So many fitness influences use their physical appearance to promote their workouts/ programs *without* disclosing their hormone health situation.
I found myself scrolling a fitness influencer’s feed the other day. I was looking into her routine and her workouts thinking, “Wow she looks SO good. Her abs are so defined. Let me see how she trains so I can incorporate more of that into my routine or maybe she has a workout program I can check out.”
And then I stopped myself.
I was over here coveting another person’s appearance without knowing *shit* about how they feel on a day-to-day basis.
For a microsecond, I got so caught up in their appearance that I was willing to blindly follow their advice without 1/10th of the information that I actually needed to make an informed decision about if it was even safe for me to do so.
Yes someone might have abs but do they have a period? What are their period symptoms like? Is their hair falling out? Do they have a sex drive? Are they on hormonal birth control? Are they tired all the time?
I think these are really fair questions to ask when someone’s like “hey if you want to look like me buy my workouts” – because sure I might change my body composition following your guidance but at what cost???
Don’t get me wrong, it is totally possible to be an absolutely ripped super healthy athlete with hormone balance and a great cycle but I am TIRED of seeing the fitness space promote appearance without being fully transparent about hormone health (and other health deets).
Because when we’re working out and changing our body composition WITHOUT considering hormone health, it can be a disaster. It is so common for athletes to lose their periods, stop ovulating, develop gut issues, tank their adrenals, etc because body fat percentages get too low, not enough calories are being consumed, inflammation and stress isn’t being managed properly, recovery isn’t a priority, and so on.
Fat loss cannot successfully and sustainably happen when hormones are whacked. When fat loss and/ or muscle growth is prioritized while hormones and gut health are struggling, it can create so many other issues. When your health is screaming for attention, the body’s focus needs to be on healing for a while first – THEN we can focus on changing body composition.
I’m not trying to shit on the fitness industry or that person who’s feed I was scrolling! I love a lot of things about the fitness space and am working every day on my own ~fitness~
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that could shift.
I absolutely would not say don’t work with a fitness coach who doesn’t share their period health info in their content because I don’t think disclosing this info is a standard! But I am saying that as a consumer you can help change that standard by asking these questions and holding people accountable for what they’re promoting – especially before you buy their workouts or follow their recommendations. If enough people are asking these questions, industry standard will have to shift 😊
And next time you’re scrolling instagram envying another person’s appearance, take a breath and remind yourself how your own body is doing a fabulous job of keeping you alive and well AND looks damn good while doing it 💅
You don’t have to compromise your hormones for your appearance.
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Calee Shea is a Holistic Health Practioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is your go-to gal for all things periods, vaginal health, and sex.