January is normally the time I plug my ears and yell “la-la-la-not-listening” to all the ads aimed at well intentioned consumers with a weight loss related New Year’s resolution. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I find some of the ads to be quite triggering. I did a “lose weight fast” and it went very badly for me.
Some really unpleasant ads body shame and use made up words like flabdomen. Consumers are encouraged to burn off their holiday indulgences. That sounds a lot like a purge. Or worse yet “earn their desserts”. Newsflash: I totally earned mine. You know what I did? I got out of bed. Maybe I didn’t even do that. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you will never know. But I’m entitled to eat what I want and I don’t have to “earn” anything. I deserve it. I can make it work with my macros, or intuitive eating, or however I manage my food. I hate the concept of entitlement to food in weight loss advertising. These are bad things the eating disorder voices used to say and thanks to modern marketing they herald the arrival of January and selling perfection. It’s predatory, because it bastardizes the hopes and dreams of people who just want to live a better life, feel good in their skin and be active with their families.
I’m an old fashioned girl, I need more than that. I want a commitment. You aren’t going to sweep me off my feet with a 3-6 week solution. I deserve more. I want to know the purveyor of my plan is in it for the long haul, just like me. I’m not into wham bam thank you ma’am for my transformation, but I might be up for some BodyJam.
Enter my favourite ad of all time, by GoodLife Fitness. You can watch it here.
This is the philosophy that won me over:
Letting your body move
Ice cream and pizza (and beer, if you are into that, I like to have the option. Please note: they do not actually supply any of these things, but they don’t judge you if you consume them)
I loved this commercial. I usually hear it around Christmas because that’s when I’m out and about being social with family that has cable tv. That’s a time of year where I have eaten a lot of my favourite foods, and part of me might be feeling just a little bit guilty about that. I hear the ad come on and I don’t feel guilty. I want to go back to my gym, because I feel alive there and I remember why I started. I kind of want to get on a treadmill, because the music is catchy. That’s saying something, because last time I didn’t realize the treadmills were in miles and I went on the LONGEST. 5KM. RUN. OF. MY. ENTIRE. LIFE.
These are two different approaches to fitness marketing and the business of New Years resolutions. This is written from the perspective of someone who has lost weight in an unhealthy way, and who later lost weight, gained muscle and great friends in a way that is completely sustainable and judgement free. Whatever path you choose, I’m wishing you a healthy, happy New Year and I hope to see you around!
“This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program,
however all opinions expressed are my own”