I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and something really bothered me, actually that is an understatement - it completely unleashed a lot of anger in me. So much so that I have felt the need to write it out in black and white.
I read more than one post that suggested being STRONG is the following;
- discipline in calorie control,
- making sure you exercise 'x' amount of minutes per day,
- reaching your low body fat no matter what,
- eating what someone else considers 'perfect' and
- basically following the exact habits that your Instagram idol follows
... if you don't do this, you've failed but not to worry because next week you can practice being strong again (currently rolling my eyes...). Well guess what, that is absolute bullshit and I think it is about time that we redefine what strong is.
STRONG is doing what is best for you. STRONG is listening to your body. STRONG is training for your body and your goals. I write this because next week is our very first Testing Week at The Fit Collective and I ALMOST didn't include body composition on the tracking page. I included a range of fitness tests designed to benchmark our clients against their goals for agility, power, speed and strength, testing physical and mental strength.
Strong is and should be about what your body can do not how far you can cut calories and how low you can get your body fat percentage. I completely understand and respect that body composition is the goal for some individuals and I actually believe it is super important to track these changes too (hence, why I did include tracking after almost forgetting). I have many clients with body composition goals and we are absolutely working toward those goals but we also place a heavy focus on their fitness abilities and how they are physically improving their agility, speed, power and strength - note: body composition is a component of their program not the entire focus.
I want to reinforce to every single member and non-member that you are more than a number on the scales (and more than the number of kgs you can lift for that matter) you are strong if you overcome your barriers to do what will positively impact your life, it may not always be easy to do this and sometimes the couch (or bed) is just way too damn good to resist but you are strong if you consistently work toward your goals without beating yourself up if you miss a workout or eat 100calories more than my fitness pal says to eat. You are strong if you set a goal and work towards it relentlessly and play a long game, accept there will be ups and downs and take on consistency as your middle name.
This is completely just my opinion and what works for my style of training and clients. We undeniably focus on reaching our goals but we also have the best time doing it - because settling for a process you hate isn't being strong it's being complacent.