A few weeks ago, I did some polling on Instagram stories. I love doing that because you can often find out such sneaky things about people – like one of my favorite friends doesn’t like peanut butter filled pretzel bites? EXCUSE ME?!?
Anyway, I had just been having quite a few conversations with folks about their struggles around fitness and body image right now. Yes, “right now,” “in times like these,” etc. etc. etc. But, like, relevant. We’re in totally uncharted territory here.
Extended pandemic life + social injustice reckoning + election year = *mind blown emoji*
So I asked whether people felt like they had their fitness figured out. A full 67% said no.
I asked if people felt comfortable in their body right now. 60% said no.
I asked if people wanted those things, and 100% said yes. That one was resounding.
I asked if people even thought these things matter, and 97% of people said yes.
I had a hunch these would be the results I’d get. I got a pretty good number of responses too, so the pool of people was a pretty wide range. Main thing I took from this was that a lot of people want to feel better in their bodies, and that’s important to them.
It is important.
I dug a little further, asked a few more questions.
I asked if people felt like they knew what to do to figure out their fitness. 65% of people said no. That matched up pretty well with the first companion question.
I asked if people knew what could make them feel more comfortable in their bodies. This one was interesting – 57% said they did know, 43% said not really. Still somewhat close to the first companion question, but kind of a flip in intent/execution. Either way, not the best feeling in the world.
I asked one final question: Since we know we want these things, and we believe they matter, did people feel like they knew what’s stopping them from getting there for themselves? 77% of people said they did know what was stopping them. Only 23% weren’t sure.
Ohhhh goodness, that data was worth the whole series of polls. Again though, I had a hunch about how people might answer. I’d say it’s pretty in line with my experience with clients over the past decade or so – they usually have an idea of what’s stopping them from doing what it is they really want to do.
But there’s always a gap.
A gap between wanting and having. Wishing and creating. Knowing and doing. When people work with me, I step into that gap. Together, we create a bridge.
I got a few more detailed responses to that last question, too. There were some along the lines of I know I should eat better and move more, but there’s a practical element holding me back, as in my gym is closed. A few were more vulnerable than that, and where the heart of the data really is, and what I expect is actually the case for a lot of folks who responded but weren’t quite comfy sliding into my DMs:
“I know what to do, but I don’t see how I can change it.”
This one gut punches me every single time, and it’s way more prevalent than you might think. (If you do think this to yourself, trust, you’re not even close to alone.) It’s the ultimate gap. And while it’s never fully possible to know what someone’s life really looks like, this always prompts in my head visions of a full life, but a rigid one. Foggy, perhaps. Maybe even a challenging combination of being too in your own head, and not in your own head at all.
And, I mean, I have questions.
Do you know what to do? Are you sure? What are you seeing? What are you not seeing? If you’re stuck with no bridge, are you even sure you’re ready to undertake building it – as in, are you the one stopping yourself from making the changes you want to make?
Listen, fitness and body image are two really tough topics. Combined, even tougher. I’m not saying there are right or wrong answers to any of those questions, but I am saying that working through them is the only way to bridge the gap.
On the one hand, fitness seems simple. It’s been so dangerously dumbed down for decades to “eat less, move more,” and that does everyone who’s trying to feel better in their bodies, work toward more healthful behaviors and presence in their lives a disservice. It’s not simple, and at its heart, “eat less, move more” is fatphobic and ableist AF, and doesn’t even come close to addressing the root causes of why fitness is a struggle for people in the first place.
Which then connects and intertwines with why and how body image also seems deceptively simple these days. Just love yourself! Or worse, lose a little weight and look like you did in your 20s and then you’ll feel better about yourself. I’m sorry, no. Not simple. Body image as a concept overall is so rooted in societal conditioning based in racism, oppression, and keeping “good” women tightly controlled, I can hardly stand to write about it without pounding on the keys. To say we should be able to figure this shit out easily is absurd.
And yet – these are things that matter. Fitness matters. Feeling comfortable in our bodies matters. We want to figure them out.
So we have to do a better job of building stronger bridges.
If we don’t know what fitness or feeling comfortable in our bodies looks like, we have to find out. And even when we know, we have to find out more. Then, we can build a foundation on one side, create the right bridge for our purposes, and walk, or ride, or drive, or cartwheel across it to everything we see and desire on the other side.
That means figuring out your fitness, figuring out how you can feel more comfortable in your body, and moving through what’s stopping you is not just about buying a new program or signing up for a 30-day weight loss challenge. Where does that bridge take you? It’s not about doing whatever you’ve always done before or whatever your friend is doing. And it’s not about kidding yourself or being mean as hell to yourself or faking it till you make it while you’re actually a total wreck about your self-worth.
But most importantly, figuring this stuff out – especially “right now” – is not just about picking some execution steps with no critical thought or inner work. It’s about pausing, taking the opportunity to find some answers to all your unanswered questions. It’s about digging into your “I don’t knows,” and “I can’ts” and figuring out what’s behind and underneath them, then figuring out where to go from there – if anywhere at all.
Because what diet and fitness culture usually doesn’t tell you is that sometimes it has nothing to do with more knowledge or more execution. It has only to do with being.
Sometimes, being is changing.
Remember that, OK?
Fitness Unraveled is a place to be. And because that doesn’t always feel quite right just yet, it’s also a place to ask questions, and it can absolutely be a place to find answers. No matter what, it’s a place to build your foundation, and your bridge – to fitness that works for your life, and to feeling better in your body now, and always.
Wherever you fall on those survey questions, Fitness Unraveled is built to help you figure it out.
The eight spots available in the next group will be open for registration August 17. (And if you put yourself on this waitlist, the secret only you’ll be in on is early access to those spots a day early, on August 16, and last time half the spots were taken in the waitlist-only pre-sale.) Bridge-building will start August 31 and run through the end of 2020, four months.
Here’s to figuring it out.
If you have questions about figuring out fitness or feeling better in your body, I’m always here to help. Schedule a call directly below, totally free, anytime, and let’s talk about it. Check out this page for any questions you have about Fitness Unraveled. And feel free to email me too – where I’m the one who actually answers 🙂