Do You Have To 'Work Toward' to Workout?

Every single snippet of fitness marketing urges us to ‘do this to get that.’

‘Do These 4 Exercises for a 6 Pack’ (total bull, by the way.)

‘Use This One Machine for a Perky Butt’ (also bull.)

‘Do HIIT For a Lean Figure’ (are we sensing a pattern?)

This makes loving your body and exercise seem, well, like opposites. Working toward body acceptance means getting to a place where your worth is not connected to your appearance. So, why go to the gym if movement is all about changing bodies?

That’s where our unpopular opinion comes in: we aren’t about a specific image or weight loss. We don’t even promote being the healthiest you. The Thrive Tribe operates with the revolutionary idea that everyone deserves to incorporate ENJOYABLE movement into their lives, no matter the circumstances.

When we shut out the noise of pop culture fitness, movement becomes about so much more than changing the body. For Chief BoPo Trainer Meg, it helps alleviate anxiety and centers her focus. For many members of the Thrive Tribe, endorphins from movement play a big role in feeling powerful. We have members who move to deal with loss and trauma. We have members who move to alleviate aches and pains. We have members who move to show their chronic illness who is boss.

Yes, many bodies change the more enjoyable movement is incorporated into our lives, but nobody can predict the change. Nobody can tell you that if you do ‘this specific thing at the gym every day’ you’ll reach an ‘appearance goal’ and be telling the truth. Bodies are weird and different, and change comes from a genetic level that we cannot control.

And, don’t get us wrong, having non-appearance-based goals in fitness is great. Getting stronger and increasing endurance, for example, can be very powerful. However, you don’t HAVE to want anything of the sort to feel justified in working out. You can move because it feels good. You can move because one day your body just feels like it. You can move to fight inner demons and outer demons. You can even move just because, with no explanation at all.

So, no, you don’t have to ‘work toward’ to workout. Do not be afraid of celebrating the movement your body can do because you don’t have a set regimen or plan. Shut out the noise, turn on your favorite music, and move.

Meg Hopkins