All tagged social justice

Thinking About Thinking (How to Examine What You Think, What You Know, and What You Think You Know)

Challenging our beliefs is one of the most pivotal practices in which we can engage, in fitness and in life, AND, it is not easy.

What does it mean to, “challenge your beliefs?” Quite simply, to consider you may be wrong. To acknowledge you are looking through a lens that may or may not be shared by those around you. To realize what you know is informed by your position or experience, and there are others out there. To wonder, “if this is true for me, but not true for another person, why and where exactly do our experiences differ? What common ground exists? Could I expand my perspective?”

A (cough) challenging practice, to be sure. What’s good for us doesn’t always feel good at every moment.

Why would you want to do it?

Stigma, shame, and disconnection all heavily contribute to negative health outcomes, for ourselves and others, for starters. All of those behaviors begin from the beliefs we hold, particularly, in the fitness industry, about which behaviors and bodies are acceptable, visible, and worthy of respect (and, by contrast and extension, which are unacceptable, invisible, and shame-worthy).

Put in fitness context specifically, every time you say you, "can't eat that," about your favorite food, for example, you're denying yourself pleasure and joy, making a judgment on what you think you deserve, and implying certain foods are meant for certain bodies (and those bodies only).

Sound like what you mean? Is that even accurate to what you intended to say? I didn't think so.

Why I Don't Believe in the, "No Excuses" Movement

When I decided to become a coach, I realized, first and foremost, this sort of trust was vital to the success of everyone involved: if I can't humble myself enough to listen—deeply and fully—or to understand that at any given moment you may be having an entirely different experience and perception of our interaction and/or environment than I do (and believe you about your experience), then am I really being of service?

Am I really helping you along with your goals?
Does this change when your goals are different from my goals?
Or when they're different from the goals other people have, or have had in the past?

Seems quite basic, when you put it that way, but I haven't always hit the mark, and I find time and again, as I both get to know coaches further and have hired some myself, we could all use work, here. Not being understood seems to be a common experience of the human condition, especially in fitness.

Why You're Hung Up on Your, "Summer Body"

During warmer weather in particular, we hear all about, "summer bodies," and, "getting ready," and all sorts of things implying that our bodies aren't enough as is, and, when we inevitably buy into it, we're often left with less money and more frustration than when we started, plus a heaping helping of shame.

Body image issues are logical: they don't come from nowhere, and nothing is wrong with you if you struggle to love your body.

(In fact, I'd argue that, "loving your body," isn't really the point, here; it's to think if your body less, so that you can be more of who you are, other than your body.)

And, the first step, for so so so many womxn I coach, is to recognize, while your body is certainly all yours and you can do whatever you choose with it (or you should be able to, anyway), perhaps (juuuust maybe), your thoughts on your body are not entirely your own.

If You're Tired of Trying to, "Love Your Flaws," You're Not Alone. There's More to This.

We won't be talking about, "loving your flaws," here, for quite a few reasons, but perhaps the most universal one?

I don't think that's a goal you really have, when we get down to it.

I don't think it would make you feel good to pick on some body part you've been told needs to be fixed, agonize in the mirror over it every morning to keep it top of mind all the time, only buy clothes that cover it up, and somehow be totally hype about it anyway.

It doesn't make sense.
Marketing to you that way is dishonest, IMO.

You Don't Owe Anyone Your Fitness or Your Health.

I don't believe anyone else owes me their fitness or their health.

Perhaps an unpopular opinion, considering my profession, but I believe you have every right to do whatever the fuck you want with your body, and no matter your choices, you're still worthy of love and respect.

Your worth is not tied to how hard you hustle and how much you shrink, whether that's in the gym or otherwise.