Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry
Theres so many lies in the fitness industry, so many, I don’t know where to begin, I’m also worried that once I start ranting about them, I won’t stop and might just bore you to tears…so I will limit this post to just 3 of the main ones that really get to me:
- Adverts – if you believe the hype you need to wake up . Theres a company currently selling a thick double belt that you wrap around your waist to hold in your fat and make you appear slimmer. FFS. The tightness of this belt will compress and disturb your breathing patterns, and you will use your neck muscles to breathe, creating pain and dysfunction in your neck and lower back..expect that to happen if you buy it. Expect, also, to lower your self esteem even further by thinking that you will be a better person by being slimmer. Accept yourself as you are. Then change anything you want to by moving your body, its designed for that, rather than paying just under £20 for a belt that wont help you out at all…however, if you find movement difficult because of your size, start with changing your brainiest, your thoughts. This post hasn’t got the scope to discuss that in depth, but it doesn’t have to be complex, it does though involve a lot of realisation and acceptance, which can be really tough to do, if you choose to see it that way, many of us choose the path of least resistance , making excuses, blaming others, finding comfort in eating, realising that theres no one else to blame expect ourselves is a tough and bitter pill to swallow. Byron Katies work on managing your thoughts and beliefs and having realisations that will rock your world are available for free on her website and many videos on You Tube plus her books are very helpful – Loving What Is could just change your life. Once you realise something though, accepting it and releasing it can be the hard lessons.There could be tears shed along the way, but remember, to climb the mountain and get to the summit, you have to earn it, train, research, accept truths that flip flops and shorts aren’t the things to wear and you have to invest in some real equipment, ask those who have already been there and done it, ask for help, take the bits that work, discard the rest…every journey to the summit starts with one step, and each step takes your further to your goal, those steps are the most important, don’t lose sight of them.
- Movement & Muscles. Its a shame that the industry touts pink small weights and shake weights (really…?) for women. Lift weights, you don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. Muscle burns fat, movement creates a better functioning skeletal frame and more stamina. This works its way into your life. Everyday tasks become easier, Walking becomes easier. Breathing becomes better. However – if you are a person with a desk bound job as many of us are, me included, I do a lot of writing, photo editing and research on my laptop, you are deluded (Im being polite) if you think you can just get up and move and function well. It doesn’t happen. If you’ve ben stretching tight hamstrings for months, why aren’t they stretched by now? If you’ve been stretching tight hip flexors for ever, why are they not stretched by now? If your lower back twinges when you stand up, why is that? If your feet roll inwards and your knees hurt, what can you do about it, do you really need orthotics, is there anything else you can do to work your foot muscles? What happens to your glutes when you sit, do they stretch, why is that, and why don’t they work when you stand up, what does their job instead? Is a herniated disc a cause…or a symptom? Is plantar fascia a cause…or a symptom? Why is having a tight toned ab section more important than having a functioning body that moves well so you can keep moving well with no pain well into your old age? Because tight toned abs sell dvds and make money. However..a tight toned muscular area doesn’t mean those muscles are working well. Form doesn’t equate to function . Being sold a toned ab fitness class doesn’t mean those abs doing their job. I’ve seen tight over worked neck muscles for dysfunctional core muscles. I’ve seen tight necks for poor foot mechanics. I’ve seen a class full of men and women doing sit ups so fast they are all using their necks to complete the move. This really gets me. Form is key. In every single rep you do. Unless you have a great reason as to why the 3rd, 4th or last rep isn’t as important as the first.The hardest thing is keeping awareness throughout each repetition.
- I cant think of a third…theres no many more..but, well, when I trained to be a Pilates instructor, I was so fortunate to have a wonderful tutor, Joanne Cobbe of J Pilates. I had a few wobbles on the course, I was unsure of my path and unsure if Pilates was the be all and end all, her advice was that this was ok, its normal to doubt, but to examine why and if I believed Pilates wasn’t for me, then to seek what was. Now, 7 years later, I still teach Pilates. However. It isn’t the be all and end all. It is for some, but so is Yoga, running, climbing, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, canoeing, hang gliding etc etc Finding what works for your body is key. If you do what you loathe you will end up cancelling sessions, turning up late, feeling demotivated and end up blaming yourself. Bootcamps are all the rage, I was fortunate to go to some workshops run by Paul Mort, I learned a ton of truths from him, and still do from his emails and Ive been a member in his monthly marketing group. he too bemoans the lies in the industry. I ran a bootcamp on a beach. Then i started to realise that getting up early to train wasn’t the right thing for some people whose sleep was being affected by hormonal imbalances. Theres calories in stress and sleep…but these wont sell dvd’s..should you get your sleep and stress sorted out first before signing up for a Bootcamp course. Sure you should. Will you? probably not, but if you go to a great bootcamp instructor who knows about hormone balance, nutrition and cycles of the body, you will learn that success comes from working from within. This may mean changing some things about your routine – black out blinds in the bedroom, no mobiles/laptop use an hour before bed, no caffeine after mid day(if that works for you, you may have to change that to 9am) reading a book before bed to help calm the mind, keeping em and paper by the side of the bed to write down thoughts when you wake up during the night, eating more fat and protein closer to bedtime if you regularly wake at 4am because blood sugar releases stress hormones, meditating, breathing exercises, going for daily 20 minute walks to de stress and calm the nervous system, practicing 5 slow deep breaths before eating to help improve digestion and calm the nervous system…..stuff like this can be taught at bootcamps, so if you are attending one that just shouts at you to do more sit ups and eat less food, move on…if its not something that you love or thats lasting, or that fits into your routine, you wont stick at it.
Conclusion – don’t believe the hype, stop doing stuff that doesn’t serve you on Facebook ( a great procrastinator!) listen to people who have been there and done that..got the scars and can help you move on, don’t follow the sheep – find what works for you, your metabolism is unique, what works for your mate (or what worked for you last year…) wont necessarily work for you, spend time on you, be kind, loving , laugh, play, have fun, enjoy life, but most of all, realise your body is a instrument, learn its tune, how to play it, be in harmony with it rather than against it, stop grabbing your spare tyre and hating it, this reinforces negative self talk, but massage it, learn to accept that its just the result of loving what you have eaten, once you accept yourself, change becomes easier, you work with it rather than against it.
Life is worth living. Go live it. With no excuses.