Scrolling through my fitness-heavy Instagram feed, I sometimes see "motivational" quotes like these:
“Never miss a Monday!”
“No excuses… work out at home using a throw pillow and a can of soup!”
“The meal plan you need to finally lose those 10 pounds”
These are all examples of the toxic fitness culture I'm actively working to change. And honestly? This kind of “get your shit together” inspo has never worked for me. I guess it’s working for somebody, or these businesses would be failing, but it has the opposite effect on me.
When you tell me, “no excuses,” I feel defensive.
When you tell me, “never miss a Monday,” I want to tell you that you don’t know how my body feels.
When you tell me that something is wrong with my body, my life, my way of living, I am angry not just for myself but for all of the other people who don’t conform with that sales pitch. (After all-- there's a whole lot of ableism built into these assumptions, isn't there?)
And yet, I’m a fitness professional, and I have services to sell, too. I’m just not going to market to anyone’s fears or insecurities. Maybe I won’t ever be as successful as the fear-based “no pain, no gain” instacelebrities, but I’m okay with that.
My marketing strategy is simple– I talk to you the way I want to be talked to.
Let’s give ourselves permission.
take care of your body, mind and spirit in whatever way you think is best
remember that accessibility to health and wellness services is a privilege
think critically about what you’re reading and watching
ask questions about things that don’t make sense
unfollow accounts that make you feel guilty, shameful, or less-than
know that you and only you are the expert on your lived experience
try new things and see how they feel
learn for yourself what works best for you
find movement practices that feel good to you
find ways to enjoy life in the body you have
stick to disciplines that improve the quality of your life
take a rest day/week/month when you need one
change your mind as often as you need to. we’re allowed to grow
disagree with popular culture
know that food can nourish your body, but also your heart & soul too; it’s okay to eat what you’re craving
all bodies are equally valuable, regardless of health or outer appearance
trust your intuition
ask for help when you need it
connect with and learn from people that resonate with you
seek teachers and coaches that you like, trust and believe in
find what inspires you from within, and
be fiercely loyal to what matters most
share messages that speak to your heart/soul/spirit
do your best and let that be enough
How would it feel for you to give yourself this permission? What else would you add to the list?