When “fitspiration” goes wrong – 5 prime examples
I teach fitness. So, I’m surrounded by people giving their opinion on these topics all day. All day. Where I work, on Facebook and other social media sites, in my email inbox. It’s starting to get really annoying. And you know why? Because everyone is in it for themselves. Oh, not to get the best results, but to look/feel/seem better than you!
I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately, and I’ve held my tongue. But when the BS hits a certain level, my tolerance stops. And then, I share my thoughts. Take it or leave it, but here’s what I think about some of these “fitspiration” quotes making the rounds right now.
1. “Stop wishing it were easier. Start wishing you were better.”
Um, so if I find something hard, or difficult, I’m a bad person? No way. There are many things in life that are hard. Their condition has nothing to do with your condition. You’re not a bad person, or a lazy person, or even a mediocre person, if you think something is hard. The only problem I see is if you let something that’s hard stop you from pursuing it. So instead, “Stop wishing it were easier, and just take action.” Action is what whoever said this was originally going for, I’m sure. So just get to it.
2. “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” – Kate Moss
This sentiment has been around for decades, but was recently popularized by supermodel Kate Moss. But there are a couple things to consider before quoting Kate Moss as a fitness role model:
- Kate Moss is genetically pre-disposed to her body.
- There’s no way to know if Kate Moss’ eating and exercise habits are healthy or sustainable.
Eating one piece of chocolate cake doesn’t doom you; eating pasta doesn’t ruin your figure. Your body is the sum total of your choices – both nutrition and exercise. Your body was not created at one moment in time. So instead, try saying, “Nothing tastes as good as making good choices. And that means moderation, because I can sustain that.” Not as catchy, but a damn sight more effective.
3. Anything along the lines of “Push past the pain.”
Please don’t. Pain is a signal that something is wrong. Learn the difference between “work” and “pain.” Lots of people, especially at the beginning of a new workout program, still have to learn the difference between a muscle exerting itself and a muscle that’s about to pull or tear. I encourage work. I also encourage stopping when there is pain… preferably before there is pain. So, instead, simply “Listen to your body.”
4. Anything in the “No Excuses” meme.
If you’re sick, tired, injured, see number 3.
5. Anything in the “What did you do today?” meme.
This goes for people posting their crazy workouts, such as taking three classes in a row, or posting pictures of heart rate monitors displaying calories burned. This is also sometimes related to #4.
Many of these people are not posting for fitspiration – they’re posting for recognition, for accolades – frankly, to show off. Be cautious about joining their ranks, and examine why you’re posting your stats. If it’s to self-motivate, great – but if it’s to feel superior to your peers or to fish for compliments, then it might be time to step away from the social sharing. It’s time to get back to lifting others up, rather than focusing solely on your own achievements. If fitspiration is meant to inspire, to encourage, then do that. If fitspiration means patting yourself on the back, let me out. Ask instead “How can I get you closer to your goals today?”
Which “fitspiration” quote gets under your skin? How could you turn it around to make it the inspiration it was meant to be? Leave a comment! And be sure to tell me what you think of these!