Recently, I was asked quite seriously, “if weight loss isn’t a goal, what’s the point of fitness?”
It’s a valid question and one indicative of a culture that equates physical fitness with body fat percentage. But more than that, behind this question lies a lifetime of deeply destructive brainwashing –
- 6 Weeks to Flat Abs!
- Lose 5 Pounds a Week!
- Banish the Batwings!
- Shrink Your Thighs!
- Top 10 Fat Burning Foods!
- Eat to Lose 10 inches!
- 30 Days to a Beach Body!
- Eliminate Armpit Fat!
- No More Muffin Top!
- The [insert prominent celebrity name here] Diet
We are bombarded with these messages from the moment we appear in the world. They scream at us from magazines in the grocery store check-out. They whisper to us from television commercials and internet ads. They are delivered subversively through music videos, blockbuster films, and billboards. Quite often, our conscious mind ignores them. And yet, our subconscious absorbs it all. Developing a healthier relationship with our bodies requires us to ask ourselves:
- What effect do these messages have on my sense of self?
- How have these messages impacted my identity as a woman?
- What have these messages taught me about my own body?
I invite you to truly consider these questions and journal your responses. Take your time with it. Go deep and then deeper. Un-peel the layers of conditioning. Ask more questions and record your answers.
Because the truth is simply this: you have been lied to.
Your physical health and your mental wellbeing are infinitely more valuable that your size. And one more
BIG TRUTH: “Fit” has no specific size or shape. None. Zero.
Imagine a world where these messages appeared everywhere:
- 6 Weeks to Get Strong!
- Increase Your Run by 5 Miles!
- Train to Climb a Mountain!
- Ladies Night: Why Heavy Barbell Squats are Your Birthright
- Top 10 Foods to Fuel Adventure (hint: it’s carbs)
- 30 Days to Pull-Ups!
- Your Muscles are Your Best Accessories
- Every Woman’s Guide to Winning a Triathlon
- How to Cool Down after an MMA Bout
- Teamwork: When Women Compete Together, We Win!
How differently we would we all see ourselves?
There are many valid outcomes to a quality fitness program that have nothing to do with size. Strength, speed, endurance, and mobility are the primary outcomes for which I train my clients. Importantly, each of these leads to improvements in cardiovascular conditioning (heart health), a decrease in blood lipids, regulation of blood sugar, an increase in lung capacity, stronger bones, greater energy, a more robust immune system, a decrease in stress hormones, and improvement in self-image and esteem.
And practiced consistently over time, regular physical activity helps ensure that we remain healthy throughout life. We can ascend from the floor quite easily at age 40. We can still carry the dog food bag at age 50. Our balance remains rock solid at 60 and we can take long walks unassisted at age 70. I have yet to meet anyone who truly desires the loss of their ability to care for themselves or who relishes the idea of lingering bedridden and virtually immobile in their last years. I’ve witnessed both scenarios with individuals who failed to prioritize their health. It is brutal and heartbreaking.
Get active. Do it for your heart. Do it for your lungs. Do it for your bones, your muscles, and your mood.
F*ck fat loss. You’re built for adventure. Where can your body take you today?
Connect with Amanda!