Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Open letter to Fitness Trainers r.e. Holiday weightloss pressure:

Dear Fitness trainers,

Let me start by saying that I have tremendous respect for your dedication to helping people get and stay fit; having worked in the fitness industry for over 20 years myself, I know the hard work and discipline that goes into helping others achieve the results they seek.

That said, I find myself becoming more and more disillusioned by how our society tends to confuse LOOKING fit with actually BEING fit. More and more people are focusing on the esthetics of their bodies instead of the mechanics of it and are forgetting how important it is to be healthy from the inside out.

I’m writing this letter because of how FRUSTRATED I have found it to go to my gym during this holiday season. It feels as if every workout comes with a free serving of guilt and fear. While it’s true that people tend to overindulge during the festivities, and there are many people who will feel the need to eat less and workout more as of January 1st, I think it’s REALLY important that you understand that there are also a lot of people who don’t want to be reminded of every extra cookie they ate or glass of wine they drank.

I suppose I’m a little sensitive about this issue because of my history with food and eating disorders, but it’s taken me years to get to a place where I workout out because it FEELS good and because I like knowing that I’m doing something GOOD for my body and not because I want to fit into a bikini by Spring break. I know I am not alone in this. During a spinning class last week, I was given no choice but to hear about how many cookies I was burning off per song and how many glasses of wine I was “earning” per workout. The woman on the bike next to me said, “Great, I WAS feeling I just feel guilty.” I also don’t want to be told that if I work hard, I’ll get the 6 pack abs I want. Truth be told, I’ve had the perfectly sculpted physique and watched my body fat whittle away to almost nothing and I felt like crap. My goal these days to be HEALTHY and STRONG and I truly believe that THAT should be what we’re taught at the gym.

So please Mr/Ms Trainer, don’t tell me that we’re going to work extra hard to repent for enjoying the holidays or assume that I want to lose weight even if I’m a little softer and rounder than I could be and PLEASE don’t be offended at what I’ve written. We’ve become so caught up in the fit vs fat battle, that it’s become difficult to mention a fabulous meal we’ve eaten, without feeling the need to apologize for its calories and that’s a shame.

Different people of different ages, sizes and fitness levels join gyms everyday and we need to make sure that they are getting the healthiest messages possible. It’s all about progress and not perfection. While some people find diet talk motivating, I bet there are many more who wish it would just go away.

Let’s put the HEALTH back into “Health Clubs”!


10 Responses to 'Open letter to Fitness Trainers r.e. Holiday weightloss pressure:'

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  1. myiejourney said,

    Excellent post! And probably explains a lot as to why I’ve never been able to stick to a gym membership. I go for a month and then stop. I hope as I’m becoming more aware of rejecting the ‘diet mentality’ around me I will be able to look at exercise with a positive instead of negative association!

  2. fitvsfiction said,

    Thanks for your comment!
    NOBODY she’d feel too intimidated to go to the gym…it should be a positive welcoming experience for everyone. It would be amazing to see the focus switch from HARD Bodies to Healthy ones.

  3. ❤ you Marci! So, so true.

  4. What an important message to share! This business of “earning” the right to eat, or being “guilt-tripped” for eating is ridiculous. As you say, being healthy is all that matters! Well done!

    • fitvsfiction said,

      Thanks for your comment Jennifer!It is encouraging to see I’m not alone in the way I feel.

  5. marci warhaft said,

    …..or maybe there are members like myself that appreciate this type of encouragement from our trainers. Take a chill pill and stop hanging onto every word that comes out of the trainers mouth. is your ego so out of control that every time you hear the word fitness you have to prove your self worth and then tweet about it. Just because you exercised poor judgement at one time in your life don,t mean everyone else lacks common sense. You must be one stressed out lady. Oh yes and “don,t be offended by what i have written” 😉

    • fitvsfiction said,

      While I appreciate feedback and think there’s often something to learn from the good and the bad..I feel that I have a right to share my feelings on my blog…I have a hard time understanding how someone can criticize another person’s beliefs when they don’t feel strongly enough to stand by their own and hide behind anonymity.

      • myiejourney said,

        I wonder if it was your Spin instructor that made that comment? Lol. They obviously don’t know the first thing about having an eating disorder and how it affects more people than one would think. It’s not like one makes a conscious decision to have an eating disorder. It’s not about ‘bad judgement’. It’s about the emotional difficulties of learning to live in a world that society has decided should be valued by number of calories, diet foods and an unrealistic body image. It’s not just about our own ‘decisions’ in the past, but for the future of our kids. What message message are we sending if we drill into our future generation that they should live a life of guilt that has to be ‘worked off’ on the treadmill because we can’t just enjoy eating a cupcake.

        I’m curious why that person is following your tweets if they don’t agree with your viewpoint. And what a coward to not say who they are. They must not really believe in what they are saying if they are hiding who they are. I’d bet money that they have an eating disorder and don’t even know it.

        Please keep blogging! You give inspiration to work through this and get healthy! I’m glad I found you! 🙂

  6. fitvsfiction said,

    Thank You!
    Means a LOT!

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