Ishini Mendis: My Journey to Become a PT

Ishini Mendis 0

You might be unaware of how prevalent sexism is in the sports/fitness industry. As a British Asian girl, I have gone through my fair share.

I remember at seven years old the boys telling me to not join in with their football game on the playground. When I told my teacher, she agreed I shouldn't play with them. From such a young age, you get told what is perceived as 'right'.

As my family life wasn't 'stable' as a kid, and I was bullied throughout primary school, I felt angry, lost and felt I had no control over anything so I turned to unhealthy food and found solace.

Becoming overweight very quickly, throughout my adolescence, many kids teased me about the way I looked, being a 'Beast', being continuously questioned about my sex/gender, because I enjoyed things that were not considered 'girly', and for being different.

So, I started to follow the crowd, trying to please others, avoided PE at school, and avoided all sports days and any physical activity with the fear of being judged for how I looked. Being diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 15, I didn't have healthy coping mechanisms, and wasn't aware of the positive impact exercise could have not only on physical health but mental health too.

If this story inspires you to consider becoming a personal trainer, learn how to become a personal trainer specifically on the PG-NASM website. 

Ishini's Decision at 18

Fast forward to turning 18, I was very unhappy with most aspects of my life, being overweight, my mental health taking a dreary toll, & with the worry of what career path I wanted to pursue & not knowing who I was. I was being told that the only way to be successful is to follow the conventional route of the university. I didn't know what to study, and opted for business, as it is applicable to any role you can take.

Whilst studying at Brunel University London (A recognised sports university), I met people who were encouraging and uplifting and found my love for fitness. My Bosses/friends who also went to my university invited me to this sports group at Brunel. I met the professor/coach who encouraged me to progress at my own pace and taught me the fundamentals of fitness.

By incorporating fitness into my life, my symptoms associated with my mental health are now much easier to manage and have given me more confidence in life. I also learnt that exercise requires many skills such as discipline, focus and being able to manage your time effectively.

Inspiration to Help Others

Feeling and seeing the changes to my mind and body inspired me to want to help others feel great about themselves and empower people with the knowledge and tools to live a healthier and happier lifestyle, regardless of their status, ability etc.

So I undertook a Personal Training course with Premier Global NASM & qualified recently! I am also undertaking the Level 4 Nutrition Coach course, allowing clients to learn about the importance of behavioural change and how they can incorporate small changes which can make a significant difference.

I've also found a new love for learning and have gone back to university to pursue Public Health & Health Promotion to learn how to promote health on a larger scale as well as on an Individual Level!

I'm fortunate enough to be able to love what I do & also empower others, particularly females to feel strong.


Tags: CPT

The Author

Ishini Mendis