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My Body Moves

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Hi, my name is Joe Bonington and I’m a Strength & Conditioning and Fitness Coach. This is a transcript of my message:

"I’ve got two daughters. I’ve got a daughter who’s eleven, I’ve got a daughter who’s thirteen. They’re growing up in a very, very different world to the world I grew up in. From what I’m seeing from sitting girls down, who are in a perfectly healthy weight range; who are wanting to lose that last imaginary five kilos; they’re actually already where they need to be but because of public perception and because of the perception that the media and the fitness industry are portraying, and social media with all these Instagram feeds etc., they believe that they’re overweight. And they are actually trying to get to a weight where they are going to be unhealthy and hormonally challenged. I’ve been a part of that problem, I’ve actually trained people for bikini body challenges. I’ve helped people strip down to sub-10% body fat. As a fitness industry, we’ve gone too far. We’re doing more damage than good. There’s girls out there who are committing suicide; there’s girls out there suffering from depression; because of this whole frenzy that we are a part of. These are beautiful, strong, powerful people, but there’s so much pressure from outside of how they’re meant to be. We need to change that. We need to change the values of what we’re training for…”

Pippa: “Beauty is not what you look like because the most beautiful people might not be very nice. I think if you’re a nice person and your heart’s good, you look beautiful. I don’t think you can say what beauty is.”

Vicki: “I think everybody, and myself personally, I’ve struggled with body image at various times in my life. So, I think body image for me was more about comparing myself to others. I would say don’t become part of the pack, become the lone wolf and look at a place where you can fit and belong and grow.”

Andrea: “Body image for me over the last two years has been huge. I went through a pregnancy, I was quite uncomfortable with my body. If you’re trying to achieve a ‘quick fix’, yeah everyone can give up six weeks and go to the gym every single day but that’s not going to work. It needs to be an achievement that you gain over a long period of time.”

Shelley: “I think it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I feel insecure about my body because it’s so pervasive in society; conversations and images and body. But I think it’s also changed a lot for me since I’ve come to Joe’s. I feel much more connected with my strength and I enjoy that a whole lot more and that’s also from being in the outdoors and the wilderness and seeing what my body can do and being super grateful for it.”

Caroline: “50% of women who are in a healthy weight range still think they’re overweight. And there’s 50% of five to twelve-year old’s who are saying ‘I’m fat’. If a twelve-year-old is saying ‘I’m fat’, what is wrong with society and the shit that is being pushed on young people, and people my age, and older people? We’re never going to measure up, we’re never going to be good enough, unless we stand and go ‘You know what? I’m just not going to believe your shit anymore!’ My body is not an Instagram post, my body is not a picture, my body is not an ornament. My body is a vehicle, and my body is capable of incredible things.”

Joe: “It’s about creating an industry that is so much more than about what somebody looks like, that’s what true health is going to be about: it’s the whole thing, it’s everything.”

Elly: “I want to say to young women, stop caring so much about your social media following and what they think of you. I want to say that the value of yourself as a person is not based on you many ‘likes’ your photo from Saturday night got.”

Joe: “We’ve got to draw a line in the sand, I’m talking to you Fitness Industry: we are the problem! We are helping create this monstrosity. We are damaging girls for life. We really need to think about what are the values we are trying to teach? What is it that we really, really want women to come away from our facilities, from their interactions with us, having achieved, having believed? We want them to be stronger, mentally and physically. We’ve got to stop: we’ve got to get rid of all the before and afters. We’ve got to train people for real things. Then let’s get them out on a trail run, get them outdoors, out of this environment (here’s me as a gym owner), let’s get them from here and then show them what they can do with the training in here.How the hell can we increase their self-esteem when we are actually trying to get them to be an image of something that is impossible, a pastiche of what they should be? It’s not part of what we should be encouraging; it’s not part of what we need to be doing; and it’s not part of the lessons that I want to pass down to my beautiful daughters. That’s what I’m trying to do and that’s what this message is about.”

#MYBODYMOVES

©Joe Bonington 2017

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