How the health and fitness industry is causing harm by attaching morality-based judgments to food and fitness.

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An unfortunate union has formed: Health and fitness has entwined with morality.

This couple has forged a bond that’s challenging to break.

What does “health and fitness entwined with morality” even mean? you may be wondering. This is best explained with an example:

I ate way too much last night and had dessert. I was bad; I screwed up and will have to work out even harder tomorrow or greatly restrict my calories to make up for it.

The judgment rendered is that the person was “bad” because of their food choices. They must punish themselves with a grueling workout or restrict food intake for the next day or two, to atone for the self-proclaimed overeating transgression.

Have you ever done something similar?

At first glance this may appear harmless, no big deal. But making food and fitness a moral endeavor can lead to unexpected consequences: obsessive eating habits, negative body image, and instead of being a complementary lifestyle that improves your health and helps you live your best life it be a source of frustration and anxiety.

Recommended article: Don’t Try to “Hate Your Way” Skinny

Identifying the Problem

Overeating. Skipping workouts. Unsuccessfully following the nutrition changes we planned to implement. The bathroom scale reveals we’ve gained six pounds.

We’ve become reactive with morality-laced responses to these situations that we may not realize we’re doing it. The I-am-bad reactions have become reflexes;

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