The fitness industry has an ongoing image problem as well as a complicated relationship with the truth or at a minimum it divorced itself from reality long ago. For generations it has served up advertising with images of lean, sculpted men and women to the masses with the underlying messaging that this is what true happiness and health look like.
The industry’s marketing machine stays away from words such as:
- Hard work
- Small steps
- Incremental change
because those truths do not sell as easily or as quickly as a washboard tummy.
The unintended consequences of inflaming the already staggering problems of eating disorders, body image issues, self-esteem/love, and mental health on our society have been profound.
Here’s the truth—it’s going to take time and you will have days you won’t want to exercise but somewhere on your journey there will come a point where you see the compounding effect of all the small, incremental changes and—you will smile.
We need to see the industry imagery for what it is and then look past it and don’t let it inform your wellness decisions or cause crippling anxiety which intensifies as you get nearer the door of the gym. I promise you there is no need for any of that because you will find that most health clubs are full of real people that provide a sense of community and warmth that make your time exercising fun.
There will be times when you want to give up, when you want a grandmotherly type to pat your hand but try to push on just a tiny bit more and keep your eye on the realistic goals that you are in charge of; after all, it is your journey. Let’s take the first step together by being gentler with ourselves today.