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Is Fitness Killing You?

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You’re being used. The 24-billion dollar fitness business is built on two platforms:

  1. There is something wrong with you that only it can fix.
  2. That it’s going to take a long time to get you there.

And it’s killing what real fitness can be.

Their platform is built on fear and money. Fear that someone is cooler, happier, prettier, or has a better life than you do. And for the right amount of money, you can have it all. What passes for “fitness” for these folks is nothing short of absolute perfection — a simple image search of “fitness” turns up fantasies that no average person could ever live up to.

What do you think the world of health and fitness would look like if fitness was built on hope instead of fear? On you inspiring yourself instead of devaluing yourself? If fitness was something you innately have, something you get to participate in, versus something you had to do to match up to an industry’s idea of perfection?

  1. We would do what inspired us and not follow someone else’s idea of a perfect regimen
  2. We would spend time investing in ourselves and what we see as our potential. We’d be too excited not to.
  3. We would make choices about health and fitness because we get to — not because we have to.
  4. Life would be a series of choices, not something we “can” or “can’t” do or have.
  5. We would pay attention to the needs of our bodies’ moment-by-moment rather than adhering to some idea of what we “should” do.
  6. We’d set high standards for ourselves that we were excited to meet and exceed, not afraid to fail at.
  7. We’d be happy to know what was necessary to make the progress we want.
  8. We’d give ourselves a break when we know we’ve tried our hardest and fallen short of our expectations.
  9. We’d be honest with ourselves when we knew we didn’t give our best effort.
  10. We could appreciate exactly who we are — all strengths and weaknesses included.

There is a magic bullet, and it’s not for sale — just show up.

Sure, what you do is important — once you know your goals. But there is nothing more important, or exciting, than just showing up. You’ll find what you’re looking for if you keep looking.

In the Whole Life Challenge, you are given the chance to look. The Challenge doesn’t dictate what you should do, it supports you in discovering what inspires you about your life and gives you the tools to build that into your life — permanently.

You are always going to experience ups and downs in intensity, motivation, desire, time, even results. That’s completely normal. What you control is consistency. Developing a routine, even a ritual, is the key to making progress.

There will never be a moment when you go from “not there” to “there.” What changes when you change your mindset from “have to” to “get to” is that “there” disappears.

You find you’re already there. By paying attention to the small things you can do right now, to practicing, to being 100% yourself, you start to experience success here and now. You’re not longer trying to get there, you’re there. You’re just getting better and better at seeing it.

Showing up for yourself and discovering what you really want are two of the best reasons to play the game that changes your whole life.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.