Updated: Mar 7, 2018
I read something alarming today. It’s alarming for many reasons but first because it’s made me think about how much propaganda is available to share, retweet and repost on a daily basis and how easily it can be misinterpreted.
So many people have something eye-opening to share; a mantra that helps them to get by or a pearl of wisdom that they live by. And too right!! We can and we should learn from each other. After all, everyone you will ever meet, knows something you don’t.
But we should also understand that it is our responsibility to decide what applies to us and what is irrelevant.
It's hard to differentiate though when a beautifully square shaped motivational quote (usually in a wistful white font with a background of rolling hills) looks so bloody convincing!
So, today I saw a motivational quote on my Instagram explore page. It read:
‘Your diet is number 1. You can live in the gym but if you don’t eat clean, you’re wasting your time’.
Let me start by saying, I know this mantra is meant for those actively seeking an aesthetic goal but aren't seeing the results they want despite the physical hours they are putting in at the gym. My problem, however, lies in how niche that target audience is and how easily it landed in front of my face looking so convincingly like your average motivational quote.
How many other people are reading ‘Your diet is number 1. You can live in the gym but if you don’t eat clean you’re wasting your time’ and are falsely thinking 'there's no point going to the gym if I don't eat clean'?
I don’t want to correct the quote, moreover, I just want to remind the ether that:
not everyone goes to the gym to look like Davina McCall on the cover of Women’s Health,
not everyone goes to the gym to shred like Chris Hemsworth prepping for the latest Marvel blockbuster.
Some simply want to exercise. Many go to the gym to stay healthy, maintain fitness, keep a healthy heart, let off steam, improve stamina, rehabilitate, find mental clarity, get that endorphin rush, escape or just feel a smidge less guilty about all the cheese they ate last night! Any of these motivations and indeed many more are strictly NOT A WASTE OF TIME.
My motivation changes every day.
The association between the gym and the way we look is partly to blame for why we regularly measure the value of our workout according to how hard we push ourselves or how close we are to failure. I say, just as my motivation changes everyday, my best changes every day. Believe it or not, working out with a 'go hard OR go home' mentality can just as easily turn in to a 'go hard AND go home AND stay home' situation.
Go to the gym and celebrate that you can move. Move any way you can and want, wherever you want and can. Remember, there are plenty of people who look 'fit' but are not 'fit' and keeping 'fit' is never a waste of time, no matter on what scale you choose to do it.
And for my finale, I will leave you with my own subjective pearl of wisdom for the day:
'Looking fit is not the same as being fit' Jaye Elster.