I’m totally unmotivated by fitness slogans that are wrapped in shame and misinformation. Fitness pros and influencers who regurgitate these kinda slogans under the guise of “motivation” need to read the room, because the masses are rejecting their dogma. We resist the idea that exercise is a necessary punishment for the reflection we see in the mirror. We know and believe that exercise isn’t just about whittling our body down to a certain shape and size so that it’s worthy of feeling seen, loved, and sexy. Like, can’t we simply workout to feel good? Can’t we workout ‘cause we wanna feel like badass super-heroes; no matter what our body looks like?
Predictably, fitness influencers are already doing the most by doling out advice on “How to get a Summer body” in “X” amount of time.” Apparently we’re supposed to morph into a particular aesthetic by June 21 if we dare show skin in the warmer months. I mean, without a “Baywatch babe” body, how dare we don a bikini for a day at the beach, wear a backless sundress for Sunday brunch, or shorts at the park? It’s like, if you’re not “in shape” you better hide your skin and suffer the heat! To me, this translates into fad diets, food deprivation, and staring incredulously at depressing numbers on the scale. But also, suffering fitness formats you despise – but grunt through anyway – because they’re guaranteed to deliver results in record time.
I also loathe the “no pain, no gain” mentality. Once again, exercise as punishment. It’s that misguided notion that you’ve gotta pummel your body mercilessly and into submission in order to be physically fit. Pain is not a motivator for me. In fact, it’s a signal that my body needs a break. Like maybe a massage, a long soak in epsom salts, and some sleep? Why can’t we promote “no pleasure, no gain”? ‘Cause I’d much rather chase pleasure than suffering. Thank god I’ve found my movement-love-jones in the form Pilates which I’ve been practicing for over 20 years. It’s challenging AF, but not painful. And it makes my body, mind, and spirit come alive in ways that feel pleasurable rather than punitive. So, I can easily commit to Pilates 4x/week and feel (my version of) physically fit in the process.
Now, in the Pilates profession, a major peeve of mine is the promise of “a long, lean dancers body”. That’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. I danced for 47yrs and never had a “long, lean, dancer’s body”! So you mean to tell me that, no matter what body type someone starts with, that Pilates will make them look like a dancer? Chile, I’ve been practicing Pilates for over 20yrs and I’m still waiting for that glorified aesthetic to manifest.
S.I.T. With Yourself in April
This month’s #soakedinthought journaling prompts are dedicated to body confidence and fitness as a lifestyle. As we move into Spring and the fitness industry ramps up its messaging about getting “in shape” for Summer, I hope you’ll sit with yourself to figure out what your body, mind, and spirit need to feel healthy, fit, and happy – without all the external voices.