Will there be a day that comes when our little boys and girls aren't fed images of unrealistic body types that they "should" look like?
On that day, will our children feel that what they look like is good enough for
a prosperous future?
On that day, will "fitness" all of a sudden just be "life"?
Will people enjoy moving their bodies the way they were designed to move because exercise is no longer a penance to pay for our bodies not fitting a particular mold?
Will people eat foods they enjoy without feeling like bad people?
Will we eat foods that make our insides happy because we know its good for us and makes us feel good? And not because they are "super" or "anti" or "detoxifying" or "good"?
On that day, will we stop judging other's character based on
how they're shaped?
what they're wearing?
the food on their plate?
the muscle mass on their body?
and instead based on what they are capable of?
what they've done for society?
how they treat others?
Will the $60 billion A YEAR in the United States that we spend on getting smaller now go to
giving people shelter?
making others happy?
Will this day come soon? Will it come today? Will it come tomorrow? Can it come in time for my kids' kids to grow up in a place where their bodies are good enough? How about their kids?
Let's. Start. Today.
People are still dying from dieting.
Why are we still doing this?
*my heart goes out to the family of Eloise Parry.
Have you ever wanted to be part of something big? Last month you were, and you didn’t even know it. Last month you helped the little guy (me) put the smack down on a very big guy.
Ever heard of Dove? Vaseline? Ben & Jerry’s?
They’re owned by one of the biggest guys – Unilever.
Unilever is a huge corporate conglomerate with billions of dollars and hundreds of company holdings worldwide. Last month they nearly added Disrupt Your Diet to that list, but not OUR Disrupt Your Diet – an alternative food campaign launched under the Unilever owned and operated “non-profit” website Collectively.org. THEIR "Disrupt Your Diet" featured things like cricket flour and worm tacos and they initiated a hashtag contest as the launch to their campaign. They used #disruptyourdiet.
Imagine my surprise when I was looking through #disruptyourdiet to find unusual food photos that I was pretty sure wasn’t you guys. One click and I was taken to Colletively.org and right there in black and white (yes, my same color scheme) I saw some foreign Disrupt Your Diet that I had never seen before.
W. T. F.
I came up with the idea for Disrupt Your Diet after being in the MGM Grand in June of 2014 - the same time Shakeology was having an annual conference. I couldn't even get in an elevator without hearing about how Shakeology was changing someone's life. I thought "Enough with these predatory MLM shake companies! I wonder what it would be like to start an enormous, contagious and exciting movement for the TRUTH behind diet, weight loss and fitness?"
I thought for a while about what I would call such a movement. I follow tech startups pretty closely and thought about the concept of disruption- about how the little man is figuring out ways to undermine the Big Guy and the new term generally used in these situations is "disrupt.” It clicked almost immediately "Disrupt Your Diet"! It works as a movement name AND as a personal motto - stop dieting, be better than that, and at the same time undermine the diet industry.
Of course, as a sensible business person, I would not just decide on a business name without doing my due diligence to make sure it didn't already belong to someone. I googled it, I checked the url availability and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All were wide open. I was the first person EVER to devise the phrase "Disrupt Your Diet"! That was a cool feeling - to be purely creative. The SEO was WIDE open- and so I jumped on it.
Disrupt Your Diet was launched by the end of June 2014 and we hit the ground running.
Fast forward to last month:
Disrupt Your Diet was beginning to make history- we had hit 5,000 followers organically, I was getting ready to release Body Positive Fitness Alliance and announce it to you all.... things could not have been going any better.
BUT … on March 17th when I clicked on #disruptyourdiet from Instagram and saw THEIR photos, THEIR tweets and THEIR website, my heart sank. Getting something stolen from you that you've worked so hard to build really hurts.
I started to have severe anxiety and get really scared.
1. "What if people think this is me?"
2. "What if someone googles 'Disrupt Your Diet' and is brought to this page which states certain things that don't resemble anything I stand for?"
3. "What if Body Positive Fitness Alliance launching on Sunday is a total flop because people google 'Disrupt Your Diet' and don't find me because of these guys?" (they had climbed to the #2 position on Google for days at a time throughout this entire ordeal).
4. "HOLY SHIT- one of their authors has posted a FAT SHAMING TWEET right underneath her announcement of their #disruptyourdiet launch.” - this one made me so scared for people who might find this looking for our good information- what a terrible experience that could've been for someone!
I immediately went to work.
The first thing I did was call up all of my close friends, ask them to #disruptyourdiet like crazy. The next thing I did was go on Disrupt Your Diet's Facebook page and announce that I was holding a hashtag contest of my own and wanted to see how you guys were being a #partofthesolution in the diet and fitness industry.
I would've never done this if it weren't for the immediate need to completely saturate social media with MY Disrupt Your Diet in order to lead people who were looking for ME to ME.
I even hired an SEO person – diverting money that was intended for Body Positive Fitness Alliance and Surf City Fit Club, Inc. to make sure that no avenue of opportunity was missed.
And guess what?
Through hard work and all of your efforts --- an amazing thing happened. In just a day or two, we went from being outnumbered by fake "Disrupt Your Diet" campaigners to having over 300 posts on IG and twitter #disruptyourdiet pointing to OUR cause and OUR brand!!
You guys were on fire, showing us really cool efforts you're making in your communities, online and in your personal lives to help make the fitness and diet industry a better, more positive place.
Not only were we winning in quantity, but the quality of these posts were incredible! I was so moved by everyone's stories and the huge springboard for the #partofthesolution hashtag as well! This warms my heart SO much and I have never felt more successful in the work I've done to spread the truth and science behind diet and fitness.
To this very moment, I am very confused as to why a huge blog company wouldn't have simply googled the term "Disrupt Your Diet" and noticed that I was using the term – that I'm out here, that it was mine, and that I was working hard to establish this brand! It's a brand that is helping people be better every single day and I have a voice! I wonder how they didn't see that?
After all, Collectively.org is not the small non-profit they claim to be. Their CEO is the VP of Global Marketing Projects for Unilever.
Surely they have the common sense to research before deciding on a name for their campaign, right?
Or maybe they did research. And maybe they discovered us but thought that their actions would go unnoticed - that the fact that they were piggybacking on my brand name to help them get their campaign off the ground would go undetected?
Or maybe, worst of all, they saw my blog post go viral three weeks before, loved my clever and catchy name, and decided they'd just use it as their own hoping that I wouldn’t have any power of recourse (I’m the little guy, after all.)
But wait, it gets better.
What they overlooked is that I know one of the best intellectual property attorneys in the world. And he was willing to help me.
(I may be the little guy, but I know some pretty big people.)
Enter the Cease and Desist.
The very next thing I did after initiating all of you, was let them know that I know who they are and what they’re doing and demanded that they stop stealing my trademarked brand and likeness and pull down everything related to Disrupt Your Diet and all use of #disruptyourdiet from their campaign, and REMOVE the fat shaming tweet.
Please GOD remove that fat shaming tweet!
They were slowly climbing up the Google search results at that point. Spot number 2 directly under my Disrupt Your Diet page. My nerves were shot, I was hardly sleeping, my sole focus was stopping this from happening.
They came back to us, denied responsibility for the infringement on my brand, denied responsibility for the horrific tweet OR the person who tweeted it even though just three tweets above it claimed that SHE started DISRUPT YOUR DIET via Collectively.org!
It might have been the worst week of my life. I just wanted this to be over.
Thanks to the support of the REAL Disrupt Your Diet community(you!), and our SEO expert, they must have known they were obviously not going to win this fight via social media because a week later, something crazy happened.
They did it. They removed everything!
They even deleted the fat shaming tweet!
We won because of ALL OF YOU! You showed the BIG MAN what a little woman can do! What we all can do if we stand together! Can you believe it?
This has been a crazy ridiculous month for our movement. First, my response to a big media company goes viral. Next, a big media company attempts to stomp all over me. And in both of these situations-
I CAME OUT ON TOP.
WE CAME OUT ON TOP!
I plan to start sleeping a little better now.
So where do things stand? I am out real money – money that was wasted because of the blatant indifference of this “non-profit”. We asked them to compensate us for the time, efforts and money spent – less even than the “pocket change” of a huge corporation like Unilever. Pennies!
They might as well have laughed at us.
Apparently because they did the right thing and removed their campaign SEVEN DAYS after we asked them to (and their search results appeared on Google for much longer than that under "Disrupt Your Diet" and pointed to their home page), they felt it unnecessary to take financial responsibility for forcing my hand in the marketing efforts made to avoid confusing my audience.
My IP attorney tells me to try to work something out with them – I listen, and they flip me off!
It just makes wonder how Unilever would feel if WE did not respect THEIR rights in THEIR brands?
Just a few short months ago Unilever was in the news because of their “Just Mayo” lawsuit as the demonizing corporation who sued a small startup over using the term “MAYO” for a vegan product. A term they do not even own! They had to pull the ludicrous suit over the backlash. If they can sue a company over the definition of a word, SURELY our claim is not unjustified.
For some reason I thought they would act reasonably, acknowledge their mistake. Maybe even be the good guy for a change!
Let me be clear. I was NEVER looking for a windfall. That’s not me – all I ever wanted was for them to just “do the right thing” and reimburse me for my losses as a result of their careless (or callous) disregard of my rights.
Is that too much to ask?
It is to Unilever.
But I am not defeated. We still triumphed. We are still winners. And this fight is NOT over.
Throughout this catastrophic ordeal we went nuts on our social media and SEO efforts in order to make sure people who were looking for us could find us. We spent thousands of dollars and man hours working behind the scenes to make sure that these people who so cavalierly trampled our rights could not deceive our audience.
To help us recoup some of the costs from this ordeal, we launched a few clever and cute tee shirts. If you like them or know of someone who might, we'd so appreciate the generosity as we work to get back to regular life.
In a perfect world, the big guys might one day get a lesson in what it means to stomp on the little guys.
In the meantime, it feels damn good to know that #teamdyd and all of you who are working to be a #partofthesolution are on the same team as me. I value every single one of you and your support.
It is not my style to tell any of you what to do... but I can tell you what we won't be doing any more – we won’t be buying Hellman's or Best Foods products anymore, we won't be buying Dove products anymore, and sadly, we won't be buying Ben & Jerry's ice cream anymore.
These guys have no regard for us, so I refuse to add to their profit margins.
Let's keep moving forward.
What is #fit2point0 about? How do we define it?
1. I choose to provide an environment where anyone from any walk of life can step foot in and move their bodies without worrying about what they look like while doing it.
2. I choose to eliminate any intimidating elements from this space which I provide. I understand the difference between intimidating and challenging.
3. I apply the fact that the two greatest motivators are the power of choice and FUN.
4. I have built a community free of egos and full of heart. I have taught my members that "fit" does not have a look. Anyone who walks in our doors is a member of our family. We celebrate each other's successes, we lift each other up when down and we don't stand for judgement.
5. I refrain from commenting about others' food choices because I understand that all food is good food and foods hold no moral value. I understand that the socioeconomic, environmental, familial, cultural, emotional and preferential reasons behind what someone might be eating are vast and more deeply rooted than any one person can begin to understand.
6. I live in the belief that health is equal parts mental, physical and emotional. Balance is the key to health and one third cannot thrive if another third is suffering.
7. I believe in praise and celebration of what one can do and not what one looks like. I understand the damage which is done to individuals when they are encouraged to take up less space. I understand that happiness does not increase or decrease based on one's size- no matter how much someone thinks it might.
My name is Michele Burmaster and I am #partofthesolution. Are YOU on board?
Are you REALLY on board? Do you agree 100% with every one of these ideals?
A great wave of change is coming to the fitness community. It involves the inclusion and health of ALL individuals without the need to subscribe to a culture, extremism, diet, method, trainer, schedule, workload or belief system.
It involves breaking down every single last barrier between the general public and their best possible selves. Their fittest selves.
We are taking back fitness. It should've never belonged to anyone to begin with. Fitness is a right, not a privilege.
Who is with me?
Are you on a mission to change the face of fitness?
The qualifying questionnaire asked me.
Why yes, yes I am!
I was super stoked when a friend referred me to an up-and-coming women's fitness magazine whose sole purpose they claim is to promote women's strength. They were looking to feature women who are "on a mission to change the face of fitness". I am gaining all kinds of strength and ALSO, I'm on a mission to change the face of fitness absolutely- I have a unique story to tell and a lot of fitness professionals agree. So I applied. They required some photographs, which I sent (professional sports action photos from a kettlebell meet), and took a lot of time and care in presenting my narrative to be clear, concise and attention-grabbing. I thought it would make a great story for a NEW fitness magazine.
After all, the face of fitness is surely changing by the day, so I presumed a new fitness magazine would be different than all the rest. Boy was I wrong.
About a week after I submitted my story about how I'm trying to change the face of fitness as we know it to be a more body-positive place where people from all walks of life are truly encouraged and motivated to pursue fitness, I received a response from the editor of the magazine. I was stoked! She was looking for more "quality" photos than what I'd submitted.
"Although images don't have to be professional, they should highlight your face, physique and sport as much as possible. Do you have any more surfing photos? Or even a kettlebell shot with a less busy background? Below is a link to some current athletes for inspiration. Again, your photos don't have to look exactly like this, but hopefully it will give you a sense of the types of images we publish for this particular section of the mag.".
I excitedly clicked the link.
I was brought to a page featuring seven similarly posed and dressed muscley females- every last one of them in nothing but a sports bra.
After clicking through their "stories", I realized that this wasn't something I was interested in participating in. I was taken aback by their ability to market this as something "different" and it being painfully the same as everything else.
Another part which was very misleading is that none of these ladies had particularly compelling stories. A lot of them have a pro card in physique related fitness sports, and I couldn't tell one from the other based on their stories presented. These were clearly half-assed "mini-profiles" of pretty bodies which were developed to be shared within these ladies' social networks to help drive traffic to this website/magazine. I'm sure each of them had a story to tell, and perhaps told it in the application process just like I did. But you wouldn't know that by reading this watered-down version which the magazine decided to publish.
I let it go and didn't respond.
Yesterday, I was contacted again. I was notified that they are on a strict deadline, "any chance we could get more pics?".
I mulled it over--- do I continue to ignore the request? Do I tell them how I really feel? We can't say who's fault it is that in the fitness industry, shirtless photos are status quo. I had strong feelings about it, though and decided it was time for me to be a part of the solution. After conferring with a few like minded close friends, I decided to formulate a response. Here is what I sent back:
Thank you so much for considering me! The reason I have yet to respond to your first offer and request for photos is that I've been spending a lot of time thinking on if this is something I wish to be a part of.
After having a look at the types of entries published, I've noticed not a single woman featured is wearing a shirt. I've also noticed that the write up about their interests leaves a lot to be desired with regards to why, exactly, they are even qualified to be "Women to Watch". There is no talk about what they're doing to further women and women's strength in the fitness industry. As a matter of fact, they all look and sound exactly the same.
The whole thing is rather lackluster.
I was hoping that your publication would've taken the time and effort to utilize this beat to fulfill the potential it truly has- to highlight women who are doing things and making waves in the industry by being unique and different from one another. All I see when I click on this link is women who all look painfully similar. And their writeups are so very generic. I will never remember any of these ladies' faces or names- and to me, that makes them the furthest thing from "Women to Watch". I don't doubt they are doing things which may be watch-worthy, but the way your publication has presented them makes it feel like these are just "Women to look at".
The fitness industry is changing at a rapid pace to more positive and balanced and to be on a more well rounded general heath theme (mental, physical and emotional). STRONG, to all of us on this end, means focusing on what we can DO and not what we look like. Strong is realizing that you cannot tell one's health simply by looking at them. Strong is challenging yourself and moving your body and gaining physical strength. Strong is looking in the mirror and loving your body for what it can do, regardless of what it looks like. And most importantly, strong is being a part of the solution to the disordered thinking, unrealistic expectations, harshness and extremeisms set forth by this industry.
As far as I'm concerned, if you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem. And the problem here is that the general public gains ZERO benefits from shirtless fitness professionals sporting six packs being highlighted as "changing the face of fitness" (they're presented here as doing the exact same thing that's been being done for years).
I can name at least twenty women who are heading the Fitness 2.0 (read: no starvation, no over training, no unrealistic expectations, and focusing on DOING strong things) reform of this industry. Publications focusing on the "old" way of doing things (read: highlighting women who are just pretty with muscles) are going to get left sorely behind. Check out the #takebackfitspo -something I played a role in starting. Look at the women who are dying to look up to fitness professionals who are keeping it real. There are TONS of us- and WE are changing the face of fitness.
So thanks again for the opportunity- but right now I'm looking for media exposure who will truly highlight the amazing things women like myself are doing to benefit this industry- and putting a shirt on, for a lot of us, is the first step.
Owner, Surf City Fit Club
#takebackfitspo has empowered women across the world to take pride in the things that they can DO. It has opened peoples' eyes to the unattainability, and often unhealthy, images and manipulation the current fitness industry feeds us.
Following the sending of this email, which I do not expect a response from but was very cathartic for me to compose, I thought "What if I had sent them 'the types of images we publish for this particular section of the mag'". So I called up a friend and asked if they'd like to take some photos of me doing STRONG things with my shirt off, just like this magazine asked for
I won't send them, but here are some I took for the purposes of this post. Fitness 2.0 is taking pride in what you can do. If you are a fitness professional, be a part of the solution by helping your clients set and achieve attainable goals which consider mental, emotional and physical health equilaterally.
I work my ass off to be a part of the solution- and I have a community of fitness professionals and clients globally who truly ARE changing the face of fitness behind me as I am behind them.
I wish I could send the magazine these types of photos and say "look what I can DO!".
If you have a platform to stand on, I hope you'll stand with me. If you have a platform to stand on, be a part of the solution. Let's stop destroying people with fitness and start lifting them up to be the best possible version of themselves that they can be.
All photo credits to Mary Crawford.
I cannot say THANK YOU enough to the overwhelmingly positive response this blog has gotten. It appears we are ALL ready for a change- and it's coming. Stay up-to-date on what #fit2point0 is doing to be a part of the solution by liking www.fb.com/fit2point0
More ways to be a #partofthesolution coming soon. Thank you times a million!
We're going to get right to the point here.
The most foundational thing you need to know is that weight loss only occurs when your body is burning more calories than it is eating- on average and over time.
1. Figure out how many calories your body is burning. Use a calculator similar to this one, my favorite.
After you input your statistics by turning the dials, two numbers will calculate at the top of the calculator. The top number is your Basal Metabolic Rate. This number is the amount of calories your body needs to function. This amount of calories keeps your organs living and doing their jobs and is how many calories your body will burn in a single day if you were in a coma.
The second number is your estimated total daily energy expenditure or your TDEE. This is the number of calories it is estimated your unique body burns in a single day while taking into account everything you told the calculator about your lifestyle.
2. Understand that if you eat the same amount of calories as your TDEE each day, you will maintain (no loss or gain) your bodyweight. If you eat MORE calories than your TDEE each day, you will gain weight. If you eat FEWER calories than your TDEE each day, you will lose weight. This is called a calorie deficit.
So it's that simple?
Yes. And no. That's how weight loss works, but there are a lot of other things to keep in mind.
1. A safe and healthy, sustainable calorie deficit is only 300-800 calories per day. That means that eating any less than ~800 calories per day below your TDEE could be unhealthy- physically and mentally. Things get a little tricky here because we tend to do the following:
a. underestimate how many calories we eat
b. overestimate our TDEE
2. Consistency is absolutely key in successful weight loss. It will do you no good if you maintain a consistent calorie deficit throughout the week and then eat all the things on Saturday. See why: Don't Eat All The Things on Saturday.
So I can eat ANYTHING, so long as I'm burning more calories than I eat, and I will lose weight?
However, it's possible that eating less nutrient dense foods could result in a sluggish state, which would actually lower your TDEE, so watch out for that as it would be counterproductive.
On the flip side, note that switching from 2500 calories of Oreos to 2500 calories of veggies and grilled chicken will not result in weight loss, either. See why: I Eat All The Greens and Lose None of The Weight.
What about eating small meals all day long... doesn't it speed up my metabolism (increase my TDEE)?
No. See why: Does How Often I'm Eating Matter?
But!! My trainer said.....
Yeah... that happens. See why: Your Trainer Actually Knows Very Little About Nutrition
But!! I read on the internet.....
I'm gonna let that one slide.
Okay now I'm freakin' overwhelmed. Where do I start?
Start at the beginning. Find out your TDEE. Track your food intake, make sure it's lower than your TDEE on average. If you eat over your TDEE, don't hate yourself for it. Give yourself a break sometimes. Eat the things you like. You can eat your favorite foods and still lose weight. Surround yourself with a support system- you will need them. Think critically about what you hear and read and know that it all, essentially comes down to the science.
You don't need to buy anything to lose weight.
Here's your Diet Industry Myth for the week- festively appropriate if I do say so myself:)
Want more info on why the idea of "toxins" in our bodies is a ridiculous concept and why detoxes are totally unnecessary to good health? Instead of reinventing the wheel on this one, I'm going to toss it over to my friend Science Babe who is covering this topic in her blog located here.
I recently took a casual, anonymous survey asking random individuals what the number one key to weight loss is. The results were not surprising. A LARGE percentage of individuals believed that the number one key to weight loss was switching to fresher foods from processed ones.
Although some people might lose initial water and sodium weight by switching to these types of foods from artificial foods, actual weight and fat loss will only occur if one creates a calorie deficit by burning more calories than they consume on average and over a period of time.
However, I can easily recommend this type of diet for its numerous health benefits- one of which being heightened energy levels which very well could result in a higher TDEE (total daily energy expenditure- your "calories burned in a day").
There is also the possibility that switching to these types of foods will naturally (without thought) result in lower overall calorie consumption due to the fact that one may feel more satiated from 200 calories of grilled chicken vs. 400 calories of french fries, as an example.
If an individual switches from eating 2500 calories of processed foods daily to eating 2500 calories of fresh foods daily and their TDEE does not increase, there will be no loss.
It's not our fault that we are misled about the way weight loss truly works, but we can do something about it by helping spread the truth.
At least once a week I will come across or be made aware of a trainer who is giving nutritional advice to their clients without any credibility, research to support their claims, or education in nutrition let alone a nutritional certification.
When someone feels that they either need to "lose weight", "get in shape" or both, they naturally tend to go and find a fitness program which they enjoy or that they feel will get them great results. It is not uncommon for a person who is looking for fitness to also desire guidance in their nutrition to help them get to their goals. In the public's eye, nutrition and fitness go hand in hand.
Unfortunately, on the professional side, that is not the case. When someone is certified to be a personal or group fitness trainer, their coursework is based in just that- providing effective and safe workouts for many types of people. Although the basic principle of thermodynamics (calories in vs. calories out for weight loss) may be discussed in a trainer's coursework, the amount of information provided is in no way intended to make the trainer a nutritional professional as well.
This misunderstanding on the public's side combined with the empowerment felt by many trainers is a dangerous mix. We've created a situation where a person who is only certified in body movement might very well be helping their clients develop harmful eating habits, poor general nutrition which may effect one's overall health and possible disordered eating habits without ever knowing it.
A gym in my neighborhood just yesterday posted on facebook that if you're ever feeling like you're "losing control" with your eating, to simply get naked and eat in front of the mirror. This advice coming from a fitness trainer with a client base of 200. 200 individuals who may or may not have a history of disordered eating, individuals who may or may not even give a crap about what they look like but may just be going to this trainer to get a great workout (hmmmm!), and individuals who-- most importantly--- TRUST this trainer to give them HEALTH related advice because we have been lead to believe, for some reason, that fitness trainers are educated in general health and nutrition practices.
Talk about a psychologically damaging statement. Eat naked in front of a mirror? Any certified mental health professional will tell you that a practice like that is THE OPPOSITE OF HEALTHY.
As a gym owner, my trainers are instructed to defer all nutrition related questions to me- the person with the background and education in weight loss related nutrition.
But guess what? My specialty is in weight loss. I, in no way, claim to be able to help a marathon runner develop a nutritional program to help them shave seconds off their PR.... I cannot help a bodybuilder develop a nutritional program to get the most out of their workouts resulting in efficient gains.... I cannot help someone with diabetes develop an eating plan which sustains their activity level and I cannot help a growing adolescent fuel themselves properly if they'd like to lose weight and keep growing healthily. Why? Because I know what I know and I'm not afraid to admit what I am not qualified to advise on.
Next time a trainer offers unsolicited nutritional advice, kindly tell them to keep their eyes on their own plate.
And if you're looking for the nutritional advice which will help you reach your personal goals---- seek out the right and qualified individual who can help you do so.
I sent this email out to all 550 individuals subscribed to my gym's email list this morning. I can only hope it resonates with some people and they can find it within themselves to relax and have a great time this holiday season.
We are officially two weeks out from Thanksgiving and definitely heading into the holiday season. I wanted this message to get to you before we got any closer to the holiday because I know what's about to happen. Are you ready for it? Here it is:
You do not have to feel guilty about enjoying yourself with your friends and family over the holiday season.
There. That's it. Simple as that.
You're thinking "okay, so where's the sales pitch about using your fitness program to burn off all the calories I eat so that I don't have to feel guilty?".
No. It doesn't work that way. I don't work that way.
I just really want you to know that in health, moderation is key. Balance is the key to mental, physical and emotional health. Restricting yourself, punishing yourself and feeling guilty for enjoying yourself is not conducive to your health- as much as other fitness professionals might try to make you feel like it is- it is NOT.
Restriction and guilt with regards to food leads to disordered eating habits.
I absolutely encourage people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. I also encourage and equip people to make food choices which coincide with their goals. I help individuals get incredible weight loss results. But I will never shame you for your food choices, I will never make you feel guilty about your lifestyle and I will always hold mental and emotional health with as high standards as I hold physical health. Keep in mind that you don't have to EAT ALL THE FOOD--- this is another extreme which also does not resemble moderation.
Your facebook news feed, pinterest and inbox are about to get flooded with "deals" and offers and promotions and "insights" from gyms and fitness professionals and the people who perpetuate their message(did you see this Halloween 'fitness' meme floating around?). They will try to make you feel guilty and unhealthy for enjoying yourself this holiday season. They will manipulate your emotions and attempt to get you to buy into one of their programs.
I once worked in a gym where they invited you to bring your Thanksgiving leftovers to trash in exchange for a Black Friday workout. How crazy is that? What a waste!
There's a reason why gyms are busy in January and attendance drops off dramatically by March. It's because the January rush is fueled by manipulated emotion and sustainable, realistic habits are not helped to form. Simple as that.
So this holiday season, starting right now, take a step back and look at the big picture. Keep your body moving for all-around general health. Enjoy some treats with your family without feeling guilty about it. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time for you to enjoy. If your goal is weight loss, having a few yummy treats is not going to negate your hard work. Chill the heck out and enjoy yourself.
Join us on Black Friday at 730am for a fun workout for people of all levels and ages. Bring your friends and family and let's celebrate our gratitude for our bodies which do so much for us on a daily basis.
As always, I am here for you if you have any questions.
Have an amazing holiday season. You deserve it.
PS. I talk a little more about the concept of moderation and mental and physical health in this 5 minute documentary called Strength Stories.
If you want to lose weight, you are entitled to know how to do it without being sold anything.