So a couple of weeks back I went to help conduct a wellness day for a business in Manchester. They asked us to come in and have one to ones with employees to help answer questions they had regarding nutrition, exercise and general health and fitness.
I must say I left the day feeling completely drained. It’s a huge part of my job to listen to people and understand their goals, worries and hesitations and if I’m honest it is one of my favourite parts of being a PT – pretty much being an agony aunt and helping people find a sense of happiness that they didn’t have before. However to be confronted with so many people, one after the other, who all had a lack of self appreciation and with the majority wanting the same outcome (an aesthetic change); it was very hard to leave without feeling drained dry.
It made me so sad that so many people, men and women, are not only not happy with their appearance but are so fixated on changing it in order to become happier.
The trouble is this is not how it works.
You see if you focus your goals on the aesthetics you will never be completely satisfied with the way you look, and happiness will keep being just outside of your reach.
If your goal is to lose weight, the moment you reach your desired number on the scale you will crave that little bit more of a loss or your focus might switch to getting rid of your cellulite or how much you hate your arms, your thighs, your bum…
Even if your goal is to gain mass you will keep craving more and more because you will still be comparing yourself to the people you see in the media and on social apps (who most likely have had help to look the way they do with either editing or surgery) and you will feel inadequate in comparison so will keep shifting your focus to changing elements of your appearance; even though you are chasing an unobtainable comparison.
Not only did it upset me that everyone that I spoke to wanted to alter an element (at least) of their appearance but so did the fact that SO many of them were still under the impression that:
Carbs are bad
Fats make you fat
Diet and Low fat are better for you
Lifting weights makes you ‘manly’
I really had to just shake myself to make sure I was actually awake. I honestly didn’t realise that so many people were still under the impression that these statements were true. Being in the industry now myself, and spending more time around people within the industry who know full well that these lies are just that – lies, whilst also following more credible people on social media instead of just fame hungry goblins, plus having changed my own clients understanding of these statements, I hadn’t realised that a huge portion of the general public are still consuming rubbish like this and actually believing they are true.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not blaming these people at all for still being under the spell of the media; it just woke me up a little I suppose. There is still so much work to be done in terms of peoples understanding of health and fitness and as someone in the industry who is trying to help people it can be hard to know where to begin to alter peoples perceptions of what it is to be fit and healthy.
One of my big aims is to help people fall in love with themselves and to help them admire, respect, understand and adore their bodies. This is unfortunately a very difficult task when all they have been fed is platefuls of self-hating salad, that they don’t enjoy but keep eating because they are told they have to in order to be ‘desirable‘ or ‘worthy’. And that’s the thing… we aren’t sold things on the premise of us being happier in the long run, we are sold them with the proposition that we will be deemed more desirable, more sexy, more beautiful, more worthy…. which, and excuse my French, is a load of twatting bollocks!
For one – your worth is not determined by your looks.
And two – your looks do not guarantee your happiness; or lack there of.
So attending this wellness day and talking to a variety of different, intelligent, talented, gorgeous individuals left me feeling incredibly sad because they had not only all been affected by the media’s ideals but had trusted that what they had been listening to was the truth.
So please, please, please, if you are still under the impression that
Carbs are bad for you
Fats make you fat
Diet and Low fat are better for you health wise
Lifting weights makes you ‘manly’
or any other similar statements are true, understand that they are not. They are marketing tools to help make you buy into a faddy world of unhappiness time and time again… after all its harder to sell the ‘magic self love shake‘ if everybody already loves themselves isn’t it…
- Carbs and fats are necessary for a healthy diet and have many benefits. Instead portion control is where most of the issues stem from; so don’t cut them out just be aware of how much you are consuming.
- Diet and Low fat are buzz words used to make processed food that has either been created with no nutritional value or has been stripped of most of its nutritional value (and has been replaced with sugar/rubbish to enhance its now depleted flavour) seem like beneficial additions to your daily diets when in fact nutritionally speaking you’d be better off having the non-diet, full fat versions but again just watching your portions. If you consume diet and low fat produce as well you are more likely to feel hungry again sooner than if you eat the non diet, full fat versions; so you could end up eating more by opting for the restrictive stuff.
- And lifting weights WILL NOT make you ‘manly’. Weight lifting has SO MANY benefits and I promise you, you will not look like a body builder unless this is your aim and you follow a very, very strict, particular regime to get you there.
The rubbish we have been being fed needs to now been seen for what it is. UTTER SHYTE. (again excuse my French) We need to start making room on our plates for the true stuff that is not only going to help us live healthier lives but happier ones too!
I know it might be difficult to know what to believe these days but I’d say start by asking yourself the following:
- Is this information from a credible source or is it just a marketing tool?
- Does it actually make sense, like real sense?
- Will it make me happy?
VARIETY. MODERATION. BALANCE.
RESTRICTION. BOREDOM. UNHAPPINESS.
If you are unsure about what you are being told reach out to someone you trust who has knowledge in the subject. Start to question the people you follow on social media and take note of whether they are endorsing something, so will be getting paid for pushing something towards you, or whether they are genuinely trying to educate. It’s time to take control of what you allow onto your plate. Stop consuming the bullshit and eat the stuff that’s good for you.
#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan