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.

Your year

Your year

I'm going to repeat a few things I said last New Year; and probably every new year until I feel like y'all have understood where I'm coming from with this...

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, is 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 this ridiculous insistence that there are fixed times of the year when you should either neglect, or take care of, your body and your wellbeing. 

This Christmas was the first Christmas I didn't have a two-month festive binge. I chose to have one day outside my normal protocols, because, right now, my goals are more important to me than most other things. But I'm not really interested in what your choice of strategy was, because it's yours. It took me 18 months to lose my baby weight after having Charlie. And, so what? At the time, other things took precedence. This Christmas fell into a different category; I didn't want to sacrifice progress, I didn't want to wait until next year, I just wanted to get on with my shit. That's not the same for everyone. Some of you want to eat biscuits until May, and that's fine, too. January 1st is arbitrary bollocks, and putting pressure on yourself to do something against your own will, will certainly not result in enormous personal success.

I know this post isn't what a personal trainer should be writing to inspire you for the coming year. This might seem illogical, professionally speaking. But, 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. Set your sights on the things you want to achieve, they're the only things that matter.

I will not tout for business by feeding your insecurity. It's a new year, authentic 2019 - let's make the progress we want to make for the reasons we want, in the way that we want. Or not.

Resolutions and realities

Resolutions and realities

The persistence of memory

The persistence of memory