Fitness Marketing as it stands is based on judgement. What would Fitness Marketing based on compassion look like?
Like many fitness professionals, I am a member of many groups on Facebook. The most useful this far has been Dax Moy's Fitness Marketing Made Simple.
Recently Dax has been putting out challenges for the members of the group. I haven't really been active lately after dealing with both parents dying in a five week span, as well a major injury, but today I was completely inspired by one of Dax's posts.
At some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, this industry of ours has to grow up and start looking at people through the eyes of compassion rather than judgement.
At some point, this industry has to stop vilifying people who carry fat and making their lives ABOUT becoming thin and instead help people to become happy.
We would all like to think that thin = happy. But in reality, happiness has little to do with your size. I have been a miserable anorexic thin person, and a happier bigger person. My size tends to have little impact on how I feel, except when others judge me because of my size.
I have gained 20 pounds in the last four months. Some days, the only food I can stomach is comfort food. My parents always struggled with weight, so my comfort food is distinctly not healthy. But sometimes my psychological comfort is primary.
It seems ridiculous to me that in the 21st century we can't see that fat gain only makes people unhappy because of the judgement of others. Because of the stories we tell ourselves (because we've heard them from others) are those that say that because someone has more fat than someone else, they are somehow less worthy of happiness in their lives.
Even at my smallest, I am a curvy woman. As a personal trainer and pilates teacher, I have had people judge me immediately. Seriously, one troll on YouTube commented, "Why the fuck would I want to workout with a fat person?" And that is on a video where I am pretty slim!
At some point this industry of ours needs to remember that people aren't fat, they HAVE fat and that fat, just like muscle or bone, can be built up or broken down.
At some point, we need to make the goal of exercise, activity and eating clean about helping people to remember that regardless of weight, size, circumference or bodyfat percentage, their lives have meaning and value.
Of course, part of the problem is/was that I still feel/felt compelled to market based on ability to produce weight loss, fat loss, and tone in my clients. And in general, I am quite good at doing that for other people.
But in reality, my client focus is always on making my clients feel great. If you look at my client testimonials, most of them are about how my clients feel when they work with me. Better, stronger, less pain.
One thing's for sure...
That way we're doing it now isn't working for many.
So at some point we need to stop congratulating ourselves on perpetuating the myth of fatloss and start helping people remember their own value.
And that's all I got to say about that (in my best Forrest Gump Voice).
Moving forward, I will be compassionate with myself. I will love my body as it is, and appreciate how much better it feels and moves as I do more with my body and get stronger.
More importantly, I will approach my clients, readers, and everyone with the same compassion.
Let's get healthy, people! Let's feel better.
Looking better ain't all there is.