The fitness industry is wrought with lies.
Are these lies intentional? Generally not. Exercise science is still a fairly new field with very few proven facts, and the fitness industry attracts the more “extreme” minds among us; therefore, it’s quite easy to reinforce our beliefs without critically evaluating them. In my years of coaching, gym ownership, and massage therapy, there have been hundreds of lies from which I have had to protect my clients, but there is one overarching piece of misinformation that spawns many of these untruths.
The biggest lie you’ve been told about fitness is that you don’t matter.
Consider these three statements (all statements I have heard from clients, in some capacity, multiple times):
- “I really want to start working out, but I need to get in shape first so that I don’t embarrass myself.”
- “I hurt my hip every time I squat, but I can’t stop squatting because my trainer or training partners will judge me.”
- “I don’t want to start on a meal plan because I am afraid that I will fail.”
While all of these statements appear different in surface content, they all have one common theme: there is a box, and if I don’t fit into that box, then I am not worthy enough to make my own decisions.
What’s Your Fear?
Do you fear to start a workout regimen because you haven’t been active in over a decade? You are falling victim to a false narrative that only already-fit people deserve to prioritize their health and fitness.
Do you continue to injure yourself in the gym or make poor decisions because your surroundings or your ego tell you that you can’t change or modify your workouts? You are neglecting your right to a healthy, injury-free life. No matter what your ego, your trainers, or your friends say.
Do you refuse to start on a meal plan because you fear that you will fail? You are buying into the belief that every diet has to be extreme and that any personalization is “cheating.”
There is no reason that you can’t personalize your health and fitness regimen to prioritize your well-being.
Do you want to exercise or join a gym? Do it. Right now. Start as slow as you need to, and find people that support and understand your journey (anyone that doesn’t is probably a jerk).
Do you want to stay injury-free? Embrace the fact that modifying and scaling your workouts is an act of good judgment. Don’t let your ego, your friends, or your trainer (by the way, if you have a trainer that encourages you to do things that hurt you, find a new one) shame you out of keeping your body healthy.
Do you want to adopt a healthier diet? Use trial and error and find something that works for you. Remember that 100% adherence to a crash diet isn’t necessary or even helpful in improving your health. Take control and customize your nutrition around what makes you look, feel, and perform better.
You matter. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, start taking care of yourself. You’ll thank yourself for it later.