If you follow me across social media, you will already know that I am huge advocate for training both myself clients in a non-aesthetic focused way. It can take a little while for mindset to start to shift (thanks, diet culture) but when it does the results for both our physical and mental health can be incredible.
My own journey with exercise and battling diet culture is now in it’s 2nd decade (I'm 32 FYI ;-) ) and I am so pleased and encouraged that the online backlash against it grows stronger and stronger. My journey started when I began taking movement and exercise more seriously at 17 after I started playing netball at local county level. Frustratingly all the magazines I was reading and conversations I was having with my friends all led me to believe that exercising was only for weight loss, and for a few years this is what I truly believed. I knew exercise made me feel happier and gave me a confidence boost, but I didn’t equate exercise to anything more than a tool to lose weight.
As I entered my early 20’s, I began to enjoy running and joined a local running club. I soon realised that I was actually pretty good at it when my 5k and 10k times started to get noticeably quicker with consistent training. That was the turning point in how I approached exercise. Suddenly exercise became about improving fitness levels, running further in quicker times, lifting heavier than I had done it previous months- and crucially, it stopped becoming about how much I weighed. I certainly am not brimming with confidence about my body, particularly post child birth, but the way I viewed my fitness routine hasn’t ever changed since then.
Recently, I’ve managed to increase my Kettlebell swing weight to 24kg. This has taken TIME, consistency and a few failures along the way. My main point is not to "show off" how much I can lift (although dam right I'm proud of my progress and strength increase) but rather to show what can happen when mindset switches from aesthetics/fat loss focused training to training for progression with weight lifted, reps increased etc. Your "exercise" becomes training, and I've found progress speeds up.
Some of my clients absolutely are training for fat loss and that's totally cool, because it's THEIR journey and their decision about their body. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, and its so vital that personal journeys are respected. Sometimes I feel that clients who DO want to focus on their aesthetics, who are often doing so for a variety of reasons, often feel that they cant be open about that which is not fair.
Your body is a bloody incredible machine. It loves to move, to be strong and to support you in your daily life. It’s got you- love it right back.
PS- Fitpsos who six months ago were talking about fat loss/prep for holiday and are now preaching non-aesthetic based training….. please IGNORE/CANCEL them.