Body Positivity and Fitness

My background is as a personal trainer and fitness coach; in fact many of you have met me through coming to my classes.

The fitness world is a competitive place, and many people feel like they need to look the part in order to take part.

I’ve been exercising and going to gyms since i was a child, and I definitely fell into the trap of moving to change my body. In fact, go into a gym or studio and this is actively encouraged!

Perhaps there is not as much talk of calories, or ‘burn it to earn it’ mentality but diet mentality is sneaky and subtle, and it is surprising if you don’t find a fitness professional who is not cutting out or restricting certain food groups, or does not go without a rest day.

As clients, we look up to those people and want to be like them. Want to look like them. Truth is, even the trainers who advertise themselves as not encouraging diets, are still applauding clients on weight loss efforts, teaching them how to use My fitness pal and advising they cut out gluten and sugar.

Any way you slice it, there’s a bunch of fat phobia in this fitness cake.

Changing your body will not help you to accept it. It will not boost your body image.
Loving and embracing your body comes from getting in touch with what’s inside.

There is so much support for how exercise can help mental and physical health, but fitness is now synonymous with gyms and weight loss.
Exercise is movement and movement can range from walking, yoga, stretching or playing a sport.

As a Body-Positive trainer I do not set weight loss goals with clients; we set fitness goals or no goals at all (shock horror!)
Being a body positive trainer means helping people of all abilities and shapes to move their bodies in a way that makes them feel good. That’s it.

That can be moving safely with an injury, before or after an injury, to help them with a physical challenge they have coming up or literally because they want to get moving an they don’t know how.

Many people don’t exercise because they feel ashamed of their bodies, their fitness levels or they just don’t know where toStart. Maybe you are reading this and think that you’ve had enough of exercising for punishment, but you don’t know how to change.

As a HAES friendly coach I meet the client where they are. I do not claim to know their body better than they do, and I’m not there to judge what they believe are ‘failures’
At the end ofthe day, movement is another way to care for yourself. It is there to make you feel good! It’s fun. It’s empowering. That’s the whole point. If it is none of those things right now, maybe switch up the movement you’re doing or think about finding a space where you can exercise without hearing only weight loss promoting comments, or whatever it is you find triggering.

Because once you realise the powerful and life-enhancing benefits of exercise, you are more likely to make it sustainable – regardless of weight outcomes.