

00:18:10 Abbey Griffith

I if I don't workout I will not have breakfast if I don't workout I will not give myself permission to have a drink that I want to have intuitively and responsibly with some friends tonight or have the Taco dish that I was looking forward to. I'm not allowed to have that because I haven't done.

00:18:31 Abbey Griffith

Workout or I haven't worked out enough. That's the slippery slope as well as the other way where I've had the tacos now. I must burn them off of my body by working out to the calorie.

00:18:44 Abbey Griffith

Comparison and I know that they're this many calories, so I have to cardio off this many calories. Or just that guilt factor. I've eaten this so I must force myself to workout this way or this amount an that's the tough part because I as a fitness professional, totally get that there is somewhat of a balancing act that has.

00:19:05 Abbey Griffith

To happen in terms of Wellness in terms of I am wanting to feel good an if I eat 18 million hamburgers and never stand up off my couch that will perpetuate the not feeling great situation. Not that hamburgers are off limits forever and permanently, but hey, maybe I would feel better if I ate this much and move this much and just.

00:19:30 Abbey Griffith

Tuning into how you feel, but it's not doing one so that I can do the other and vice versa. I think that if you think about it as two separate, equally important pillars toward an overall Wellness goal, that that helps it be from a place of my goal is to feel good and to live a long life and whatever else your goals might be, an that's.

00:19:53 Abbey Griffith

The goal that I'm using for both of these, but I'm not doing one in exchange for the.

00:19:58 Abbey Griffith

Other if that makes sense.

00:20:00 Rick Richey

It does make sense, and I think that there's there's such a you know I don't what I don't want to do is bring into question anything that might make people who have a disorder go. You know what? I agree with Rick on this because I'm not trying to argue it. But what I am trying to do is find that.

00:20:18 Rick Richey

Balance and I I'm gonna share a story of mine from this weekend we had.



00:20:24 Rick Richey

Pizza is not good for the old Type 2 diabetic over here and what I wanted to be was only two small slices of pizza ended up being.

00:20:33 Rick Richey

More, let's just say more more.

00:20:37 Rick Richey

And I thought.

00:20:38 Rick Richey

I need to go for a walk after this and I definitely need to get a workout in tomorrow morning, which was not necessarily planned. But now I'm like man, I need to get to work on him.

00:20:49 Rick Richey

I'm not doing. I'm not punishment myself for eating the pizza.

00:20:52 Rick Richey

But I'm trying to make a responsible decision. It's also not something that occurs regularly, it's something that I'm aware of that I have a pathology that my overall health and Wellness depends on me being able to do that. I think it's also responsible after people have a large meals and they go.

00:21:13 Rick Richey

You know what? Let's go for a walk. Let's go for a walk around like a family. Let's just go out for a walk and enjoy the night. But we had a big meal and we need to take some responcible steps. There's a difference between responsible steps and irresponsible.

00:21:31 Rick Richey

Well, that's not even say irresponsible with punishing yourself and obsessively creating a sense of guilt around the amount of food you take in and the need the compulsion that have to. If I don't workout, then and your series of.

00:21:51 Rick Richey

If bends like a computer program, your series of if bends starts taking you down a really bad place. It's a bad Rd that that.

00:22:01 Rick Richey

Doesn't have a healthy ending and the shift towards understanding.

00:22:08 Rick Richey

Health and Wellness versus size right is is totally different and there's a size obsession there. And you mentioned early on there are, you know that can be a hard world to live in when you're being perpetuated these visions.

00:22:28 Rick Richey

Of the supposed to be is and you had that from a young age. In your experience, I do like the shift towards the appreciation for thicker bodies for more healthy bodies. I'm a big fan of that in general, but through the fitness of it all, I think that's very, very nice to see.

00:22:49 Rick Richey

The change starting to take place, so I'm pleased with with what that looks like, so I don't want to associate guilt with anybody that does a meal and says man, I better make sure I get my workout in tomorrow, but the unhealthy turn of events that takes place is the punishment.

00:23:09 Rick Richey

The guilt associated. What are some of the other red flags that we, as fitness professionals or any red flags? We haven't discussed it. What are the red flags that we see and then you also in your Optima session talk about triggering or for us, maybe non triggering and making sure that.

00:23:29 Rick Richey

We're very aware of our words and what we use and how we speak with people.

The Importance of non-triggering

Definitely I love. I love how you just broke down the compulsion angle because that's a huge word that's.

00:23:41 Abbey Griffith

When it's when it's and I have two when it's a guilt ridden one. It's for me. If I had had more pizza than I had planned and written into Myfitness pal, I would have forced myself to go on the walk even if I really didn't want to and I would have made myself workout harder than I had wanted to the day before. 2 burnoff.

00:24:01 Abbey Griffith

Things and that was a very compulsion based thing and I definitely voice that my trainer. I was saying give me a calorie burn for the week so that I can lose X pounds a month. I was asking if I could track them as calories. I was asking if I could track spinach leaves, individual leaves as calories.

00:24:22 Abbey Griffith

It's the compulsion and the level, the degree to which one obsess is that I think is the concern and I totally if if I'm eating a lot and feel like moving a little bit would feel good again. It's based on that feel good. That's that's what I would do. But it's not because I have to or I should. It's because.

00:24:42 Abbey Griffith

That is what is going to make me feel better, and that's what sounds good. And that's what that family time with that walk sounds pleasant and sounds like what I want to do. And I think that that then we open a whole new caniform. So some people just genuinely don't have that drive to work out for years at a time. Obviously, then we need to do some shifting. Maybe they have.

00:25:04 Abbey Griffith

A really negative Association of movement. Maybe they think that working out is only getting under a barbell and they don't wanna do that. There's other stuff to go into with that realm, but I do think that just opening up the what makes you feel good. What sounds fun? What sounds like what you would enjoy as a long term Rd to health instead of this.

00:25:25 Abbey Griffith

Monthly calorie knock it off kind of zone. I was big on getting dizzy at my workouts. I was very regularly meeting to sit down or lay down in a workout because I wasn't eating enough. I didn't know that at the time but found that one out body image comments I ripped myself apart in terms of what I saw in the mirror in terms of what I thought I should look like.

00:25:51 Abbey Griffith

Pinching and squeezing at your body is a concern point that you could look at. If you see your clients kind of like pinching at their fat in the mirror, there is usually an Association of judgment there, something that they wish that they could remove from their bodies in some way which might not necessarily be motivated.

00:26:12 Abbey Griffith

From an empowered want to feel well, want to be well placed an if we want to open up a really big can of worms. One thing that helped me a ton was not associating the words good or bad to food. And I think that that is a whole debate and I've had this conversation in lots of different ways with lots of different people. But when people say.

00:26:38 Abbey Griffith

I ate well or this is good food or this is bad food or I've been good or I've been bad. That adds moral judgment to what you're putting in your body.

00:26:49 Rick Richey

Oh, interesting.

00:26:49 Abbey Griffith

That is a very very slippery slope because, again, to the person that's struggling, they've done something good so they don't have to punish themselves or they've done something.

00:27:00 Abbey Griffith

Bad, so now they have to Foster and harbor this guilt and this frustration with themselves an him in no way saying that we should eat only the quote, unquote bad foods. But you can start to shift the conversation and say how many nutrient dense foods can you incorporate? How many?

00:27:20 Abbey Griffith

NRG dense calorie dense foods. Can you incorporate but use the word enerji, not calorie. I was just drawing the drawing the parallel, but that's not good shifts to talk about food. I would recommend not touching the topic of food with an eating disorder patient just to be safe and to cover your bases, but if let that be for the eating disorder professionals.

00:27:41 Abbey Griffith

Just so that you can make sure that those triggers aren't there, but if you need to nutrient dense foods and energy dense foods instead of good and bad and being good and being bad. And that's a really big topic that I think is very very normalized. If you look at food labels, it's eat good, this is.

00:28:01 Abbey Griffith

Then good bars if you eat certain foods. This without the guilt is a huge marketing campaign, so people play into that and a lot of fitness professionals might slip into saying those kind of things and perpetuate ING that kind of messaging too.

00:28:20 Rick Richey

That is very interesting. So now I do have a question because.

00:28:26 Rick Richey

You know, perhaps we do have individuals who have disordered eating, and I'm concerned about them, and they're not seeing a professional, or they've not had a conversation with us, and so we're assuming that, much like I often assume, that my young daughter.

00:28:46 Rick Richey

Has not done her homework and so I asked her about it and she says yes. I've done my homework and then I say can I see your homework and then?

00:28:55 Rick Richey

You get really mad at me.

00:28:56 Rick Richey

And she gets really mad she.

00:28:58 Rick Richey

Gets really upset and there's a line from Hamlet where it says methinks the lady doth protest too much.

00:29:07 Rick Richey

And there's a lot of protests that go on what I don't wanna do, though I can do that with my daughter like she can protest and then I can look at it and be like, well, you're really upset because in fact you did not do your homework.

00:29:21 Rick Richey


00:29:23 Rick Richey

That's that's a much more sensitive conversation to have with somebody because we're concerned, but.

00:29:31 Rick Richey

Is is it our place to bring it up? Because if somebody were were overtly saying if it was heart disease, an I saw somebody holding their chest, I would ask some questions regarding it if it were any other thing going on, then I would ask questions, but here we don't want to offend and.

00:29:50 Rick Richey

There's a. There's an Association with it too because.

00:29:55 Rick Richey

It is a. There's something going on inside somebody's mind and we don't want people to have guilt associated with it. We want them to have Wellness associated with it.

00:30:10 Rick Richey

We're out of concern bringing it up. Did did somebody bring it up to you at any point did you protest? Did you get upset with people that that may be brought it up and at what point did that shift where you're like? There is a problem that needs to be addressed, but what can we also do as fitness professionals?

00:30:30 Rick Richey

Working one on one with clients or maybe in a group.

00:30:34 Rick Richey

That we talked to somebody. And what can we say that doesn't?

00:30:40 Rick Richey

I don't know infuriate or, you know, make somebody walk away an because we had. We had a woman at our gym one time and she was exercising for 120 minutes at a time. She was incredibly small, but we had multiple gyms and it turned out that every time.

00:31:00 Rick Richey

The management would approach an. I'm not sure how it was done and I'm not, but she just stopped going to that gym and then go to another one in this large network of gyms in New York City to continue doing what she was doing because she didn't want to be bothered by it. She didn't want to hear it anyway. Can you just kind of? I've just met somebody.

00:31:20 Rick Richey

Pair up and you're gonna have to. Your gonna have to clear that you're gonna have to brush that.

00:31:24 Rick Richey

All out, alrighty.

00:31:26 Rick Richey

Then you gotta clear it up now.

00:31:29 Abbey Griffith

Definitely, so that's a that's a really great question, and it's very, very scary to have those conversations and to bring things up, because like you said, it can go very poorly. It does happen, it's not, it's, it's just you know that it is worth it if it is to go the right way.

00:31:49 Abbey Griffith

Or at least to plant the seed an I know for me my trainer, only one of them I had for I believe in my period of personal training, client based living and when I went to college my trainer said kind.

00:32:04 Abbey Griffith

Of casting on the way out, hanging. Don't get an eating.

00:32:07 Abbey Griffith

Disorder, and that was that was what I got.

00:32:09 Abbey Griffith

An I was like oh, don't worry, I don't like to throw up and that was just we were speaking in different directions. It was me not liking to throw up is an 18th of a massive equation that is an eating disorder based behavior system an A very very very small component.

00:32:31 Abbey Griffith

Of all of the different ways that that behavior might be carried out, an I in fact did already have one when I looked back at what the behaviors were and how focused and compulsive and Harden myself, I was being so a bigger conversation could be to check out this questionnaire I was trying to Google it, but I didn't want to make too many typing sounds so.

00:32:55 Abbey Griffith

Now he is not sure that it's the half health questionnaire.

important questions to ask

00:33:01 Abbey Griffith

If it's the one that I'm thinking of, it's five questions that are very open ended, and I believe NASM touches on this in the CPT for a little bit when they talk about just some things to be aware of an it's five questions that.

00:33:17 Abbey Griffith

If you answer yes to them are a step in and understanding that someone might be struggling and then at that point an even if it's not. Hello I have this pamphlet. Please fill it out, it could just be in conversation. Have you heard this client beating themselves up about the food that they've eaten? Have you heard them?

00:33:38 Abbey Griffith

Feeling guilt around their body or feeling like they should force themselves to look a different way or has have they been really obsessive, compulsive about exercise and if we start getting some yeses then moving to the next steps of potentially getting a therapist involved. If they're open to it.

00:33:59 Abbey Griffith

And if they're not, it's they're not, and there are things that you can walk the walk and talk the talk and see if your example of being gentle and kind to yourself helps. They're looking at you and your behaviors as a model, and if you are in there doing an extra hour of a workout after you do your hour workout.

00:34:22 Abbey Griffith

They're going to think that that's that more is more and better is more an if you are able to show them, hey, I took a rest day because I did not want to workout at all today and that's OK. And I'm not gonna force myself to change anything about the rest of my day to make up for that, because I know that.

00:34:42 Abbey Griffith

Over all, I'm in this Wellness routine and that that's not going to spiral anything that I'm going to be fine. And it's a day. And it's not that big of a deal an talking about different resources that you might have looked into for non diet based food support. Whether that's a non diabase therapist or a nutritionist or just starting to tune into how you feel instead of.

00:35:05 Abbey Griffith

What your external rules are about what you should and shouldn't eat. I definitely think that there are there are ways to have that conversation that are hey, I've seen this. I am not assuming anything. I'm not saying that you have anything going on. If you want some support. I'm here. My door is always open.

00:35:26 Abbey Griffith

You can text or call me. I also have some really cool connections, so let me know if you're open to any of those. If not, keep doing you. I support you. I just want to make sure that everything is fine an I think that.

00:35:38 Abbey Griffith

Nine times out of.

00:35:39 Abbey Griffith

10 people are not going to pop off at you for saying it that way.

00:35:43 Rick Richey

Yeah, that was that was a beautiful way of saying it. It was.

00:35:47 Rick Richey

Non judgmental, it was supportive. It was understanding and I think it's good if just to go back and listen to what you just said like rewind it in this podcast a couple of times and be like oh that's good. That's nice. I like that and and and again if it was any other disorder.

00:36:09 Rick Richey

You know if it was an element, an ongoing pathology that you know there's I don't know, man, I just think about it again. Being diabetic, there was a lot of guilt that I put on myself because I spent so much time in my life, even as a fitness edgecator telling people that it's a lifestyle disease and then I got it.

00:36:29 Rick Richey

And I was like, wait a.

00:36:30 Rick Richey

Minute did I mess up? Is there something wrong with me and so I'm putting this kind of guilt on top of it and understand for myself that I need to?

00:36:41 Rick Richey

To know that it is a complex pathology, there is a series of complex issues and you're not a bad person for it. You're not a weak.

00:36:51 Rick Richey

Person for it.

00:36:52 Rick Richey

It is a situation that you are in and to remove that guilt and that concern that you're weak, the cost of something.

00:37:02 Rick Richey

Or that you are less than or I can't have this conversation with people and and I think it's interesting.

00:37:10 Rick Richey

Be cause I feel like there's so many people that.

00:37:14 Rick Richey

Have had eating disorders that.

00:37:18 Rick Richey

That spent so much time hiding from it, running from it, keeping it in the closet, not letting anybody else see what's going on in their life. And then one day you meet him and they're talking about their eating disorders like like they would talk about which kind of coffee they want at coffee shop. They're like, well, there was this one. And then I went here and I'm talking, and so they're going down.

00:37:39 Rick Richey

But what a juxtaposition, though, right? It's it's a serious change, and what you do is you see something that you're hiding from and you're so fearful of being exposed.

00:37:52 Rick Richey

And when you find peace with that, with understanding that and opening yourself up, you see so many people opening up about their eating disorders. Women, in particular, I think men do Bury that down and they don't talk about it. And like you said.

00:38:12 Rick Richey

It's not limited to women, it's not limit that we we put these limitations on it and go, oh, that's the face of the eating disorders. And that's not true. That's not true. So to open up and have a conversation. And again, male or female like you're not weak. The cost of these things, so I appreciate that.

00:38:33 Rick Richey

I want to I want to open this up to conversations from people that are listening live, so any of them are live listeners that have been that that have been tuning in an listening to this conversation, I'd like to flip over to Greg and see if Greg if anybody has any questions for Abby.

Questions and Answers

00:38:52 Speaker 4

We actually do have a couple one coming in from Marissa who asked can you discuss or so worth or Rex? Yeah, it's a new concept to.

00:39:05 Speaker 4

Her, if she hadn't heard.

00:39:06 Speaker 4

Of it until maybe two months ago.

00:39:08 Speaker 4

Is it a real thing?

00:39:10 Abbey Griffith

Definitely absolutely a real thing. Great question. That is. I think that that's a really great point to the conversation that we were having about that line. Between compulsion, obsession must have too and overall understanding that this might be helpful for my Wellness. So orthorexia, for those who don't know is.

00:39:33 Abbey Griffith

Session with.

00:39:35 Abbey Griffith

Being healthy in air quotes and that again not not trying to categorize. Not saying that this is a good or bad thing to do, but a lot of times when we see this, people are very set in the types of foods that they'll allow themselves to eat ever to the point that they won't go to a restaurant.

00:39:56 Abbey Griffith

If it doesn't have this to the point that they won't hang out with friends if these foods won't be available, and this isn't a medical reason, this isn't. I can't eat gluten. This isn't, I can't eat whatever else dairy for true biological health reasons this is.

00:40:17 Abbey Griffith

Dairy is bad, meat is bad, gluten is bad. I will not eat it. Whatever that kind of categorization of food is usually.

00:40:27 Abbey Griffith

In line paired with a lot of exercise, a lot of certain types of exercise, it's a very regimented and controlled to the point of obsession eating disorder. And that was in my repertoire of eating disorders as well. So I know that one well and it was, uh, a big pressure.

00:40:47 Abbey Griffith

Anna big identifier for me to connect with being healthy an it was. I was known as the person that was always drinking this and eating this an working out this way and looking this way an I liked that identifier an I felt like that was kind of what we were just talking about again of.

00:41:08 Abbey Griffith

Strengthening a pride thing and I'm a good person. I'm better than you because I am more controlled than you are kind of thing. An that's the same same conversation, same important, same relevance. It is dangerous because it is taking away from your quality of life an.

00:41:29 Abbey Griffith

It's not allowing you to tune into what feels good or what you enjoy an. I think that in exercise and food you're missing out on a ton. If you're not able to say I love this type of movement. I love rollerblading. I love dance. I love lifting I love.

00:41:49 Abbey Griffith

Whatever food that might be an that is a true quality of life enhancement. That's part of that Wellness we LAN. When we deprive completely ourselves of things, an activities we're taking away from that quality of life. Plus, it's just not, it's not benefiting you.

00:42:09 Abbey Griffith

To be that rigid an that controlled. And I think that people think more is more in terms of control in terms of what you're allowed in allowing yourself to eat what you're allowing yourself to do in movement. And that's not necessarily true. So educating people on the importance of rest days on the importance of balance on the importance of.

00:42:30 Abbey Griffith

Liking what you eat.

00:42:31 Abbey Griffith

I think that alright, they're really important.

00:42:34 Rick Richey

So I do find it very interesting this this eating disorders the the word.

00:42:40 Rick Richey

Ortho that that suffix or prefix there orthorexia ortho means straight like a orthodontist so at ortho straight Donatist or Don told or Don's or your teeth so you have this straight line so anorexia we got this kind of like this rigid line this straight.

00:43:01 Rick Richey

Line that you're not veering from, and I think it's fascinating that this has come up, but it has come up because now we've got all of these restricted diets, and they've seemed many of the dietze seem to work, but they usually work due to a calorie restriction, but.

00:43:22 Rick Richey

You see the the meat only diet you have. I've seen the the no carb diet these the people that are on keto that have.

00:43:32 Rick Richey

These really strict adherence is to Quito people that are on the Paleo diet that had these really strict and and there are many many healthy foods that are left out of the paleo diet because it is the construct of the diet and they just rigidly follow it. They earth though.

00:43:52 Rick Richey

Only follow it. They're following it so straight and so strictly that can be really, really concerning.

00:44:00 Rick Richey

Um, because it can shift into a disorder and it can be a disordered eating. Now I know some people who are like I like to try a bunch of dietze and super healthy fit people that go. I want to experience what people are doing, but they're not strict on a diet. They are trying a diet, they'll try another one just like try and workout.

00:44:21 Rick Richey

They want to see what it does and how they feel, so I found it very, very interesting. I've never heard of that before, but piercing these things together it's pretty interesting, Greg, any other question that might be out there.

00:44:34 Speaker 4

Yeah, Peter wants to know. Do you find that there's a consistent red flag that gives you a heads up to start asking those questions that you mentioned earlier? Or do you ask across the board as part of your assessment?

00:44:46 Abbey Griffith

Awesome so I am very very tuned into Verbage and I think that that comes unfortunately from my history, but there's a lot of really cool resources out there that can help you.

00:44:59 Abbey Griffith


00:45:00 Abbey Griffith

Tune into that verbiage and hear what might be going on again. Things like I was good, I was bad. We when we take him clients at Clarity, Fitness people come in and we have that initial consultation about what their goals are, what they want out of their movement, out of their new Wellness routine.

00:45:20 Abbey Griffith

An if they go on a laundry list of things that they hate about their body, that's another sign that they might need. Some added mindset support in this journey. Instead of saying you're right, I see what we could do differently with your button. Your core. Let's fix that it. Let's talk about why that's something that's a trigger point.

00:45:40 Abbey Griffith

For you, and maybe we don't use those words. 'cause again people are very sensitive when they feel like we're tapping into their psyche. But you can definitely be like I don't see anything wrong with your body. Your body is not a bad thing. Your body is nothing that we need to beat up. If you're interested in building strength here an we can check that out when we see your muscle imbalances.

00:46:03 Abbey Griffith

We can absolutely do that, and that's gonna help your quality of life because XYZ instead of let's just focus solely on appearance. Let's release some of that and bring it into. How does that carry over into an efficient an affective and safe movement routine to treat our bodies with respect instead of something that we have to force change upon?

00:46:28 Rick Richey

Yeah, thank you for that. There's a wonderful.

00:46:32 Rick Richey

Shift in the fitness industry and many and many components of it that are focusing on overall Wellness and we see that shift towards people working on mobility and people working towards stability. People still do come to us for weight loss goals.

00:46:48 Rick Richey

You may not get them.

00:46:50 Rick Richey

And that's just a statement of fact. You may not get those weight loss goals. What I don't want to do is I don't want to discourage people from the weight loss, but what I do wanna encourage is the health and Wellness in the fitness that goes along with the exercise routines that you're doing and exercise and diet. This is the one two punch.

00:47:12 Rick Richey

The exercise in the diet and let's add sleep in there so it's very hook. So we're going to Add all of these components into your life.

00:47:21 Rick Richey

To increase your fitness, your health and support other components, other Wellness. We know that movement helps with a lot of the chemicals in our brain that help to support mental health. So movement is medison exercises medison.

00:47:41 Rick Richey

Your Socrates let thy food be thy medison. These are the medicines that are out there that can support you.

00:47:51 Rick Richey

We can go. We can go for weight loss. I think people that have weight loss goals. It's very nice to have those when indicated.

00:48:00 Rick Richey

We as personal trainers have to to be careful because we can't necessarily ensure weight loss because if people come to SCS for, I don't know two times a week and there are 168 hours in the week then who knows what's gonna happen, but we can support people and that's what we're here to do. We can support people.

00:48:21 Rick Richey

Some people will get upset, maybe that they get weight loss and we want to support you in your process of weight loss. But if I have a client that comes in and they have these weight loss goals and I'm looking at them and and this bothers me too because I used to, I used to train a lot of people that were models in New York City.

00:48:43 Rick Richey

And they would be sent to me by the agency to lose weight and I'm looking at these women and I'm like no.

00:48:53 Rick Richey

But it's weird, right because.

00:48:56 Rick Richey


00:48:57 Rick Richey

It is their job and they get paid well for it. Maybe like you know somebody that gains weight to be able to play football. But if you gain weight, you're making your body healthier. In this instance, they're literally becoming less healthy to do something. Now I try not to cast judgment on that because I'm not the person going. Oh Tom Hanks when you lost all that.

00:49:19 Rick Richey

Wait to go talk to Wilson on the island. Then that's super bad for you and it's super bad for Christian Bale to lose all that way. Everybody knows that super bad.

00:49:29 Rick Richey

They knew it was bad for them, but they did it.

00:49:33 Rick Richey


00:49:34 Rick Richey

They did it for an event and left it. What I don't want is to shift people into a mindset and a lifestyle that this is who they want to be. Now I was torn. I'm going to tell you when I was working with the models, I was really torn about the situation and I said I will do my best to work to help you be.

00:49:55 Rick Richey

Healthier if you lose weight. In addition to it, that is not my intent, but it is an outcome that's associated with it. But if you are to lose weight, you are not going to be less healthy for it, so I'm trying to create balance in a very unbalanced situation.

00:50:15 Rick Richey

And that's still, I don't know if that's the right answer and ended up being to the point where I had, well, the the modeling agency that I was working with cut ties with me and stopped referring people because I had such a hard time telling women that were 511 and weighed 120 pounds.

00:50:37 Rick Richey

That they needed to lose weight that hard time with that. It's a good gig. It's a good gig for me. While it lasted, it was not a good gig, though it was a great financially it I did it, just I couldn't. I couldn't get behind it. Had a really hard time with that.

00:50:53 Rick Richey

That said, Greg any other questions out there?

00:50:58 Speaker 4

Yeah, there was one other here. Let me pull it up. Peter wants to know actually, that's why I'll actually ask this one out of like 3 asking myself or if there is somebody that that that's watching that may fall into one of these categories. Abby, do you have?

00:51:17 Speaker 4

One piece of advice, or or some words of encouragement that that you would like to share.

00:51:22 Speaker 4

With somebody that may be faced with.

00:51:24 Abbey Griffith

Yeah, definitely that's nice question. Thank you so so much. I would say for me the big piece that completely shifted my relationship was myself is actually plastered all over our gym. But it's the words I am enough.

00:51:41 Abbey Griffith

An I think that if we can internalize those words, an really start to or take a step in the direction of believing that that's life changing, and I think that that so true, so valid of everyone an we can really, really get.

00:52:02 Abbey Griffith

To that place, and it takes time. And it's not a. I've decided this is true and I'm never gonna waver from this. It comes in flux an it is there and it's not some days and it's there for some minutes and not some minutes. But if you can take steps toward believing that and start to treat yourself.

00:52:22 Abbey Griffith

On your body like that is fact that is a game changer an that's what we believe for people whether they've struggled or not. But I just can't say enough about how much that gave me permission to release and to rest sometimes and be kinder to myself and.

00:52:43 Abbey Griffith

Health became something that was light and friendly and welcoming, an not something that I felt embarrassed by if I wasn't doing enough or working hard enough or controlled enough or lean enough or strong enough. It was just something that felt enough an it was.

00:53:04 Abbey Griffith

So empowering and so game changing, so that's that's a really big piece of advice for those who might be struggling. Those who are starting to slip into feeling like it is all or nothing or very tough or daunting to go to the gym or not do what they might have set out. And now that's really, really frustrating them, or breaking them down.

00:53:29 Abbey Griffith

Um, I would love love, love to talk to anyone who might be open to reaching out. Anyone who has any questions about clients. I like to say it's not. If you've worked with someone with an eating disorder, but which client you currently have that has one it's uh, it's 30 million people in the United States alone, and that's a big chunk of the population and we don't talk about this.

00:53:52 Abbey Griffith

Enough, there's that word, but it's really important.


That we do.

00:53:56 Abbey Griffith

Pay attention an it could be, it could be you. It could be the person who's on the line right now that just feels so frustrated with not having achieved this weight loss goal that they set out to achieve or not. Having achieved this new PR that they wanted an.

00:54:12 Abbey Griffith

I think that just being open to checking in and giving yourself credit and giving yourself grace because you are enough is so important for everyone. So if there's ever anytime that they anyone wants to reach out or your client might want to reach out, please let them know. I don't know. Is it appropriate for me to share my.

00:54:32 Abbey Griffith

Email or yeah, OK, absolutely perfect. So my email is Abby, ABBYY at, an I am on my email all the time so I'm happy to respond to anything. Any questions? There are no stupid questions Anne. I'm more than happy to get you connected with some referrals of different care providers.

00:54:53 Abbey Griffith

That might be helpful. is a really good resource base. There are lots of different healthcare providers on there as well as nidaan EDA. So you could definitely start there for people in your area and see if that's a helpful resource and.

00:55:13 Abbey Griffith

I'm more than happy to be emailed before or after checking out those.

00:55:18 Rick Richey

Amazing thank you so much for that. I think you are enough that you are enough. I have a friend of mine named Nick Pegs. He was a keynote speaker at my friend Jess Glazers event for women and the Entrepreneurship in New York City. And it was it was entitled you are enough. He was a it was amazing.

00:55:38 Rick Richey

Speech and or keynote presentation and it kind of speaks to this and I will say this the all or nothing approach is not enough right? All we have. Nothing is not enough, it's just it's too focused one way or the other. It's it's hard to survive in that world.

00:56:00 Rick Richey

Of all or nothing and and that's really like the levee breaks and I I know this with binge eating people where they try to really restrict and then they binge and they really restrict and they binge. I know it with fitness that you just can't do everything and doing small things.

00:56:21 Rick Richey

Small changes.

00:56:23 Rick Richey

Mean a lot and what it starts to do is small changes shift mindset and mindset is really what we're looking at here. And so I want to support everybody as much as you can. Small changes and be OK with the small changes because the big big changes in live.

00:56:43 Rick Richey

Those can be really difficult to to do. It's like taking a giant pill at once. Sometimes you gotta break it down into smaller pieces and you might think, well, whatever that pill that you took is not enough and it will be.

00:56:58 Rick Richey

It will be enough.

00:57:00 Rick Richey

So you gotta work your way up to it, just like exercise like anything else.

00:57:04 Rick Richey

And some people with exercise get personal trainers. Some people that are having issues with with eating get support with that. And so I encourage you to consider it to think about it, to reach out to Abby and Abby. Thank you for being willing to today one be on the show for sharing your information with us and and this platform.

00:57:24 Rick Richey

And then giving your contact information for anybody who may be struggling or concerned or just have questions whatever like just to reach out and and chat. So also if there is any social media that you have that you may want to share then you can do that as well.

00:57:40 Abbey Griffith

Absolutely. My personal Instagram is Abby Griff Dotfit, so ABBYY.

00:57:45 Abbey Griffith

GRIF dot FIT. And then our Jim pages clarity Decatur. And that's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. All the things come check us out.

00:57:57 Rick Richey

I love it. Body positive fitness with clarity. Thank you so much Abby. My name is Rick Richie. You can reach out to me Rick Dot Richie RSCHEYNES or on Instagram where I'm most active at Dr Dot Rick Richie. Thank you so much. This has been the NASM CPT podcast.

The Author

Rick Richey, MS

Rick Richey, MS

MS, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, MMACS, LMT, is an NASM Master Instructor who enjoys helping clients with all areas of fitness–including their shoulders.


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