Welcome to the third part in my series on examining motivational exercise quotes! Just as a reminder of why we are examining these quotes, many people look online for them before they start a workout or an exercise program to get their blood pumping and their minds ready for the work they are about to undertake.
While this can be a great practice, as there are so many quotes online to check out, I wanted to take a deeper look at what these quotes mean to see if they are definitely something you want to follow or if they contain anything we should be cautious about.
With that said, the quote we are going to look at today is one that I think definitely should not be taken purely at face-value and is worthy of digging into more:
“Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.”
What This Quote Really Means
As I stated before, this is a quote that I feel deserves to be looked at a little more in-depth because there are so many ways it could go. While what follows is my solely my interpretation, I think my experience in the field of fitness has given me a pretty good idea of the intended meaning.
I think it could be said that on the surface, this quote looks like it could true. What I believe it is going for is telling those who have problems eating too much junk food, that the feeling of being fit is better than any pleasure that food can give them.
I know for myself, I am mostly disciplined when it comes to eating junk food. However, there are weaknesses that I have and I’m sure many of you can relate. I love Doritos…and Peanut M&M’s. The rare times that I have them in the house, I know my snacking tendencies go up. I have accepted, at this point, that it is inevitable.
I also know that while I am eating them, it is not the best thing for me. As I think about it compared to how I feel after I work out, there really is no comparison. I love the feeling of being fit and strong…”swole” as the kids say these days (silently praying I didn’t misinterpret that word…OK I just looked it up…it really does mean having your muscles feel big after a great workout! Phew!).
It is also the reason I don’t have them in the house very often. Knowing yourself is extremely important when it comes to discipline and adherence to practices that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Therefore, as someone with knowledge, a clear head, and self-discipline, I can look at this quote and say it could be telling the truth.
The Danger Is In The Interpretation
Yet, the same probably can’t be said about a lot of people, especially those who can easily feel shamed by a quote like this. There are also those who have a real problem with eating disorders. I’m talking about individuals who are on either extreme of the spectrum, such as overeating (binge eating) or anorexia.
I’m not by any means an expert in either one of these conditions, but I feel if someone suffers from either one, their interpretation of this quote will probably be entirely different from mine and their reaction may be extremely dangerous!
Consider again for a moment the picture that the quote was coupled with when I found it:
Imagine a person who is overweight and has been struggling with exercise and eating for years. They might not know what fit feels like in the first place, so their relation to the quote is non-existent. Then they see the woman to the right of the quote. She is clearly in great shape. If it were me, that could be very detrimental to my motivation and could get me thinking, “Well, I can never look like that, so why try?”
Now imagine someone who struggles with anorexia (which according to the Mayo Clinic, is defined as an eating disorder involving intense fears of gaining weight, as well as a distortion of perception when it comes to his/her weight).
Those who suffer from this condition may look at a quote like this and run with it, having stronger aversions to not just junk foods, but even healthy foods for fear of gaining weight and feeling unfit.
Now I am aware that these are extreme cases, but I think anyone with an unhealthy body image could be negatively affected by a wrong interpretation of this quote. Those in the fitness industry have a responsibility to think about what we are putting out there!
All-Or-Nothing And Unrealistic Expectations
Another potential problem with this quote is that it seems to promote an all-or-nothing mindset.
Saying “NOTHING tastes as good as being fit feels” is way too broad and extreme. In some cases, the statement is just not true. I’ve had some pretty awesome food in my life that was way more pleasurable than that HIIT workout I did earlier in the day.
I think it also has the potential to set up some unrealistic expectations:
- Fitness is always going to feel good: As I hinted at in my example above, it’s not always the case. Working out is hard! It takes a lot of effort and you won’t always feel like doing it or feel the best afterwards.
- Fitness is better (or at least should take priority) over food: If you know anything about working out, you know this is unrealistic. Food is the substance that fuels the workout! There is a necessary balance between the two. Let’s not put ideas out there that may be interpreted in a way that throws off that balance.
My Realistic Approach To Food And Fitness
Over the years, I have learned a lot about that balance. Food and fitness are not two factors independent of one another. They need to work together in order for any success to be achieved on a fitness journey.
Remember what I said about having the junk food in my house? If I were completely against it and always choosing fitness above all, I would never purchase that food…and I’d be miserable. The problem with that is, if I am miserable, do you think I will stick with the fitness portion? Highly unlikely!
That’s why I am in favor of a balance. I work out nearly every day of the week. I eat healthy most of the time. Yet, I also leave room for treats and junk food. Why? Because I know myself and I know that in the long run, that is what is going to keep me on track with my fitness goals.
This line of thinking may or may not work for you, but that’s where it takes learning about yourself, becoming more disciplined in the areas that need it, but not putting so much emphasis on the fitness portion that it becomes unsustainable. You have to find what works for you. You have to find the correct balance for you.
My Final Word
After analyzing this quote, I think my verdict lies somewhere in the middle, as it really depends on who you are and how you are going to interpret the information it gives. I can see where it would be helpful to someone like me and harmful to someone who has had or is having problems with food and weight.
However, I hope that regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on, this article has given you useful information and something to ponder today.
Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts about this quote? Do you think I’m over-analyzing it or am I on to something? Have you had struggles with weight issues and found quotes either helpful or harmful? Are there any
particular favorite motivational exercise quotes of yours at which you want me to take an in-depth look? Let me know in the comments!
As always, if you have any questions, I’d love to hear them and try to give my best answer!
Lastly, if you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help. While I haven’t had experience with this in particular, I’ve had to deal with depression in myself and loved ones and only got better when I reached out. There is no shame in asking for help!
With that said, be well everyone! Until next time, have a balanced day!