This feels like a silly question but I trust you with the answer more than anyone.
Is it okay for me to just work out because I enjoy that type of workout, and because I know that it’s healthy to move my body? Is it okay not to want to change my body or only work out in a certain way that will “work” to reach a purely aesthetic goal?
In the fitness space online all I see are people explaining why everyone’s not seeing results, or what style of training is the only effective method. All I want is to take care of myself, not force myself to look a certain way. But the advice all seems to turn into a how-to guide for how to look as lean and toned as possible.
Life Over Looks
Dear Life Over Looks,
First – This is NOT a silly question.
Second – Not only is it okay for your workout goals to be more about overall health than physical changes, but IT’S AMAZING.
Like you said, it seems like most advice on the internet is geared towards some kind of physical change. Shrinking the waist. Growing the booty. Toning the arms. It’s pretty rare to see something like, “follow this workout plan to manage your stress” or “check out this before and after of my client’s blood pressure!”
To be super honest, it all comes down to what motivates people, right? Especially on social media, a place that is absolutely saturated with advice about dieting and weight loss. Historically, people are just more motivated by dramatic, physical changes. And it makes me cringe to even type this but, insecurity sells. A lot of people take advantage of that.
The fact that you’re feeling like you’re wrong for NOT trying to change your body is proof that this is a serious problem.
BUT. I think that tone is shifting. And I’m here for it.
People are starting to understand (and go out of their way to learn more) about how each piece of our health intertwines. How our weight, or whether or not we have abs, is NOT really the health indicator we should be focusing on.
We’re finally seeing overall health become the priority.
I’ve been working hard to shift how I talk about exercise and nutrition to fit this narrative too, because I’ve personally experienced how important it is. My 90 Day Journey realllllly opened my eyes. I learned that I had been looking at my workouts all wrong for sooo long! I had been working out to fit my body into some kind of mold the internet told me it needed to fit, and I finally realized how unhealthy that actually was.
Once my “why” became more about my HEALTH – eating foods to fuel my body, moving my body to get strong and improve mobility, and paying attention to stress and sleep – everything changed. And it stuck!
Just to pause for a second – I think it’s totally okay for people to want to lose weight or change their physical appearance as long as they do it in a healthy way. But there really is so much more to exercise. It’s important for literally every part of your body!
So yes. If taking care of yourself is your “why,” OWN IT.
I love that for you!
Everyone’s “why” is different, and that’s what makes it so special. It’s worth digging deep to figure out what YOU really need, not what the internet is telling you to care about.
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!