Is Weight Loss A Dirty Word?

With the growth of the body positive movement, it seems as though losing weight is something else that’s been put on the socially unacceptable list. We cannot discuss it, much less actually want to do or, in my case, promote weight loss as part of my business.

After being in the fitness industry for almost 30 years, I certainly have my stories around weight loss and how it’s been projected onto myself personally and professionally. My Studio – Spiritual Athletica- is well known in the area for predominantly female fitness over 40’s. We offer a whole range of functional fitness options from Pilates Reformer, Barre, Cycle, Weights and Stretch sessions. All low impact with low instructor to client ratio so your technique and ability is always our focus. Obviously as we age our quirks and injury list grows and my team prides ourselves in catering for this demographic of intelligent, mature client that values movement and long-term health over the quick fix 6 Week Program with before and after bikini photographs on social media.

But here’s the thing that’s been on my mind for a while now. I’m sure we are all aware that being outside the healthy weight for your age is a contribution to many other health conditions. I also have a conversation most days with clients that are looking after aging parents. Lots of these very same clients (and I also suspect many I have not seen regularly) use having children as an excuse for lack of commitment to exercise (be that activities, illness, school holidays etc). I wonder if they can see the correlation between looking after their own health NOW, so their children do not have to nurse them- just as they are currently nursing their own parents?

Now let me tie it all together…. I am a huge fan of body positivity, self-love and acceptance. I feel this movement has had a positive influence in the social media world. For the YOUNGER demographic. I am absolutely endorsing women to be able to stand in their power and talk about weight loss without feeling judgment or shame. For some women to have difficult and emotional conversations with doctors, physios and health professionals about weight loss- and then feel they must whisper about this genuine need, and not able discuss with their Fitness Professional or even not knowing where to turn for help- is CRAZY.

As mentioned above, after almost 30 years in fitness with most of those years specializing in women, there is no way I would ever recommend weight loss to anyone as a goal. I have lived through all the years of measuring and weighing clients regularly and giving out nutritional plans and recommendations- and have no desire to go back there! But in recent times, I have felt the subject of weight loss has become taboo and was therefore taken out of my marketing vocabulary, not for fear of judgement as much as wanting people to focus on health- and I was bloody sick of speaking to tiny women about their apparently ‘fat” knees (yes, I’ve actually had to have this conversation more than once). But let’s get serious.

Our body composition (weight) is related to so many other areas of our health- both mental and physical. Both gaining and losing weight needs to be able to be promoted and discussed in a healthy, open way. The service I offer is a proven support to these goals. I strongly feel as women age and have feelings of loss of identity, and redefining who they are both to themselves and in society as whole we should be able to talk about transformation, health, weight loss/gain – including our weight loss goals! Why would we settle for menopausal weight gain as a fact life (very outdated view of course) and just give up and not talk about weight loss at all because not only is it unachievable, it’s also now not socially acceptable!

If you have any health & fitness goals- including weight loss- please contact me to discuss and I can support you finding an exercise plan. We are more than happy to hold space for you to rediscover what movement means for you and your body.

Best of health,
Amanda Burke
Head Instructor & Studio Owner

 

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