I went to join a gym…..and this is what happened!
Last month, I took myself to a new gym to enquire about joining.
I persuaded the guy who was going to show me around the club, to let me have a session in the gym first so I could see what I thought.
Fortunately he said I could so I spent an hour in there on the treadmill and the rowing machine.
It was, I must admit a ‘bit’ intimidating to try somewhere new but after 5 minutes I felt fine. I was in my stride on the treadmill and enjoying my run. After my usual distance I tried the rowing machine and made the classic mistake of ‘going at it too hard’.... all because I saw a sign that urged me to see how fast I could row 500 metres! D’Oh! My old instinct, to REALLY push myself clicked in and before I knew it, I was puffing away. Then I realised what I was doing, chuckled to myself and reigned myself in!
So far so good! I then went downstairs to meet the membership guy.....who asked me how I got on in the gym and proceeded to talk to me about the advantage of the new treadmill over the old ones, because
“they burn 70% more calories!”
I looked at him and just managed to hold my tongue.
In that moment he had TOTALLY put me off.
Then he carried on, didn’t ask me about why I wanted to join, but gave me lots of info about things I wasn’t really interested in.
Eventually, he asked me what option I wanted to go for. I replied I wouldn’t be joining today.
”Can I ask what is holding you back?” He enquired.
I hesitated, and I thought to myself, ‘shall I go there or not……?!’
“To be totally honest” I said “it’s your focus on calorie burning. I’m not remotely interested in how many calories whatever exercise burns. I exercise because I love to move my body and I’ve had a lifetime of dieting, so I don’t really care about how many calories something burns off.”
He looked a bit stunned. Poor chap! So we chatted further. He said that most people that join a gym want to burn as many calories as possible!
I asked him if he’d heard of Body Positivity and ‘Health at every size’. I explained that there are loads of women that don’t want to exercise to lose weight and that if he’d asked me, he would have known that was not my aim.
I told him about a woman on my Closed FaceBook group who won some free personal training sessions but was upset by the automatic weight focus of her instructor. The total assumption that she was there to lose weight, even when she’d said repeatedly that wasn’t her goal.
In the end, we had a good conversation. He told me about a man who lost XX stones under his supervision and how he felt pride to be a part of his ‘success’. He felt ‘It made him happier and made his life better.’ So, I explained more about ‘Health at Every size’, that it isn’t anti weight loss, that it’s about focusing on health and wellbeing WITHOUT trying to lose weight.
It’s the FOCUS on weight loss that messes us up!
It sends us into dieting and restricting food, which causes a whole host of other problems. My work involves helping people understand WHY they eat in the way they do and make positive changes, INCLUDING exercising to feel good, NOT for weight loss.
He apologised for the assumption and said that in his industry ‘everyone aspires to lose weight’. But, he also talked about the impact of social media telling people they can achieve unattainable bodies, so he had some insight into that!
So we reached some common ground. I hope we did. Personally, I felt proud of myself, because the easy thing to do would have been to say nothing and go home feeling annoyed. But I didn’t. I explained my perspective, and we had a conversation.
I still haven’t joined though! xx
Hi! I’m Lisa Beasley (AKA My Body Positive) I help women stop dieting because I know they don't work long term and actually make you fatter than when you started!!
I work with women, to help them improve their relationship with food and themselves. Which results in ‘Food Freedom’- no more guilt for eating things you think you shouldn’t and a feeling of peace around food and body image.
My philosophy is based on a non-diet, Health at every size approach.
I offer Bristol based workshops in person & online AND 1-2-1 coaching in person in Bristol (and anywhere else across the globe, via Zoom)
My next workshops start in January 2019....both ONLINE and in person in Bristol, UK and I currently have space for individual coaching too.
If you’d like to receive a FREE no obligation Mindful Eating guide to get you started, please click the link below x