The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort to manipulate or even harm you, “fuck straight off” is a totally appropriate response.

Join me now, as we stare in shocked incredulity at the worst of the worst:

#1. Your Body is the Enemy

933923_571121262926864_47346953_n

What They Think They’re Saying:

“Don’t give up! You may think you’ve given all you have, but you have so much more! You can make it if you just grit your teeth and push!”

Why It’s Bullshit:

Getting mad at your own limbs sounds less like the behavior of an Olympian and more like the crazy-eyed hobo who lives behind my building’s dumpster.

It is absolutely true that, if your muscles finally reach the point of failure, an emotional response like fear or anger triggers the release of adrenaline, which can keep you going. It’s called the fight-or-flight response, and it’s been attributed to everything from moms lifting cars off kids to soldiers who refuse to lay down and die.

It’s also not something to fuck around with.

Pushing your body’s limits just because you want bigger biceps is sort of like setting your house on fire because you’re cold.

Central heating is for quitters! FITNESS!!

Central heating is for quitters! FITNESS!!

Routinely stressing your body’s physical capacity is called overtraining, and it’s a massive problem in the fitness industry. It is linked to everything from joint degeneration, ligament tears and bone spurs to depression and—no joke—post-traumatic stress disorder.

The fight-or-flight response only kicks in during moments of impending danger precisely because the response itself is potentially dangerous. It’s a calculated risk on the part of your own biochemistry: turn it up to 11 and risk the joint damage or become food for a cave bear. When invoking that kind of biochemical gambit becomes less of a do-or-die, last-ditch effort to survive and more of a Tuesday-at-the-gym-is-chest-day scenario, you’re inviting in a whole mess of future problems.

#2. You Should be Ashamed

994548_693959110620044_888829543_n

What They Think They’re Saying:

“Aren’t you tired of not being as pretty as you deserve? Well all it takes is perseverance to be everything you’ve ever wanted to be!”

Why It’s Bullshit:

First of all, speaking as the father of a little girl, fuck whoever made this.

This is an expertly lit, no doubt digitally enhanced image of a girl in her mid-twenties presented here as the definition of what a woman is allowed to be proud of; “until you are proud” seems to mean “until you have six-pack abs, perky, squeezable breasts and the terrible burden of finding size 0 jeans with a 34 inch inseam”. If there were a male equivalent of this photo, it would have to be Iron Man to really capture the shocking lack of realism. It’s the “don’t stop” part, however, that earns this photo its place on my shit list. The message here is that it’s excusable, nay, it is advisable that the ladies in the audience disregard whatever else they were doing, you know, like having some self-esteem, and do whatever it takes to be fuckable. If it was explicit that “don’t stop” meant “hire a professional lighting crew and a makeup artist and maybe a wizard” it would be one thing, but it’s not. “Don’t stop” just ends up meaning “nope, you’re not up to these heinously unrealistic standards yet; keep running, fatty!”

Oh, and speaking of not stopping . . .

#3. Fitness as Socially Acceptable Neurosis

1069874_537105859683152_1805500004_n

What They Think They’re Saying:

“Commitment is important! People who lack the ability to commit will always try to bring you down.”

Why It’s Bullshit:

So there’s this thing called anorexia nervosa. It’s kind of a big deal. As a matter of fact, it and other eating disorders collectively have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, killing 5%–10% of those afflicted within 10 years and a bone-chilling 18%-20% within 20 years. Oh, and it affects between 1% and 5% of women in the US … so, like I was saying, kind of a big deal.

But with better public education and awareness, it’s getting harder and harder to starve to death without anyone noticing—and, as it turns out, not wanting to be noticed is a key component in the anorexic’s psychological profile. As a result, with the kind of nuance and ingenuity that is horrifyingly common among the mentally ill, exercise anorexia, or hypergymnasia, was born.

It works just like anorexia and is caused by the same factors, only instead of restricting calories going in, hypergymnasiacs dramatically increase the calories going out. The benefit—if you can look at it from the self-abusive perspective of the afflicted—is that, instead of frequent, attention-grabbing trips to the bathroom, all they have to do is go exercise a lot! Oh man, easy! People LOVE exercise! Friends and family will just think they’re getting in shape, taking care of themselves, self-improving. The culturally accepted language associated with working out is moderately self-abusive anyway, so all the self-deprecation won’t raise any red flags and obsessing over exercise will blend right in to the normal cultural fabric of fitness.

And if someone does start to question the wisdom of a 10k run after CrossFit and two hot yoga classes? Well, the hypergymnasiac can just high five their fellow gym-goers and say, “I’m not obsessed, you’re just lazy!” … and, to a soundtrack of enthusiastic support, go right back to killing themselves.

So, no, obsession is not the same as dedication, and creating a vocabulary that makes it easier for the mentally ill to cloak their illness in normalcy is not doing anyone any favors.

#4. Disregarding Your Limits

988301_569725319733125_329711305_n

What They Think They’re Saying:

“Do what you have to do to get the job done. Don’t be afraid to show your struggle, only be afraid to fail.”

Why It’s Bullshit:

I can’t believe I have to write this next sentence but, here goes: crawling on the floor weeping while you puke all over yourself is not healthy.

Your body has limits. Those limits are there so that daily function—up to and including heavy manual labor—requires a relatively small amount of physical stress and sacrifice. This means that, if you get into a spontaneous bar fight with a group of neo-Nazis and must defeat them to protect the beautiful tattooed bartender with the dark secret—I’m not the only one who has that fantasy, right?—well, it means that you’re not going into action with a bunch of used-up joints. Your back may look like a gunnysack full of angry pythons, but that won’t mean squat (ha!) when you herniate a disk.

The trick is to know your limits. Pain is helpful in this regard. Of course, there’s pain and there’s pain, but part of being healthy is knowing the difference. Training so hard as to induce vomiting and uncontrollable sobbing is to slowly undermine the basic human judgement of what constitutes challenge versus what causes injury; It’s a fundamental component of self-control. Toddlers learn it when they figure out that they don’t need to cry over a stubbed toe, but that a broken arm is a big deal.

Basically what I’m saying is: don’t let your training routine reduce your level of self-awareness to what it was when you still wore footy pajamas.

#5 Strong is the New Buzzword for Manipulating Women’s Body Image

Photo 17-8-13 10 45 25 PM

What They Think They’re Saying:

“Beauty used to be about getting thin—but not anymore, ladies! We’re not after waifish waistlines, we’re after strength!”

Why It’s Bullshit:

Quick! What do all three of the women pictured above have in common? If you said, “They’re all skinny,” you’re exactly right!

The fitness industry—from gyms to clothing manufacturers—collectively produces more propaganda than North Korea, a lot of it just as crazy. This particular class of ads is almost comically absurd because what’s written on the picture directly contradicts the picture. It would be like if Oscar Meyer produced an ad saying “vegetables are awesome, eat those instead of hot dogs!” printed over images of freckled Norman Rockwell kids happily stuffing their faces with hot dogs. It shows just how little credit advertisers give the public: they assume that if they tell you what you’re looking at you won’t actually see what you’re looking at.

“But Kevin,” you might argue, “the women in those images have great muscle tone! They’re totally strong!” They certainly are. So is she:

Kristin Rhodes, folks . . .

Kristin Rhodes, folks . . .

And you’re not going to find her in a Nike ad, even though she’s a stone-cold badass who probably deadlifts the combined body weight of those other three ladies as a goddamn warm up.

Now, before I get bombarded with angry comments from skinny people, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being skinny. I’m also not suggesting that being skinny and strong are mutually exclusive. I’m only pointing out that strength only sells when it’s sexy—and, make no mistake, advertisers want very badly to make you feel like you are currently failing at both.

Strong isn’t really replacing skinny; being skinny is no longer enough. Now, ladies, you need to be skinny and ripped. It’s an additional layer of self-loathing  (perfectly suited for hypergymnasiacs), just in case people had started to get desensitized to the omnipresent and psychologically crippling display of corpse-thin women in the media.

And what’s with the Playboy cover poses? The one on the bottom is basically a picture of an ass. The young lady on the top right is either confused about how to wear pants or the ad was meant to double as a promotion for whoever did her impressively thorough bikini wax. According to these photos, all this notable strength that is the new standard of beauty is only useful for the exact same thing being skinny was: sex appeal. Not adventure or longevity, or even ability. Nope, just for sexy times.

So I guess “strong is the new skinny” is, in fact, a totally accurate statement, just not so much in an inspiring way as in “the gears of modern culture crushing young women’s dreams” kinda way.

#6 Fitness Assault!

972317_545184485541956_806468334_n

What They Think They’re Saying:

“The part of you that wants to give up is the weak, lazy part; dominate it with the strong, committed part and work your way to success!”

Why It’s Bullshit:

Please tell me I’m not the only person made terribly uncomfortable by this. I mean, doesn’t that strike anyone else as a little, well…rapey? I think it’s safe to say that, if your inner monologue during a workout even slightly resembles the script from a poorly translated hentai comic (no I will not include a link) there might have been a little mix up somewhere regarding this whole exercise thing.

If your body or your mind says “it hurts” or “I need to stop”—and I’m going to be as clear as I can about this—FOR FUCK’S SAKE, STOP. It isn’t even a joint health thing at this point, it’s just creepy.

I get that lots and lots of people enter a gym wanting to change: weight, BMI, strength, performance, whatever. Change is great. Change is healthy. The desire to change stems from the admirable ability to introspect and to see that, currently, we are limited in ways that we want not to be. If that desire to change, however, becomes a desire to change at all costs, you will be sorely disappointed with what you end up paying. Work out, have fun, get tired, fail occasionally, wake up sore and set your next goal. Whatever you do, just don’t do it like these poor suckers.

Addendum

It has come to my attention that the guy in the first picture is Rich Froning, a three-time CrossFit champion and a generally respected athlete. It’s not clear whether the text is directly attributed to him. I mean no personal offense to Rich, but I stand by my observation that the text is silly. You can line up respected athletes all day long saying that they “get angry when [they're] tired” and I will still say it’s silly.

859 thoughts on “The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

  1. So needed to hear this. I love Pinterest but it promotes a lot of negative body image for women, exactly how you pointed out in this post. Thank you for being awesome and for standing up for truth.

  2. I think you are spot on on 98% percent. I a a female, acupuncturist, massage therapist , personal trainer and been doing martial arts on and off for years. I agree with everything except its your mind that tends to be the problem. Its you ego that drives you. Its the ego that you conquer in your training. If you go in with ego you leave with injuries. Knowing what is driving anything you do is the first step in mastering yourself and your respect for your body The last print was somewhat right. Although, could have been worded many times over more eloquently. Perhaps, your mind gives up 10 minutes before you body does. Or quite your body and you mind follows. I will agree whole heartedly that arguments with the body or being angry at it is a losing battle. You have a RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY. Sometimes you need to have better communication, that is all.

  3. Pingback: 10 minutes later

  4. So I agree with the premise that these posters are “irresponsible”, none more so that #2. BUT #3!? How does someone look at that poster and feel the need to rant about anorexia nervosa, where does that line of thought come from in relation to that poster? or that an individual’s accusation of “obsession” must therefore mean that the accussee is indeed “over-doing-it”? I strongly believe that dedication is and should be an admirable trait for all people to have; whether that be in a hobby of theirs, or their business, or their education, and especially their health.

    • Clearly you have never had a loved one in your life affected by an eating disorder. Dedication IS admirable. Obsession is not. In fact, obsession is a disease and the two have nothing to do with each other.

    • Well Garrett, I can tell you because women look at those pictures, then look in a mirror and start making the comparisons and no normal woman that isn’t airbrushed and photo-ready like those women are will EVER measure up. Anorexia generally begins in the early teens and sometimes even younger. When the message is sent out to women especially our young girls, that this is what you need to look like to be “healthy” which women inherently know really means pretty, hot, sexy, popular or doable…then they attempt to achieve this by any and every means possible, up to and including so many that actually end up killing themselves. This happens when they have a psychologically skewed sense of themselves. Guess what gives them that skewed sense? Shit like those posters. Those girls don’t even look like that on any given day, they only look like that for photo shoots and or competition and they go through utter hell to look like that. Now I realize, you probably think these women are hot and indeed, they are but posting pictures of them as this is the “gold standard” ladies, is just totally the wrong message being sent out to our young girls and the fact, that you see nothing wrong with it, shows how out of touch with this reality most men are.

    • Hi Garrett.

      I reply as somebody who has struggled with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.
      First of all, this blog article made me so happy, and I agree 100% with everything written. The bottom line is that “obsession” is not healthy. “Dedication” is healthy, sure… unless you are “dedicated” to starving yourself, or “dedicated” to working out compulsively so that you burn thousands more calories daily than you ingest, because you are mentally ill.

      “Dedication” is a choice. You are dedicating your physical and mental energies to something that you are passionate about, like exercise. “Obsession” is not a choice. The very nature of “obsession” denotes lack of control… as if you’d like to stop exercising, sure, but you just can’t get off the treadmill. I’ve BEEN THERE. I know this obsessive, “excess-ercise” behaviour (excess-ercise is a term I learned in recovery). It is not something you choose. It is a sickness, a deadly serpent-voice in your head that will not let you stop, will not let you rest, will not let you eat. YOU want to, but obsession, or your eating disorder, or your mental illness, will not abide it. This is NOT HEALTHY. This “obsessive” behaviour is NOT the same thing as being “dedicated” to something positive; this behaviour will kill you.

      If you are “dedicated” to exercise because you are passionate about fitness and having a strong body that is capable of a multitude of physical achievements, then way to go you. But that should by no means be called “obsessive” behaviour. If your “dedication” starts to become “obsession,” then you need to look at where your motivation stems from. Is it about how your body looks? Is it about gaining a ripped physique to like or feel okay with yourself? If it is, then you need to dial it back. No amount of physical ripped-ness will fulfill you. I know this, because I’ve been there. What if you injure yourself or get hit by a car and can’t work out anymore? Does this mean you are a worthless sack of shit? No, it doesn’t. But “obsessive” exercising is only setting yourself up to feel this way; your self-esteem will surely suffer. People need to know that their value does not come from their ability to crank out reps or do prolonged cardio.. it is innate, it is there from birth, and our physical bodies do not indicate it. We need to stop putting value on our physical bodies, because so much of it is out of our control (we didn’t get to pre-select our bodies, faces, or genetic codes before we were born). It is the CHOICES that we make that truly affect us… or at least this is what I believe. I made the choice to write a lengthy blog comment-response.. fellow bloggers may think less of me, but I can’t control that. I can control promoting self-esteem and the TRUTH that You and I have value, just because we DO. Our bodies have nothing to do with it.

      • Thank you for writing down these lines. I couldn’t agree with you more and I feel like I wan’t to cry because it’s so important, so fucking important to never stop write, talk, think about your self worth being actually totally disconnected to your body. You have value, that’s it. Nothing more. And the most fucked up thing is: this is nothing no one ever talks about, it’s always what you do, how you look, whatever, never just: you are ok. Always and whatever you do. You have value. Thank you again.

      • Such a great distinction! Of course obsession is a totally out-of-control state. Makes me think of the term moderation – sometimes you need to moderate your enthusiasm to make sure you’re keeping everything well balanced. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or weak, or any of that other garbage. It means you understand yourself, and you’ve acquired wisdom. Absolutely agree with the truth that we have value simply because we do.

    • Obsession is by definition going too far. The dictionary defines it as “dominate or preoccupy thoughts; beset, trouble, or haunt persistently.” Dedication is of course admirable, but when one is over-dedicated, that is obsession. There’s a reason why OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder. And when obsession is combined with a healthy habit, like watching what you eat or hitting the gym hard, it leads to detrimental effects. That’s how you know the difference between dedication and obsession: Is your habit hurting you?

      Lots of athletes, I would imagine, are very close to this line of harmful obsession, so the message in #3 is necessary for fitness junkies to hear. I myself have been battling tendinitis for two months (for the second time this year) because I don’t rest enough. And I know that, and I keep training anyway. That’s not a good thing. It is NOT smart to show up in the gym or studio saying, “Well, I can’t really use this arm or do pull-ups, but I’m ready to train my upper body anyway.” I’m aware that overtraining is hurting my body and actually delaying my progress, and I still make the decision to push my body to the limit. That’s obsession. (And yes, I’m actively working on listening to my body about when to rest!) However, at least in my case I do it because I love what I do (aerial acrobatics), not to burn more calories or look a certain way. Regardless of reason, though, the main point here is that obsession causes injury.

    • Calling someone obsessed does not make that person obsessed. People get called obsessed simply for lifting weights on a regular basis, when in reality it’s just a part of their routine and helps them achieve their goals. Yes some people are obsessed with lifting or dieting, but it’s a minuscule percentage of people that get called obsessed for lifting and dieting.

  5. As female athlete who does NOT look like those women in the ads and mother of two daughters . . . . THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! It’s so refreshing to hear it from a man, too. Your wife must adore you.

  6. I’m so grateful to see a post like this from a guy. The fitness industry is perpetuating more body hatred than the fashion industry. The fashion industry can at least be written of as frivolous and narcissistic but the fitness industry is supposed to provide helpful healthful information and all it does is make people feel lousy and then compound it by blaming them for their inadequacies. I loved this because it is bullshit and deserves a fuck you so thanks for saying it!!!

  7. Pingback: What I’m Reading – September 11, 2013 – ASK Musings

  8. I’m grateful to read this and hoping so many see it, I am a Wellness Coach and Mindful movement guide (some call it yoga) and I have been focused for the last 6 years on “less is truly more”. My main focus is supporting people out of pain in their body from all the above…the over doing, the not listening, the to do list, the simple fact that we live in this world of “what we ought to be doing” instead of being REAL with what is for us! I’m grateful to have found one of the most amazing Yoga Therapy programs/ teachers to study with, she teaches what she calls pure movement, and it’s the most amazing, mind blowing way to unwind the spine and free the body and anyone can do it, seniors, those in wheel chairs, disabled, I feel blessed! And so excited to read this, may this awareness of “less is more” and listening to pain as a signal that something isn’t right and yes you should stop, slow down, and listen!
    We constantly blow thru so many yellow lights and next thing we know we are in the RED LIGHTS (PAIN)..I love gifting people awareness of those yellow lights so that they can enjoy living a life with more ease, more awareness and less pain. AND LESS THINKING THEY NEED TO BE SOMETHING THAT THEY ARE NOT and understand and be comfortable with who they are! Sending so much courage strength and love to you, keep sharing your truth!

  9. The girls in number 5, especially the black and white…doesn’t look “skinny”, she looks lean and strong – healthy. She has worked hard to get into that kind of shape and inspired many along the way. You Kevin Moore should be ashamed at your attempt to take anything away from these people.

    • Well, I’d say that all of those girls have worked incredibly hard for their bodies, dieted down to very low fat% and work hard in maintaining it. Some may even compete. The point I think is that when will “just strong” be enough? Why can’t I, a regular exercise loving young female at a healthy weight can’t be enough (I am for me)? Strong is the new skinny yeah, but does “strong” mean a lifestyle of strict dieting and meal prepping, fasted cardios, plyos and lifting and ffs… cheat meals twice a month? Isn’t for example a 27% body fat, 100kg deadlift or 10 chins enough?

    • Mate, you’ve missed his point rather spectacularly. He never said she was ‘skinny’ rather than ‘strong’. From the little evidence we have- an airbrushed photo- she appears to be both. So do the other two girls. The point was, strong does not necessitate skinny. You can be strong and large; in fact, it’s easier to do. But you could never draw that conclusion by looking at those photos, because all of those three girls are as skinny as you could be without negatively impacting on health and strength. Strong and healthy doesn’t have one body type.
      Let’s put it another way: If strong- ‘healthy’- is the desirable trait here, then surely the girl who wins the arm-wrestle is the one you’d find most attractive? My money’s on the chick lifting tyres.

    • He is not attacking the people in the pictures. He is attacking the fitness industry that is putting false messages out there. And he is right. First of all, the picture of the girl has been photoshopped, second, the girl doesn’t look strong, she looks fit, lean and yes, skinny. If that’s not skinny, who else is skinny nowadays?

  10. Dude, amen for writing this. It is so totally on par, for every single one of those posters! Our bodies are amazing machines capable of incredible things, including fixing what we screw up and it asks one thing when we are driving it, to listen to it and when it’s speaking to us and telling us to stop…we damn well better stop. That’s our internal governor trying to keep our dumb ass from going over the cliff…so we gotta listen up!

    Great job, thanks!

  11. Aggressive, but I can definitely empathize with your emotion and passion to the subject. I train young athletes as well as women in Bootcamps, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I push science versus fad, core versus abs. I have big bootcamp companies that have lost clients to me because their trainers have weekend courses, no education aside YouTube, and no consideration to the trade or their clients. Pushing HIIT training, Crossfit, or any flavour of the week, as long as you can have 20 people in your class to pay the rent, so screw attention to detail, or technique. I have a small group of trainer friends and we are a VERY small few who couldn’t agree more with your statements above, and the abdication of those posters just keeps making my job harder as a trainer. But I love what I do and I won’t stop, I’ll just have to continue educating my clients regardless of the constant trash out there. Keep preaching brother, and stay healthy my friend…

    Franco

  12. There’s alot of truth in this, but as a very sporty person workin out in that way, and having a physical Job. I believe its all about the people training you. Your only trained that way continously for a certain goal. Good trainers Will help you reach it when its reasonable. I can take this blog and give reason to almpictures, because taken out of their context(magazine papers commercials) they look awfull.
    I know the point that is made, which is fair, but the way its put here i have to disagree. Except the fact that sny form of anorexic is a serious problem. That is a fact that need more attention. But in stead of attacking the fitness and sport industries, attack the modelling world. Thats the presented skinny!! Thats what goals people set for them selves. Which are NOT reasonable.
    I workout insanely for fun. Its the mental chsllange to push your limits. Some people dive of a plane i work out. Dont judge people by what they do, and not eve how they are, accept who we are, and help those that need it.

  13. Kevin,
    Thank you for this post. I don’t feel alone and weird. I am a trainer too and I completely agree with you. I am tired of magazines and fad adds about how somebody should look and workout. They manipulate people with low self esteem and low self confidence. Somebody has to stop that madness and I hope there are more normal trainers like us that understand body’s and people’s needs.

  14. Great blog post,

    these pictures are a problem for a few reasons.

    1. Pictures like this widen the gap between the fit and the non-fit. It’s almost as if they say, “if you don’t look like this, get out of our gyms”.

    2. Somebody who isn’t comfortable in a fitness program may not be ready to see these images yet. Perceived fitness elitism is a real problem and it stops people from starting on their journey to fitness every day.

    3. They are usually posted by young teenage girls on tumblr who have no experience training clients or helping others embrace a life of fitness and health.

    4. 1% of the population look like the people in the photos. It is just as bad as the photoshopping done in glossy magazines. Most people just want to look like the best versions of themselves.

    5. They are only motivating to people who are already in great shape and are super fit. They would put the majority of personal training clients off.

    I hope these images stop soon. They are only encouraging the already fit and confident people but they are putting most people off.

    Love the blog post.

  15. Pingback: Endast den som ger upp förlorar.

  16. The guy is right you NEED! to listen to your body. The pain is only in your mind thinking is why my cousin currently has two fused disks in his back. Playing High school football he took a hit on the lower back in a dog pile and when he came out told his coach that he was really hurt and was given the “walk it off, it’s just pain” line from the coach. 19 years later he is still in chronic pain

  17. I enjoyed reading this article! It was shared by my aerial hoop instructor at Melbourne

    I may have pushed myself a little too hard exactly a week ago. The result: I’m in a bus reading this article, I’ve dislocated my right shoulder/arm and can’t drive to work! I intend to
    continue the exercises I did before my injury when I’ve recovered but I’ll definitely do so with a little more caution.

  18. Reblogged this on Awesome Åshild and commented:
    You have to read this post. It’s so nice (and about time) to hear this from a guy as well (cos I am sure there’s plenty of us girls already saying it), that there is truly something wrong with this world. Use your body wisely, keep it strong and healthy, don’t overdo it, don’t set unrealistic goals and don’t be stupid about it (and I think deep down inside, a lot of us know that they are – except the ill ones perhaps).

    You only have one body – look after it so you can have it for a very long time! Yes, I know I say Something Every Day, but I don’t say run a marathon every day or you need to train at least an hour for it to count. I say Something, and that something needs to be something active. Something that makes you feel good. Not something that breaks your mind or your body down. Mental and physical training should build you up, make you stronger, healthier and happier.

    Once you’ve read it, come back and leave me a comment, would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

    • So happy I read this. Completely agree with you that reading the perspective from a man made it interesting in a different light, and I appreciate hearing a man say these things. There is so much unnecessary “fitspiration, thinspiration” out there that in some ways I find that it demotivates me.

      We have these unachievable goals put out for us all of the time- where the real people at?!

      HERE!

      I push myself to do what I feel is right for my body.
      I listen to myself and I learn what I am capable of, and what I can achieve, but acknowledge that there is so much potential that I have not unlocked yet in the future.
      I feel myself getting stronger and healthier and then I see what I can do the following day, or maybe two days if I need a break.

      I want to get there and to be the best version of myself, but only if I got there in the best way for my body.

  19. Great read! It took me years to realize this, but it is so true. You don’t have to go against your body, in order to achieve your goals. You don’t have to exhaust yourself, in order to have results. You need to work smart! And truth is that the only motivation to achieve something, comes from within. Pictures with motivational quotes, can’t keep you going, if you lack the inner drive!

  20. The most inspiring image I have ever seen was about 10 years ago in a fitness magazine. It showed a rear view of a very overweight woman on an escalator with the caption “2005 (2 years from the current year) Walks the entire Appalachian trail.”

    The thought that no matter where you start from you can attain an impressive, fitness related goal has stayed with me since then. I just wish I could find a copy of that image somewhere.

  21. Pingback: The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos | lederr

  22. Pingback: THE 6 MOST SHOCKINGLY IRRESPONSIBLE “FITSPIRATION” PHOTOS by REEMBODY | ThatBluebirdGirl

  23. I will be reblogging this. I completely agree with Ashild’s comments. We should aim to do what WE PERSONALLY want to do to feel good about ourselves and that includes ignoring bullshit, manipulative propaganda like this. Everyone is an individual, it’s good to have aims and to inspire others (which many of the great blogs on WordPress do) but there is not a one size fits all approach so no-one should EVER try to make others feel bad about doing the best they can for themselves and what makes them happy. This sort of thing particularly hits people with low self-esteem to begin with (especially young people) and is potentially very damaging

  24. Reblogged this on Feel Good Challenges… and commented:
    This caught my eye – reblogged from AwesoneAshild. Anything that tries to make people feel inadequate and guilty is a no no in my book. So many youngsters, in particular, are influenced by images and sentiments like these and as the mother of two teenage daughters, one of whom has had, and is still struggling with an eating disorder, this sort of thing makes my blood boil!!

  25. Hi Garrett,

    I just wanted to say the 100% agree with everything written here. As someone who has been a dancer for 16 years and a teenager myself I see this in many of my dancing friends. These girls are becoming obsessed with having that picture perfect skinny body to the point where they won’t eat during an 9 hours rehearsal.
    I see them getting weaker, injured and extremely exhausted after just an hour in class. As someone who is on what many people would say the larger side for a dancer I am constantly getting the feeling that I am going to be put in the back for the way I look even though I am just as good as everyone else.
    The only thing which is keeping me from become obsessed with what I look like is that I am happy with how I look and I don’t want to change that. But for many out there this is not possible and they become obsessed with becoming skinnier.

  26. I really don’t like the way most fitspo is worded. I see a lot of recovering bulimics posting things like that on Instagram/their blogs & I can’t help but wonder if its all that good. Also (in relation to the very muscular female dead lifter), I agree that there is a hypocrisy behind the “strong is the new sexy” credo that basically only allows you to be one type of strong. God forbid you’re a female bodybuilder because “That’s nasty!”

  27. I read whole article and all comments. Many things came up in my mind. Nickname “Mix” wrote that ” Isn’t for example a 27% body fat, 100kg deadlift or 10 chins enough?” and “Why can’t I, a regular exercise loving young female at a healthy weight can’t be enough”. And my question is that, who are you trying to please? If you are happy with your body and your goals, then everything is okay, and you shouldn’t worry about anything else. People are taking too much stress about society, and society beauty limits. In “perfect world” everybody pleases everybody and there wouldn’t be “too fat” “too muscular” “too thin”. But that wouldn’t be perfect world.

    I am personal trainer my self and i am not trying to push every client through same mold. Different people have different goals. I have lots of overweight friends but i haven’t never given a lecture about healthier ways to live. They have heard same things from their doctor over and over. Spark to make change have to come from their own head, cause only then there can be change.

    Whole fitness thing is everywhere now. In my opinion the reason for that in my country (Finland) was new Bikini Fitness and Men’s physique competitive classes that came here. Now every second 18y old girl is writing own fitness blog and getting ready for competition. I think this is good and bad thing. It’s very good that people are finding new hobby/sports/lifestyle and are into it. But if you aren’t listening your body and don’t give rest to it, then bad things can come. But you can’t blame whole fitness for it. You can choose any thing and find stupid people from there. It doesn’t mean that whole fitness boom is bad thing.

    The vast majority of people drinks alcohol good amounts, and doesn’t do stupid things… and then there is people that shouldn’t drink even one, but they still do. Year after year. There is people that drives car reasonably… and then there is people that want’s to go full speed and doesn’t care what can happen. And the list goes on.

  28. Reblogged this on Foul Mouthed Foodie and commented:
    AMEN to this!
    I used to think that I had to punish myself to be fit or that I had to really kill it because I had to much to eat the day before. Your body is not something to be punished or pushed past what it was really meant for. A long and healthy life is far more important! Unrealistic images and goals do us all no good.

  29. Pingback: I couldn’t have said it better. | Smug Singleton

  30. Pingback: Can Fitspo Boards Backfire? | lifes little epiphanies...

  31. I loved reading this. Thank you.
    There is so much media designed to make women feel ashamed of their bodies that sometimes I stop seeing it. Sometimes I buy into it too. Not in a considered way, just it can get to you without you really realising. Reading your post made me think hang on a minute. What is going on in my head when images like the examples you gave show up in my Facebook feed.

  32. This is excellent! I actually just wrote a post about the danger of thinking that we all need to look like those in “fitspo” photos, so I can’t wait to share this post too! The one that really gets me is the obsession vs. dedication. You are right that there is a very fine line there, and I have met a handful of fitness bloggers who are actually “pro-ana” bloggers in disguise, and it makes me sick!

  33. This is fantastic!
    As a athlete and mother of several young athletes I appreciate nothing more than someone else who feels that a person does not need to be “skinny” to portray strength or beauty.
    Thank you!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s