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The health and fitness industry has done a fantastic job of making women dislike their bodies, and themselves.

Browse the health section at your local bookstore, scroll through social media feeds of fitness professionals, glance at fitness magazines in the checkout aisle of the grocery store. It’s abundantly clear what modern health and fitness is about: losing fat, getting into a smaller clothing size, fixing flaws, and building “perfect” body parts. Physical endowments like a defined midsection and sculpted butt are highlighted, while tips to reduce cellulite and the newest fat-scorching workout are plastered on magazine covers and littered across social media…… “Have the body you want in 10 mins with a band and butt squeezes”.

The message is clear, all you have to do are these few moves with minimal weight and you can finally love your body and be happy once you attain these goals, or so we’re led to believe. Happiness, it seems, is just a couple of smaller pant sizes or one perfectly sculpted body part away. Oh wait… I think I have most recently read about some “coaches” now saying not to exercise too hard cause our bodies can't handle it and it's not a nice way to treat ourselves. Honestly, I call bullshit! Weak will get you nowhere...FAST. It's not satisfying when you become dependent on someone to do something for you that you SHOULD be able to do, how about chasing your child or grandchild and feeling like you're going to die or not catch a toddler in time before running into traffic or having the inability to ride a bike, hike or even carry your own groceries? We can talk all day long about how sensitive we need to be with ourselves but that is exactly how the unhealthy become unhealthy. If you expect nothing...You get nothing, period! Our bodies are strong, they are meant to be used, worked and pushed. Our body is our main tool to function so this ideology that we need to be happy with an unhealthy one is bullshit and weak. Ya, I know, not the popular opinion but the truth rarely is. The unfortunate thing is that there are too many “coaches” afraid to be honest cause they know it doesn't sell and that's what the ultimate goal is. As a business owner, I get it but I have also learned that when you tell people the truth, help them find their own limits and surpass them, they get results fucking quick and THAT SHIT SELLS!

You know what is interesting? Since taking on a different approach ( largely due to a mental breakdown) I discovered that when you set a goal to just be a stronger version of who you are and maybe adding in a little badass, diet will eventually matter less. We will start to expect more from ourselves, want better and simply begin to make better choices that will feed that fire

Look around much of the health and fitness world, and the underlying themes become abundantly clear. The effectiveness of a workout is determined by how long you worked out or how sore you felt the next day. And when it comes to food, you need to be on a rigid, restrictive diet, and you must follow it perfectly, without deviation.

Behind these messages is a fundamental principle that saturates the health and fitness industry: your priority, as a woman, is to build a leaner, more attractive body free from flaws, at any cost necessary. Once you achieve a goal, it’s time to move on to the next thing on your body that you can improve.

Is it really so crazy that so many women dislike not just their bodies, but themselves?

They have set themselves up for failure by putting such huge unrealistic demands on themselves. The focus has zero meaning and reward. Looking good is only enough if you feel good too.

Health and fitness has been relegated to the lowest possible denominator: the superficial has replaced the substantive. “Health” and “fitness” nowadays really aren’t so much about health or fitness as they are about achieving superficial standards, at any cost necessary, and with a blatant disregard for other more important components of what truly defines health and fitness. In other words, it’s not about how healthy or fit you are; it’s about how healthy and fit you look.

The superficial focus has ushered in obsessive eating habits, negative self-image, frustration, guilt, dissatisfaction, determining self-worth by numbers (e.g., the scale, pant size, etc.), and a surplus of costly gimmicks and worthless supplements. And it’s ludacris. Actually, that word isn’t nearly strong enough. It is absolute bullshit.

Health and fitness is a multibillion-dollar industry—per year. It will incessantly poke your insecurities and gladly create new ones just to sell you a “solution.” Intelligent marketers know how impatient humans are, and they’re happy to play to our innate desire for instant gratification. They point out a “flaw” (You have unsightly cellulite!) that makes us self-conscious and present us with polarizing products and programs that promise to deliver quick results (You can be more beautiful within a short time with our revolutionary product.). They know which buttons to push so we reach right over our common sense to whip out the credit card if we believe their solution just might work.

This brings up another problem with fad diets, fitness programs, and “hacks” that promise drastic results in a few short weeks. We’re told if we “go all in” and do the program or diet perfectly, we’ll achieve results that provide overwhelming happiness. Not only is “perfectly” following such a thing an extreme challenge, but we never stop and ask, “What will I do once this is over?” Instead of yet another extreme, strict regimen, why not try something different? Something that truly works so you not only achieve great results, but you can maintain them without a tremendous amount of effort—and you can do it for the rest of your life.

I want to make sure that, come next year, you don’t find yourself saying, “I gained a bunch of weight. Help me get my body back.” I love training people, but I do not love helping people get their bodies “back” year in and year out. Rather, my goal is to help you develop a sustainable lifestyle that comes automatically when you build strong mental fortitude. It will build on a strength that will help you in every aspect of your life and there will be no turning back!!!! If you can't make a decision and commit to yourself, the process will feel daunting or if you feel like your life must revolve around it, you know you won’t keep doing it.

Health and fitness should be about gaining strength in all aspects of our being. That makes your life easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable. It’s about eating well, not just for the goal of looking better, but to nourish yourself so you can grow stronger and more resilient. It’s about building a body that serves you and allows you to live your life to the fullest.

It’s about creating a sustainable lifestyle. All the things you do for your health—strength training, eating well, harnessing an empowered mindset—become things you do because they’re part of who you are.

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