So…. you’re possibly reading this blog because having seen the title, you are absolutely raging and looking to see what utter bull shit I’ve written. You are also probably wondering what fad product I’m trying to sell?
OR sadly (and I mean that with the greatest respect) you read this title and were really hoping that you would find the ‘secret to your happiness’ in this post, by way of a step by step guide on how to get a ‘perfect body’.
Unfortunately for the latter, you won’t ever find that in any of my blogs, in fact, you won’t find that ever in ANY blog.
However, either way I have your attention and hopefully, one blog at a time I can try to show you that actually, what you have now is pretty perfect already.
As a fitness professional, it’s so disheartening to see how much the industry has been tainted with such negative connotations when it comes to exercise and fitness.
They usually stem from mass corporations wanting to sell a product and mask it under the guise of “fitness”. The growing popularity of hashtags such as #fitness and #femalefitness could be so powerful, if they actually contained accurate information, un-altered images of women and weren’t all trying to push this notion of a “perfect body”.
The oxford dictionary tells us that fitness is simply ’the condition of being physically fit and healthy’. Nowhere does it mention what size our bodies should be, or that our skin should be blemish free or that our relationship with gravity (weight) must be below a certain threshold. Nowhere.
Somewhere along the way though, the true meaning of fitness has been buried and this ‘fake fitness’ has emerged and I for one could not be more against it.
Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with training for aesthetic purposes but they shouldn’t be the only goal and they should be realistic. Unfortunately this is not often the case when it comes to social media and advertising.
Having searched #femalefitness on Instagram, I was surprised at how hard it was to find a none – aesthetic based Post within the 735k posts that it brought up on my feed.
THIS is what is filling our feeds every time we log in and search for some fitness inspiration. These subconscious messages slowly knocking away at our confidence, self esteem and more important our perception on reality when it comes to body confidence and what fitness really is.
That’s when the internal narrative begins;
“If 735k women look like this – then maybe I should? How can I look like her? What do I need to start doing?”
The list then becomes endless when we start to compare our reality to the photoshopped highlight reel that is actually never attainable. As the saying goes,
“Even the girl in Instagram doesn’t really look like the girl in Instagram”.
We are so busy criticising our self in comparison to these images of ‘perfection’ that we often fail to notice that most of these posts are just a cover for a big corporate trying to push a product and sadly, they use “#fitness” as their cover.
All of those things that they know women will be thinking they need to do, in order to look like the picture – they promise with their product! Brilliant marketing strategy – just really shit morals!
Take the recent Kim K appetite suppressing lollipops campaign! She posted an Instagram photo of her sucking a lollipop that ‘claimed’ to surpress your appetite and ultimately imply that’s how you get to look like Kim K!
118 million people – yes that’s right, that’s how many people she was able to spread this toxic message to through Instagram! The product hasn’t been approved, tested, validated or any kind of research out there to back it up and yet Kim K was irresponsible (I’d call it greedy) enough to still spread this message to her fans.
The sad thing is that this isn’t an isolated incidence – I can name far too many celebs and people of influence who are selling their souls promoting #fitness in the form of shakes, pills, wraps, teas and all kinds of weird (unregulated) shit trying to convince women they need to buy them if they want even a shot at a ‘perfect body’.
How do we (and by we I mean those of us who love fitness for what it really is and want to raise women up and not bash them down) How do we even complete with this?
One by one, post by post there is a community of like minded fitness professionals tirelessly promoting fitness for what it truly is – health, happiness, energy, mobility, stress relief, relaxing, challenging, powerful, empowering and absolutely nothing to do with size!
Yes, it can be used as a tool to support weight loss or muscle building but that’s one tiny facet, it should not be defined by that.
‘Fake fitness’ will keep trying to tell us that firstly we need a perfect body and secondly that they can sell us a way to get one. Please, please, please if you (like me) are sick of being told these lies then let’s join the likes of Jameela Jamil and start saying enough is enough
I find that most clients who say they hate exercise and fitness have just never found THEIR fitness. They’ve always done what social media tell them they should or what guarantees the ‘perfect body” at that time.
However, when they let go of this notion of the perfect body and give ‘ real fitness’ a chance they absolutely love it.