The Thing I Hate About the Fitness Industry
“Six Pack Abs Training Program”
“Work with me and you’ll shed 30 lbs on the keto diet”
“Lose weight in 30 days with this one-size-fits-all program”
Everyone wants someone to tell them how to work out.
Everyone wants someone to tell them what to eat.
Everyone wants someone to sell them the perfect program to achieve an aesthetic ideal that may not even be achievable.
You can’t blame trainers and nutritionists who fulfill the demand, because we all gotta eat, but… are one-size-fits-all nutrition and fitness programs really helping anyone? Shouldn’t trainers teach people an approach that allows for individuality and sets them up for success in the long run?
The problem is twofold. First, it lies with the populace. We are so focused on extrinsic advice on what to do for our health, that we don’t even think about listening to intrinsic advice. Why should you listen to Joe Schmo, the 20 year old trainer who just met you 30 minutes ago? What about listening to signals your body sends about fatigue, hunger, pain, nausea, sadness, and elation? What about a visceral reaction or “gut feeling” you have about something? What about closing your eyes for a few minutes and thinking about what feels right? What about listening to the only person that knows you inside and out, has been there for your entire life, and can gauge how you are responding to a stimulus both physically and mentally? (Hint: it’s you!)
The second part of the problem is that most trainers, nutritionists, doctors, and other health and fitness professionals aren’t focused on promoting sustainable, holistic, and personalized programs. Many trainers will tell you they have the “secret” or the best way to help you shred body fat because they want to sell you their program. However, just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for you. As an individual, you need to take responsibility for your health, and trust that your body knows what it needs if you tune in and listen. Getting healthy is not as simple as cutting your calories and doing a specific type of high-intensity workout. Stress load, hormone balance, sleep quantity, emotional state, and nutrition quality all need to be considered, just to name a few. Intensity of volume and physical training have to undulate depending on what’s going on in your life.
There is definitely value in having a trainer or a coach. Having someone support you, teach you skills, hold you accountable, and care about your training and well-being as much as you do is priceless. That being said… you should trust your own gut feeling over anyone else’s opinion, and your coach should respect that. If you know something isn’t right for you, speak up! Feel too tired to work out? Rest. Feel hungry before the “appropriate” time for your next meal? Eat. Feel overwhelmed or overly emotional? Maybe a walk or meditation is a better option than high-intensity training.
I can’t teach you exactly how to listen to yourself, because like I mentioned above, you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you! What I CAN do is challenge you to close your eyes for a few minutes a day to breathe and think about how you’re feeling. Be mindful of intrinsic cues your body sends you, and choose to be an active participant in your health. You are the best doctor you have, and if you’re always looking for answers externally, you will not only get a ton of conflicting solutions, but you may never find the right one for you.
If you are interested in setting up a holistic health consultation with me to address all of the components required for living healthy and fit, email email@example.com to schedule.