Fit Friday: Epilogue

Content note: body image, body shame, disordered eating, diet & exercise

I did it. I finished my series. It took a year, weeks, days, depending on how you look at the process. I’m not done with the recovery process (because one is never done with recovery), but I’ve expounded six major reasons Beachbody’s 21-Day Fix program and associated (but unofficial) “support” groups are unhealthy and reinforced the very disordered thinking from which I was trying to recover.

Reason 1: Untrained Personnel

Beachbody “coaches” pay a fee into a multilevel marketing structure to attain the coach designation; they do not have any special training qualifying them to offer fitness or nutritional advice. The “support” groups were rife with bad advice from people not qualified to offer it, when people should have been consulting doctors or dietitians.

Reason 2: Migraines

When I got migraines, I was encouraged to “power through,” and some participants attributed my migraines to “sugar detox” from the meal plans. In the anti-diet group in which I currently participate, we prioritize self-care. It makes a world of difference.

Reason 3: The Food

I was constantly hungry, and the rules about food played on our already obsessive and disordered tendencies toward food. It was unsustainable.

Reason 4: Make-Me-Hate-Myself Workouts

Fat shaming. Gendered language. Perpetuating the myth of spot reduction, and that women have “problem areas” that need to be “fixed.” Tracking progress in weight and inches, which is not sustainable in the long term.

Reason 5: Shake it off

Shakeology is not a magic elixer.

Reason 6: I Am Shame

The body shaming runs deep. So so deep.

Next week I’ll get back to posting on various topics related to body image. Perhaps a nice piece on how it impacts children, or a confuzzled observation of an elementary student who had already waxed her upper lip.

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