I’ve been to a lot of fitness classes in my life. I enjoy it and, as an instructor, it helps keep my moves fresh and my passion alive, plus it gives me an excuse to go on fitcations with my workout partner in crime (hi Emily!).
Lord knows I’m not perfect (what does counting down correctly mean?) so when I take a class I try my best to be absolutely engaged, enthused, and make sure my normal RBF stays away.
However, the #1 reason I won’t take your class again?
Shaming me into movement.
Listen, I get it.
In the fitness industry, you’ll hear a lot of talk about “sweating for the wedding” or “working on that summer body.” Framing a workout in that context is normal, but it’s also low hanging fruit.
Which begs the question: if I don’t actively work on my summer body, what happens when it’s summer? Do I cease to exist?
If I don’t work on my “tank top arms,” does that mean I’m not allowed to wear tank tops?
In my classes and movement space, we don’t workout to change how we look for two reasons:
- I believe in the set point theory and for a variety of factors (sleep, genetics, stress, etc) we have a weight range our bodies can comfortably sustain long-term. Are abs made in the kitchen? I suppose… but I’d rather live life and eat and workout intuitively then restrict myself down to a weight that makes me freaking miserable.
- Your body size and shape is none of my damn business!
So, Mr. Fitness Guru or Mrs. Instagram Fitspo model stop it with your loaded language.
Stop trying to get me to hold that plank longer, do one more push up, or use heavier weights with the threat that how I look might not be acceptable to the world.
Stop trying to motivate me through shame.
I can guarantee you that I think about how my body isn’t “good enough” regularly. I don’t need you to remind me. Your space should be a place of comfort, a source of pride, and a respite from a world that regularly tells us we aren’t enough.
Oh, and also?
How my body looks is none of your business.
What is your business?
My safety. My alignment. My breath to movement pattern. My balance. My spinal length. My form.
If you cue based on judgement… it’s time to get more creative.
If you cue based on shame… it’s time for you to explore other reasons why people love fitness.
You want me to work on my summer body?
Well, spoiler alert: it’s summer and I have a body. My summer body is happening whether we like it or not.
Thank you for attending my Ted Talk.