Friday, January 11, 2019
Models and those in the fitness industry can be very inspirational. As a personal trainer I look towards other leaders for inspiration and ideas regarding diet and exercise. It can all be a little overwhelming at times. It’s all well intentioned, pairing fitness and inspiration. Social media and mainstream media put fitspiration images in front of us everyday. Advertising and marketing campaigns want us to aspire to these images and a belief that this is ideal. Lose weight, look younger, be happier. Sure, these are all great aspirations, but these very images and beliefs can also be damaging and essentially be false advertising for a healthy lifestyle. It’s finally becoming more well known that these “ideals” are not helping people live a healthy lifestyle, neither physically nor mentally.
I came across an which was first posted about a year ago. I appreciated the studies that were mentioned, and I believe and hope the messages it carries are more wide spread and understood. It talks about how the whole fitspiration movement is backfiring. Yet, it is still extremely prevalent.
Just seeing fitspiration images can lead to feeling dissatisfied with ourselves. As the article mentions, it can promote depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. A scientific study doesn’t have to confirm that part for me. It will be to varying degrees, but I think it’s an automatic human reaction many people can relate to. It’s the way our brains are wired. We focus on what we lack in ourselves. It frustrates me when exercise becomes less about health and more about aesthetics. I understand it. I am guilty of it as well. We all want to look good in or out of our clothes.
When you look at athletes across a variety of sport in your community like amateur weight lifters, wrestlers, martial artists, shot put, bikers, the list goes on, any one who is not paid as a professional or competing at a high level (and even those who are), these people have a variety of body types. I’m generalizing here, but over all, these people are fit and you will see many body types. Overall, they may likely fall into the “normal” BMI but there isn’t just one body type.
I’m not disputing the science that says a waist circumference above 80 cm for women and 94 cm for men increases health risks. It is an important statistic that will indicate health risks. It just really bothers me when society places one body type on a pedestal.
Striving for healthier daily choices and habits should be something we think about first. There is my rant. I may tend to harp on the same topic. My friends can attest to that, but until fitness magazines and social consciousness changes to see there is beauty and strength in more than one body type, it will always be on my mind.
I believe there is beauty and fitness in more than just one mold. So enjoy your movement and appreciate your body!