Earlier today, I was at the gym when a girl approached me and told me how much she loved my last blog post about body image (check out the previous post if you haven't!). She thought it was so great that I expressed my satisfaction and confidence with my body because she had just recently reached that point at well. She shared that after having her baby, at some point she just reached this level of happiness with her body and wished that more women could feel that way.
We chatted for a few and agreed that we'll always be "too thin, too fat, too muscular, or too much of something" for someone. That feeling of never being good enough can be disheartening, but it was so great to finally hear another woman say that she loved her body. It doesn't happen often, and I wish it did.
The conversation with her left me thinking, again, about my purpose in this industry. The Health & Fitness industry is so driven around physical appearance, which is understandable, but what about the health aspect? What good is a banging' body when you're mentally broken? Or how useful is your body, when you're partaking in unhealthy behaviors to achieve your results? Are you able to look in the mirror and say, 'I'm healthy and happy'?
These questions might seem silly, but my lack of self confidence is what led me into the fitness industry to begin with.
Only 5 short years ago, I was the girl too scared to walk into a gym alone because I felt lost. I'd walk in and quickly hid in a corner, or go sit in the sauna because my anxiety would become too overwhelming. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have a boyfriend who was supportive and patient with me. He didn't shame me when the anxiety was too much and I wanted to leave. Instead, he would encourage me to read magazines, or articles online to learn more about weightlifting because after all, knowledge is power.
After months of research, a lot of trial and error, and countless moments of doubt, I decided to quit the security of my job and take a job working at a gym.
I started at the front desk.
I technically had no experience, but they were kind enough to let me work the front desk while I made my way through my personal training certification. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it at the time, but I knew that I wanted to learn as much as I could.
The more I learned about health and fitness, the more I started to feel in control again of my own body. If I wasn't happy with a certain thing, I would research and learn HOW I could make it better, and then I'd do it. This feeling of being in control of my own happiness was something I hadn't felt in a long time. I've been in a couple of, we'll call them "rough" relationships, and for the first time in many years, I was starting to regain my self confidence through my ability to change my body.
Long story short, that FEELING of being in control and capable, is incredibly empowering.
That feeling is the driving force behind everything I do in this industry. My purpose is to help as many people as I can, reach that ah-ha moment. That moment when they finally feel strong, capable, happy, and empowered.
Our bodies will change as we experience the different phases of life, and it's important that we learn to love and appreciate our bodies in it's many forms. My goal in this industry is to help create a movement of people who encourage and empower each other to love and appreciate themselves through all of the phases.
Every client that I have is another opportunity to connect with on a personal level, and more importantly, a chance to let them know that they are not alone on this journey. Millions of people struggle with body image, and if I can help encourage or inspire just a few to take back control of their life through fitness, I'm satisfied with that. THAT is my purpose.
If you're struggling with where to start and looking for a group of people who support you through your fitness journey, I encourage you to join The Body Movement.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram @sisirich #thebodymvmt and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebodymvmt
For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.