Recently, I ran into an issue while trying to pick out some stock fitness photos for some advertising pieces that I needed for my fitness center.
As I started scrolling through the choices, I was like hmmmmmm…”None of these pictures represent what my current gym clientele looks like or who I want to market to at ALL!”
At Being-Fit, we have people as young as 12 and our oldest member is 94 or 95. We have different genders, ethnicities, sizes, ages, shapes, etc. But, all of them are there with the common goal of being fit and healthy!
I’d prefer to just take pics of our current members, but you have to have permission, etc., so it’s easier to buy them from a stock photo company. But, most of these stock photos are usually of young and chiseled bodies.
You wouldn’t believe how long I had to spend sorting through that mess until I found some okay images to proceed with. I was like, “Where are all the pics of just regular people doing fitness, because that’s what I see in real life and at most gyms I’ve ever been to?“
It would seem as a society, we think that by looking at these hard, young, chiseled bodies that it would motivate us to want to exercise and join a gym….
But do these images make us feel more motivated to exercise and try new things? Or do they make us feel defeated or bad about ourselves, so we never even want to start?
The longer I’m in this career, the more I think that these images we’re bombarded with in fitness magazines, brochures, and the media, make us feel bad about ourselves or cause us to choose to participate in fitness activities we don’t even like to do, because we think it will make us look like the model demonstrating the exercises….
And, don’t forget that the bodies of these fitness models are airbrushed, so its not even an “actual body” we can strive for?
I also see a lot of fit pros saying and writing stuff like…
- Do you even look like you fit?
- Do this weight training workout to acutally “look” like you lift.
- Get a six pack by doing this Ab Routine.
Or, you might hear people say things while looking at someone else…
- They completed a marathon, really? They don’t look like a runner.
- They don’t look like someone who does yoga.
- They’re too skinny or little to be that strong.
- They don’t “look” like they workout.
I could go on and on here, but I think you get the point! FITspiration, health and fitness magazines, and pics on social media have us making judgements about how our own bodies should look by doing different forms of exercise and how other’s should look, too….
I’m embarressed to say that I’ve even had some of these thoughts and judgements about myself and others, too, due to my societal programming.
But, the more that I stay open minded and curious and dive into research about Body Positivity and Health at Every Size, I find myself AMAZED by what some women and men are doing for their fitness routines that don’t “look” like the people I see represented in magazines. In fact they may even be more fit, healthy, &/or stronger than your typical fitness models, even though “looks” would make us think differently.
So today, I ask you to drop any judgements about how you think certain exercise programs should make you look or what healthy even “looks” like”!
Instead, be curious about how these exercise programs make you feel…
- Does your body feel good after your done with your workout?
- Do you feel pain?
- Do you look forward to your exercise or dread it?
- Are you getting stronger, faster, more coordinated, or less winded?
If you’re only engaging in a certain type of exercise because you want to change the way your body looks or because it burns ______ amount of calories, and you’re using it to earn or burn food…..You are setting yourself up for burnout and failure! There are a lot of other ways to see progress in our health and fitness besides appearance, weight, and circumference measurements.
Health and Fitness are for EVERY body,
AND it will “look” different on every BODY!
Some people have more fat, some are more thin, and some put on muscle easier than others. Also, our age, nutrition choices, genetics, and gender have a lot of influence on how are bodies are going to react and change to exercise, too. We don’t have total control!
Homework For You:
Is there an exercise program or leisure activity you’re interested in trying, even though you feel you might not be good at it, it won’t change your body enough, or it won’t burn enough calories? DO IT! You may be pleasantly surprised at the benefit you recieve.
Honestly, I didn’t think I looked like most powerlifters, but I trained like one for 6 months and increased my technique in the BIG 3 Lifts and got a lot stronger.
I also don’t think I “look” like a dancer, but I signed up for dance classes this year and am having a blast learning something new, getting more flexible and graceful, while having fun with my friends.
Let me know in the comments below one new activity you’re going to give a try.
P.S. Do you live in San Diego, CA?
If so, join Alicia and I for The Body Love Workshop on April 29th, 2017 at 1 PM. We’ll be giving you tips and techniques on how to shift from body hatred to body neutrality! You’ll leave feeling more confident in your own body the way it is RIGHT NOW without having to start a new diet or exercise plan.
Get more info and reserve your spot
by clicking >> HERE <<