I think it’s fantastic that fitness is getting so much media and public attention, I really do. But there are important things to remember, too.
It ain’t about the money, honey.
There are some great things about how fitness fashion has now become ‘a thing’. Gone are the days of it people just grabbing old t-shirts and trackies – they’re dashing to brunch in lululemon after a long run! – and high end designer fitness gear has trickled down to awesome high street styles. This has brought fitness and health to a whole new market. People have started caring about their health en masse – and not just because of the ‘government recommended plate’ or whatever outdated ‘5 a day’ food lines they feed us at school.
Teens and twenty-somethings see celebrities caring about health, not just weight loss, with the likes of Karlie Kloss, JLo and Kate Hudson instragramming their perfect little sports-socks off (the latter having launched her own range, Fabletics), showing girls the world over you can work out, look good doing it, and it’s a lifestyle bandwagon many have jumped on.
Fitness ‘fashion’ has popularised fitness, and brought it to the forefront of people’s minds, daily lives, and social feeds. Instagram is aflood with gym outfits #onfleek.
Eating clean has become a ‘big thing’, and peoples’ penchant for McDonalds has been replaced by avocado and poached egg brunches, splashed in beautiful Mayfair, Amaro or Clarendon tones on Instagram.
‘See you at the bar,’ for many, has become ‘see you at the barre’ (and then the juice bar!)
You get the picture. This is all great! It’s never been easier to find workout motivation, inspiration, or a community of people (albeit a virtual rather than in-person one!) for support, related banter, and accountability, on your journey to getting healthier. So what’s the problem?
Marketers, in every industry, make boatloads of money selling people ideas. Essentially, a product or a service is a product or a service. The money comes when you make people believe they need it, because of ideas.
Suddenly, material things appeal because we think they represent parts of our identity, or, particularly in fitness, it makes us feel like they’ll get us where we want to be.
Like magazines, in many ways they sell us an image of what we want to be. We subconsciously hope that in paying up and purchasing, we’ll buy (and become) that image. It’s a great psychological tool.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing fitness fashion becomes inspirational. But marketers plant these little magic mythical beans that grow into the idea that, somehow, to be fit you NEED the newest, most expensive workout equipment, the priciest gym membership, a smoothie-maker, a spiralizer, all of the unusual healthy snacks Wholefoods stock, and the latest Bodyism leggings and sports bra… And the reality is, you don’t.
They won’t mean you have to train any less. They won’t strip the fat you hate on your abs, or slim down your waist or your face.
And you can workout and eat clean without them perfectly easily.
It’s just important to recognise that we can do without them. Don’t feel like you can’t get started on your fitness journey because you don’t have these things.You can be whatever you want to be, and a purchase won’t make it happen. You will.
- You can still workout in trackies and an old t-shirt!
- You can buy fresh vegetables, fish, meat and legumes from a regular supermarket, and don’t have to spend a fortune at ‘health food stores’ (many of which stock scammy ‘fat loss’ pills and foods labelled healthy that actually aren’t).
- You can use tins for weights, or heavy books. And pile them in a strong carrier bag for a mock-kettlebell.
- You can skip without a rope.
- You can grate zuchinni instead of spiralising.
And you can, actually, still follow fitness trends cheaply as the high street is pretty good (check out New Look, H&M and Primark). And hey, I’m not ashamed to admit it – I love a good Sports Direct sports bra haul as much as the next gym bunny! That’s MUCH cheaper than a Sweaty Betty raid… (who I also love, by the way! Major Christmas list feature!)
I love the luxe factor that has built up around sportswear. I do. People often don’t think twice about spending hundreds on cocktails, big nights out, handbags, and I agree that it’s actually probably a good decision to channel that towards fitness.
But don’t feel like money is a barrier. I promise you, it isn’t. Hustle trumps dollar. We promise. You’ve got this!
And finally, remember to make sure you stay sane. Your #yolomeal or #cheatmeal hashtags are ok too! The social media hype around clean living can make you feel like you should strive for perfection 100% of the time. Which is great, and I understand people aiming high with their ‘one perfect week’ challenges. But DON’T FOR ONE SECOND feel like you’ve failed if you have a biscuit. Or a slice of pizza. Or even a whole day derailed. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Be glad and ENJOY your treats. Keep calm and carry on.
Balance may not be a cookie in each hand, but it isn’t just one cucumber slice in each either.
In the words of Gigi Hadid: