Fixed it! (Guest Post)

So I spend lots of time around people who work in the fitness industry. My partner runs his own kickboxing program that he has worked really hard to make an inclusive place for people who might not feel comfortable at other gyms. And I teach taekwondo several days a week, mostly to kids, where I can only hope that some of the positive stuff we say to them about being strong and kind and not putting down other people sinks in.

And I’m not oblivious to all the fitspiration that’s out there which I’m happy to see is being more academically studied and shown to be quite counterproductive. So when a friend of mine who works at the same gym as my partner posted this picture (with annoyance) on social media, I was pretty annoyed too.

A sandwich board on the sidewalk: the top part says "Suck it up" then an "OR", and on the bottom part, someone has partially erased the words "Suck it in"

Someone was not impressed by this message.

And ok, sure, maybe there are some people out there who are motivated to exercise by some generalized feeling of shame for their bodies, but I feel pretty strongly that we can do better than telling people that if they don’t have fit-looking bodies they should hide them. Or exercise until they change them. Or should feel obligated to change the way they look at all.

So… that meant that upon seeing the sign reinstated on Monday afternoon, someone *ahem* decided it might need a little light fixing.

A sandwich board on the sidewalk. The top part says "Suck it up" then an "Or" and the bottom part where it says "Suck it in" is covered up by a piece of paper taped to the sign saying "You might not achieve your goals, but don't be ashamed of your body."

Fixed it!

Your body does not exist to please other people. You are under no obligation to diet-and-exercise it into whatever shape the cultural norm dictates. Your body should not be an enemy to be tamed. Exercise should not be punishment. And don’t let any sandwich board or Internet meme tell you otherwise.

Peace.

About Audrey

Audrey is a logician, feminist, martial artist, and rock climber (in no particular order) happily living on a large Canadian island with a couple of wild dogs.

3 thoughts on “Fixed it! (Guest Post)

  1. Brilliant. People often confuse health and fitness with size dictated by media,

    Like

  2. ANDREA R says:

    The fitspo thing has to fuck right off. The whole “strong is the new skinny” lots its credibility as soon as it was posted with skinny women with <10% body fat doing side planks. Here's a quote I found that I wish more people would take to heart: "You have a good body right now that allows you to experience all the things life has to offer… and your life is passing you by hating it, wishing for something different". Thanks for calling out the bullshit.

    Like

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