Stop Selling Me Your Fitness Products

I Really Need You To Stop Selling Me Your Fitness Products Online

I'm looking at you Beach Body, Shakeology, Herbalife, Weigh Watchers, etc...

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It's the beginning of the new year and all these girls are coming out of the wood-work. Ladies from high school, summer camp, freshman year of college and yes, even strangers are messaging me about fitness goals and a "new way" of healthy living. It's so funny, because I genuinely don't care about wanting to become more fit or healthier than I already am. But it's also sad, because there are actually people paying money to use these random workout formulas or pre-packaged snacks and meal-replacement shakes (that may I add make you poop uncontrollably).

I mean I've been there, I've used these products once or twice. I'm not discrediting the changes that can be made using these programs, I'm just saying they aren't for me and they shouldn't be for you either. I don't watch every meal I eat. I don't exercise every day. And I definitely do not have an 'accountability group'. I'm not interested in looking great in my beach body (and hello, EVERYBODY is a great beach body). I'm not interested in joining an 'awesome group of ladies' who all have a common goal of fitness.

Right now, I'm a broke just-out-of-college student. I'm interning right now and putting most everything I make into savings. I don't have 199$ for the year, 35$ a month, or 100$ for the next half year to buy shakes, workouts, coaching, meal prep kits, DVDs etc. Even if I did, I wouldn't want to spend my hard earned money on something like that.

I also love to eat. Chick-Fil-A, Freddy's, Huey Magoo's, Panera, Wendy's...you name it. I don't eat out more than twice a week, but when I do, it's WORTH IT. I watch what I put in my body and that should be enough. The changes using these paid programs are noticeable, but are they lasting? Personally, what's always worked the best for me is when there's been a balance between what's good and what's not, then I don't need a program, coach, or accountability group to tell me what healthy living is.

I've found out that health isn't a number, weight is. I notice that when I worry more about the numbers on the scale, I can often abandon the important notion of what a healthy and happy body is. Which can sometimes be a few pounds over what we think we should be! As long as there's some sort of cardio and weights going on, I tend to stay right where I need to be naturally.

There's something to be said about companies who launch products geared at men and women to help lose weight and keep it off. It promotes a dependency on that particular product, which is where the money is at. No matter how great of a mission statement any one weight loss or health business can have, at the end of the day it's still just a business. There has to be income coming from somewhere. It just so happens that the income coming in to these corporations are from people who depend on meal kits, shakes, workouts, and accountability groups to get them to their next 'goal' of looking slimmer, being thinner, and losing more weight.

I think Jameela Jamil said it best when she remarked, "WANT MORE THAN THIS".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. By eating right using the foods you buy, exercising to your own drum, and offering yourself a positive body narrative---you can see the change in yourself, without paying money to companies that feed off your dependency.

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Better Not Bitter

"Let your past make you better, not bitter."

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After completing my junior year at Iowa State, I have found myself reflecting on a lot of the experiences and people who have helped me get to the point I am at today. Family obviously comes to mind, followed by my friends, my sorority sisters, my boyfriend, my professors, and my mentors. I am able to contribute a lot of my success to their support and compassion that they have shown me throughout my past three years. I am also able to contribute my success to the woman I have grown to be and to the woman I have always wanted to be. You see, three years ago, the woman I was was buried in a toxic relationship that didn't allow me to flourish into the woman I was striving to be.

Let me take a step back, this article is not meant to bash the person who it is about. In fact, it's more of a thank you. Because you see, without him letting go of me, I would have never taken the leaps and bounds out of my comfort zone to become the woman I am so damn proud to be today. This is also not meant to say that I am I glad I was in such a toxic relationship, it was honestly so terrible that I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but I am in fact, thankful. I learned more from that relationship that I have in anything else in my life.

First, I learned to be a fighter, and not in a bad way. I learned to stand up for myself and what I believe in. I have become vocal about my passions and stand up for people when they are treated wrong. I no longer let people walk all over me, but rather I stand my ground firmly and confidently. Thank you.

Second, I learned to be fierce. Fierce in love, kindness, compassion, and willpower. I believe in my abilities and the things I am able to accomplish if I set my mind to something. I have learned that in being fierce, there is absolutely no time to doubt myself which has worked greatly in my favor. I learned that demanding respect in all relationships I have formed has been about me making the decision to make myself a priority and learning to never settle for any less than I deserve, ever again. Thank you.

Third, I learned compassion. I learned to be kind to the other woman, and mostly, to the person who chose to hurt me. It took everything in me to remain kind while I was being hurt, but I am so thankful that I stayed true to the values and morals I was raised on. I have carried this with me throughout the past three years by choosing to show compassion to all people around me, and looking deeper into the reasons behind the actions and decisions that people make. Often times there is something going on behind closed doors and because of that, it is important to always, always radiate kindness. Thank you.

I wanted to extend my gratitude to the person who hurt me because if you hadn't, I wouldn't be the badass, boss girl, powerful woman that I am today. I am confident, smart, loving, and fully capable of giving and receiving the kindest, most sincere kind of love. My life has changed for the better, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I wish you the best, because let me tell ya, it feels great.

By the way, if you ever feel like you deserve better than what you're receiving in a relationship, trust your gut & walk the hell away. It's worth it.

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If You Take Fitness Advice From Instagram, You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Living a healthy lifestyle really isn't that complicated.

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I lost 90 pounds during my freshman year of high school. Over the years, I've gotten many questions about how I accomplished such a feat and what my secret is. The truth is, I did what any doctor would tell you to do when you ask for weight loss advice. I ate healthy foods, I counted my caloric intake and I worked out regularly doing exercise that I enjoyed.

This seems so simple, but in today's complex society of Instagram fitness gurus and "experts" telling you that the secret to weight loss is wrapping your stomach in a wrap, it's difficult to know who is genuinely trying to give you good advice and who just wants to sell you something. I've fallen prey to these people too, so I know how difficult it is to decipher between sound advice and a sales pitch.

So as you embark on your health and fitness journey, remember that the end goal of any workout regimen or diet plan is to be healthy and increase the longevity of your life. It's about seeing your grandchildren graduate high school and go on to succeed in life while swinging on a porch with your husband or wife of 50 years, all because you took care of yourself instead of eating fast food and drinking every weekend of your 20s. It isn't to have slimmer thighs or a bigger butt, though those are nice benefits. What these people won't tell you is that if you simply eat healthy, exercise regularly and take overall better care of your body, you will see results without having to buy some stupid weight loss tea or crazy diet plan.

Believe me, the journey to being a better and healthier you is worth the consistent effort and work it will take to get there.

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