Our Perception of 'Looking Fit'
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I've been a group fitness instructor for almost three years, and through my classes, I apply a multifaceted blend of exercises targeting:
Endurance/coordination through HIIT training
Balance and flexibility through yoga and/or stretching
Muscular endurance/bone mineral density through strength training.
While my fitness level is high, my body type is curvy. I wear a size 8 and my set weight is not a size 0.
A few months ago, I chose to get a personal trainer to 1. work on any muscular imbalances within myself and 2. improve as a fitness professional. The way I became an accomplished group fitness instructor was through attending countless classes and studying how other instructors cultivated a solid following developing rapport with their participants. I wanted to learn from the best to become as effective an instructor I could be. I applied that same logic to personal training, so I came into this new adventure with great intentions.
A few weeks into working with the personal trainer, and I remember distinctly a part of our conversation that will forever resonate with me. I was asking her what she recommended I add to my weekly regimen (my session with her was only 1x a week). She then criticized my appearance and said that I should work on looking 'more fit,' by taking up weight lifting. I explained to her that I already weight lift 3 times a week, to which she fell silent.
Conversations like that make me passionate about standing against this narrow mindset of what "looking fit" entails. Being healthy is not binary or black and white. It is a spectrum of different bodies and sizes that do not fit into neat little boxes. Bioindividuality and health go hand in hand, so what may work for one person, may be different for the next. There are many variables that go into being healthy, and I believe one of the hallmarks is a sound mind and body. Ultimately, my classes are rooted in weight-neutral and body positive framework, and THAT should be the type of conversation we’re having.