Physical fitness has been turned into a commodity. The Fitness Industry turned the natural human instinct of moving our body into something so complicated and difficult, that we no longer want to do it at all.
We no longer trust our ability to stay active without the Fitness Industry’s help. For example, if you wanted to learn to become a runner, the best thing you could do is to go outside and practice running. Over and over again until you got better at it. For most people those instructions would get the job done. And for free.
However, if you asked a gym trainer how to be a better runner you’d likely walk out with a training programme, a list of supplements to buy, a Fitbit, a discount voucher for Training Shoe World, and 18 different apps each to track different “elements of your training phases”. *massive eye roll*
Don’t misunderstand, I do know that some groups of people need to employ coaches. Athletes and professional gym-goers (CrossFit athletes, bodybuilders, models, etc.) do need professional coaching. Their particular situations mean every second or kilogram counts. But is that as important in your life? Or do you want to just get fitter and maybe a little healthier? If so, you don’t need a coach to help you do that. You just need a couple of pointers and to learn how to listen to your body again.
NB: Exercise in a gym is an option when finding ways to move your body. So if you already do and love it, don’t stop. This isn’t me telling you to cancel your membership or to never try out that type of exercise. You might absolutely love it, and that’s cool. My point is that you don’t have to enjoy gyms. So don’t get caught in the trap of pretending to love it because you feel like you should. Don’t be the like the people who pretend to enjoy their salad whilst they are blatantly envious of their partner’s burger. You’re an individual and are allowed to like or not like doing a thing, with no explanation required.
But here’s a thing that not many people will tell you… you don’t even have to be fit if you don’t want to. Culture’s Game has convinced us that to be a good citizen we must be fit, or at the very least trying to get fit. And that if we’re not we are a drain on society and do not care about our bodies. This is a lie born from religion, sexism, racism, and classism. You owe no one good health. You are no more worthy in a fit body than you are in an unfit one.
There absolutely have been many studies that correlate good health and longer lifespans with people who are more active, but ultimately the choice to move more is still yours. I move my body often because it makes me feel vibrant and strong, and it makes me fit for the life I want. But it’s up to you to decide the type of life future-you has? Is it active or sedentary? You don’t have to decide now, go through the worksheets and resources, and see how you feel about them.
Before moving on, check out this article for the complete(ish) history of fitness. And see if you need to have a quick recap on energy balance with this article if you need reminding why exercise for fat loss sucks.
And finally, remember that your body does not define your fitness, nor anything about your worth. It’s only now that gym bods are in demand. In the Game of Culture whether you are considered beautiful only depends on what era you were born in. If you were born in an era of scarcity then being chubby was in. But in our modern era of plenty, then status is shown by how thin you can make yourself. You don’t need to play that Game any more. You’re writing your own now.
Culture makes sure that you are never fit enough to win the Game. The Fitness Industry makes sure of that by constantly changing the definition of what being “fit” actually means. And they keep inventing more ‘technical‘ or more ‘fun’, or more ‘scientifically proven‘ ways of trying to achieving the elusive perfect fitness level. All of them are complete bollocks to people like you and I.
Remember, with Culture, you are never allowed to be enough. So stopped getting sucked into their Game. Focus on your own.
But what does fitness mean in your current Game? And are your current Rules helping you or do you need to change them to more resourceful ones? Download and complete the worksheet below to find out.
Culture’s rhetoric that working out is your duty can suck it. It’s not your duty, it’s your choice. And that not only means that you get to choose whether or not you want to exercise your body, it means if you do want to move more you get to choose how.
Get cracking through these resources and worksheets so that you can start to create your new rules for how you want your body to move:
Here are some extra resources so that you can help make movement a joy. Remember, not all of them will suit you. Give them a go and if you don’t enjoy them, then you never have to look at them again.
BE YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRAINER TEMPLATES:
The Anti-Fitness Project’s series to teach you how to write your own Fitness Industry style workouts.
- Instruction Book
- A beautiful example of warming up by JUST MOVING
- Workout Templates
- Video 1
- Video 2
- Video 3
- Video 4
- Video 5
- Stretching Routine
A few years ago, I let go of the idea that being fit and respecting my body meant that I had to punish myself within the rules as defined by the Fitness Industry. And I’ll tell you that moment was bloody joyous. Because for the first time I had choices and freedom.
I no longer had to work within tiny parameters which told me what my body should do. I finally realised that there was no right or wrong way to move my body, because it instinctively knew how to without the conscious involvement of my Human Brain.
My best piece of advice for you if you struggle with movement, is to put yourself back in the mindset of a child. Kids love to move. Can you remember when you did too? You know, before Culture forced you to do PE lessons!
Have a crack at writing your new Rules here:
WORKSHEET: Your New Rules