Based in Frome, somerset, #fitMess is a blog by Joanna Beale. Her posts draw on her work as a personal trainer, as well as her own personal past experience of significant obesity.  Her general focus is overall wellness and body positivity.

On the brink

Don't worry at the title, I'm not about to lose it. On the brink of 2018, maybe? On the brink of significant change? On the brink of discovering some things, truths, that have evaded me for some time. 

Authenticity is something I've written about before; I guess it's one of my personal quests, to live a life as much in as authentic a way as possible. I'm not going to bullshit you, though, I've actually found it incredibly fucking difficult to do this at times. One of the problems I've encountered, I'm going to get off my chest right here and now in an effort to get things rolling in 2018. 

It's my job. Well, not really my job, per se, but the way I'm supposed to do it. Running a fitness business, you're meant to follow this seasonal advertising programme based on fearmongering and body-shaming. I'm meant to tell you how you need a 'beach body' (ewwww this makes me cringe), how you should lose those Christmas pounds, how a new year is ready for the new you... and in all honesty, I don't fucking want to. 

If you want to change shape or lose weight, do it because of your reasons, not because the kids have gone back to school or because an advert tells you that you've fucked up AGAIN this festive season. Fuck all that shit. I'll help you get fit if you want to get fit. I'll help you drop a few pounds if you want help with nutrition and strategy. But I'm absolutely fucking done with telling you that you SHOULD. I'm so disillusioned with the mixed messages that the fitness industry conveys and the time has come for me to endeavour to withdraw from the conflict I find in its hypocrisy. 

I've eaten and drunk a lot this Christmas.   I'm probably going to want to slither back in my jeans over the next few weeks. But is that my reason for living? No it's fucking not. It took me 18 months to lose my baby weight after having Charlie. And, so what? The minute you attach your self worth to the process of changing your body, is the moment you are running down a miserable path. If your entire happiness revolves around the (lack of) flesh surrounding your bones, you are missing a lot of life, a lot of love, a lot of experience. 

I know this post isn't what a personal trainer should be writing on New Year's Day. This might seem illogical, professionally speaking. Every day, I tell my clients I just want them to be well. If that means not losing weight, I'd rather they didn't. If that means resting rather than exercising, I'll send them home. I would rather my professional legacy was one of wellness and happiness. Anyone can teach the principles of fitness or nutrition once they've been learned, and I'm more than happy to do that. But I'm not going to bully or bullshit you into thinking that a 'beach body' is something you need, because it's not. You need a body that functions well into old age, that does the things you love doing, and that performs the tasks you ask of it. You need to look after your body, not find another thousand reasons to hate it. Don't hold both your mental and your physical health to ransom for some fucking peer pressure bullshit. Look inside yourself for your motivation, don't fall for a guilt trip. 

Today, I'm going to review all my advertising and social media messages accordingly. Never again will I tout for business by feeding your insecurity. It's a new year, authentic 2018 - let's make the progress we want to make for the reasons we want, in the way that we want. Or not.



Beauty, revisited

An open letter to Instagram