In the health and fitness industry, it should be our aim to foster a community that is encouraging, uplifting, and positive. We should empower individuals to love their bodies, and appreciate all that the human body is capable of. Once that appreciation is obtained, the individual will be more apt to engage in activities and behaviours that will be beneficial for their body and mind – such as being physically active or eating more nutrient-dense foods.
Rather than take the aforementioned approach, a recent social media campaign by Gold’s Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise in Egypt, chose a campaign based on shame and insecurity. The implication in the first photo being that if you are pear-shaped (narrow waist and wider hips – which sounds pretty awesome to me!), you are undesirable as a woman and need to change it. The second photo implying that you should be so ashamed of yourself that you should hide yourself or your body from others until you “fix” it. This kind of elitist, judgmental attitude results in many gym memberships bought and paid for, but never used.
Although, that elitist attitude deterring members from coming in may be exactly what the gyms are looking for. Corporate gyms rely on a business model that assumes that the majority of their membership will not actually use the facility in order to be profitable. They will deliberately sell memberships which drastically exceed their facility capacity. If all of the gym members who paid for memberships attended regularly, these gyms would not have the physical space, equipment, or resources to accommodate their membership. Statistics gathered in December of 2015 indicate that 67 percent of people with gym memberships never use them. The most optimistic statistic we found suggests that up to 44% of gym members will attend approximately twice per week while the most pessimistic statistic suggests that gym owners expect only about 18 percent of people who buy memberships to actually use them consistently.
At F.I.T., we thrive on the opposite philosophy. We understand that word of mouth is our best referral, and the best way to guarantee a good referral is to get our clients outstanding results. It is for that reason that we encourage and celebrate regular attendance, rather than rely on members paying for but not using our facility. If we notice that a client has not been in for a while, we don’t look to “fill their spot”. Instead, we will check in to make sure that they are okay, and to remind them that we are here for them. If they feel like they need some personal time away from the gym then we simply let them know that they are missed, and that we are ready and willing to support them in any way they need. We thrive on a business model that fosters acceptance and community, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Your body shape should never dictate your worth. A prime example is our remarkable Rio 2016 Olympians! Olympic athletes are seen as the gold standard for elite fitness, and featured here are three of Canada’s 2016 Rio Olympians - Brianne Theisen-Eaton (heptathlon and pentathlon), Taryn Suttie (shot put), and Jennifer Abel (diving). It should be immediately evident that any shape is a great shape for a woman!
Regardless of your physical shape – be it apple, pear, banana, or human - the goal should always be health and happiness. For some, that might be to climb mountains. For others, that might be to climb the stairs pain-free. Whatever your goal, F.I.T. is happy to provide you with a supportive, positive atmosphere!