The fitness and weight loss industries are huge culprits of false advertising, preying on the consumers’ vulnerabilities, providing misinformation and distributing BS claims. People are lost, confused and overwhelmed when it comes to what they “should” do because we stay focused on size and weight vs. overall health. I’ve got some tips for you on how to feel good and not get sucked into the fitness and weight loss hype.
First, answer me this…
How many times have you set a goal to lose weight?
How many times have you attempted to achieve that goal?
How many diets have you been on? How many exercise programs have you tried?
How many pounds have you lost and gained? How many times have you been in and out “of shape”?
How many times did you tell yourself “this time I’m gonna lose the weight?” Or “this time it’s gonna work?” How many times have you felt like a failure when you gained the weight back?
How many times have you felt defeated by diets and exercise?
I’m going to assume most of your answers were more than 1. So many of us have been on the rollercoaster of weight loss and fitness for years, maybe even a lifetime and it’s down right depressing. It doesn’t have to be that way. We need to get rid of the notion that our weight is always a direct correlation to our health, attractiveness and success because it’s not. In fact trying to get control of your weight is illusive because so many pieces to that complicated puzzle are out of our hands. We keep chasing something that is designed to fail us (which is why the diet and weight loss industries are 60 billion rich). The diet world knows how to dangly that carrot and tempt you with the next latest and greatest diet, exercise plan, gimmick, and “research”. They want to confuse you, keep you feeling out of control and dependent on them and their products.
At my club I don’t sell any diet or weight loss propaganda. I feel as a fitness professional and coach my job is to empower my clients to be happy and healthy, not a certain size. I don’t want them riding that rollercoaster of weight loss any longer; I want them to experience feeling good inside and out!
Here are 10 things you can do to feel good and reject the diet BS!
1. Surrender. You must surrender and stop fighting your body. Look you aren’t going to look how you did when you were 20, 30, 40, etc. You aren’t that age anymore and guess what… your lifestyle is a whole lot different at every stage of life and your body will change accordingly. Give up the fight to fit what society thinks you should be.
2. Accept. Accept where you are in this moment. Your current body, your current health, your current lifestyle. You are where you are for a reason. Once you accept you can grow.
3. Be grateful. Whether you like your body or not, be thankful for it. It allows you to do so many amazing things. Hell your body may have provided protection for you at some point, I think you owe it a little gratitude.
4. Reflect. We all behave in ways we don’t like at times. Be honest with yourself. Reflect on how you are treating yourself and your body. Maybe you’ve been going through a rough time and have been using food to cope, this is not a time to hate on yourself, it’s a time to learn, forgive and be grateful for everything.
5. Simplify. You know how to live a healthy life. Keep it simple; make small changes that will last a lifetime. Resist the urge to jump on the next weight loss program bandwagon and just KISS (keep it simple silly)…find a form of exercise you enjoy, give yourself the opportunity to practice that exercise a few times a week, and learn to listen your body’s nutritional needs (you don’t need a meal plan).
6. Listen. Listen to your gut not the media. Your body wants to move, be fed, sleep, and be pain-free. If you listen carefully you will hear your body and mind telling you what is and IS NOT good for you mentally and physically.
7. Be Skeptical. Really I can lose 10lbs in 10 days? I can have a flat stomach in 30 days? Come on people you don’t need me to tell you it’s BS. While you don’t need a ripped body to be healthy, you aren’t gonna get one even with hard work in 10-30 days. Don’t let the diet, weight loss and fitness industries make you believe stupid shit, we are all smarter than that.
8. Prioritize. Figure out what is important to you and invest your time, money and energy into those areas. You can always tell what is important to someone by seeing where they spend their time, money and energy. And remember priorities will change with time.
9. Balance. Spending hours per day in the gym isn’t healthy (unless an event you are training for calls for that). When we are excessive in one area of our life, usually something is missing or a mess in another area. Yes there are times certain areas will demand more attention, but the key is to not neglect any areas.
10. Patience. Where you are today is a product of where we’ve been, so be patient with yourself as you work to improve your life. Changing behaviors, habits and mindsets takes time. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes. It’s a journey. Allow yourself the time to make and integrate small changes into your life.
The diet and weight loss industries want you to believe you need them to make you and your life better. They want you to believe there is something wrong with your body so they can help you fix it and ta-da your life is now prefect. Call bullshit on their claims and take your power back! You don’t have to be a certain size to be happy and healthy. You just have to take care of yourself inside and out, be honest with yourself and make choices that promote your mental and physical health.
Jessica Storch, MA is a boxing coach, personal trainer, health coach and owner of Knockout Women's Boxing Club in Westmont, IL. Her mission is to empower women to be their best through the sport of boxing. She promotes a health focused mentality and encourages women to let go of the diet mentality. Jessica believes weight loss doesn't equal health and works with women to support them in building healthy lifestyles and happy lives.