Body of work: why Billie Eilish is right to stand her ground against dishonor

Billie Eilish has done everything right in her career so far, but thats not enough for a celebrity industry fixated on sex

Billie Eilish has given the music industry everything it could possibly want. An authentic new voice that appeals to teens and their parents. A debut album that has sold more than 2m transcripts in the US alone. A decisive stylistic evolution from the preceding decade’s dominant pop mode. A clean sweep of the four key categories at the Grammys. A copper-bottomed streaming success model. A James Bond theme that rejuvenates a tired franchise and widens her commercial and creative clout.

Until she offers up her prime commodity as a young female pop starring, it will never be enough.

While 18 -year-old Eilish is a beguilingly physical musician, she has never shown her body in service of her art. She opts loose garb because she feels comfy in it, and has denounced the use of her image to dishonor female pop starrings who dress differently. Not that it’s stopped anyone. Denying spectators the traditional metric by which female superstars are judged- sexiness, slimness; the body as weathervane that reveals how tormented or contented they must be when they lurch between the extremes of those states- has created an obsession with her body and what it must stand for.

Eilish’s world tour- which opened last night in Miami- underscores these contradictions:” While I feel your gazes, your disapproval or your sighs of relief, if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move ,” she says in a video demonstrate between sungs, as she removes her top and sinks into a pond of black water.” Would you like me to be smaller? Weaker? Softer? Taller? Would you like me to be quiet? Do my shoulders elicit you? Does my chest? Am I my stomach? My hips ?”

As if to prove her phase, the Sun reported on Eilish” stripping to her bra” with zero mention of her speech or its message, and titled their narrative” Thrilly Eilish “. Again: Eilish is 18 years old.

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March 10, 2020

It’s hard to think of any previous generation of young female pop starring getting away with making such a public admonishment at the height of their stardom. Motown’s girls were taught comportment by an in-house employee. The anorexia that killed Karen Carpenter was framed as an effective diet. To have her art taken seriously, Kate Bush had to endure the objectification of male journalists who typed with one hand. The Spice Girls had to wait until after the band’s demise to discuss their respective eating disorders, lest they disrupt the image of supportive female friendship. Britney, Christina and Beyonce’s millennium-era abs were testament to their drilled work ethic; Katy Perry and Ariana Grande’s burgeoning images were dependent on marketing their sexuality, while Taylor Swift’s taut middle stoked her image as an American ideal. To recognise Amy Winehouse’s bulimia would have complicated a convenient media narrative of debauchery.

In that context, Eilish’s freedom to speak out represents a kind of progress. It’s symptomatic of the control that she has retained over her career, and its impact on her fans is potentially profound. But being anointed a liberating force in the body-image stakes is its own kind of prison, one that preserves physicality as the ultimate measure of a female star’s worth- and the standard by which they can be undermined. The music industry and the media like to pat themselves on the back for stimulating superstars of Eilish and Lizzo, who often joins her in headlines about body positivity, though if these women one day wish to change their physical presentation, they will be accused of betraying fans and squandering their authenticity.

It is a minority of female musicians who are permitted this limiting form of freedom in the first place. Beyond Eilish and Lizzo’s presence at this year’s Brit awards, the photos from the red carpet looked like scenes from 2002: female musicians and influencers bearing aggressively toned abs, low-slung sparkly pants, attires with gaping cutaways to highlight those impacts. The media may praise Taylor Swift for speaking out about the ailment feeing that she experienced until a few years ago, but it still perpetuates the standards that mean record labels will subject young, female pop starrings to the penalizing diets and exercise routines that Swift has described from her past. Female musicians who gain weight rarely return to the prime of their careers. Dua Lipa’s new video features an exercise routine. The narrative around Adele‘s fourth album, due later this year, is already centred on her recent weight loss.

Ever since the pianist Clara Schumann proved herself a concert virtuoso, female artists have had their creative worth tied to their physicality. The standards are so penalizing and contradictory that it is hard not to suspect that they are purposefully engineered that way, to guarantee obsolescence as they succumb to human fallibility, thus clearing the decks to wave in a new phalanx of young bodies to ogle. As long as the industries that depend on its exploitation continue to exist, and new generations of onlookers are trained in envy and contempt for those bodies, this won’t change.

As the industry races to replicate Eilish’s success and the media starvations for more young girls to compel positions, you’d hope they would heed how this therapy has evidently affected her and ensure that no young female superstar is ever again subject to these vicious criteria. As if.

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Am I happier because I’m thinner, or thinner because I’m happier?

Looking in the mirror, I feel happy with my new body shape. But thats not what body positivity taught me to do

The first time I felt body euphoria was in an Old Navy dressing room. The floor was sticky with inexplicable customer gunk, a toddler was sobbing in the next stall and I was wearing jeans five sizes smaller than usual.

I gaped at my reflection in awe. It’s not just that the jeans fit; I could also assure my collarbones, which had been hidden under layers of fat and tissue for so long that I forgot I had them. My jaw line was more pronounced, and my belly didn’t jut out the style I recollected it to.

I had lost more than 100 pounds, and I could see the difference right there in the mirror.

With euphoria came guilt. It upset me that I liked my new reflection so much, because I didn’t know why I was happy with it. For years, I had subscribed to the notion that defining women’s worth by their weight was a feminist cardinal sin. Like countless others, I had found self-love and adoption in the arms of the body positivity movement.

It offered me a welcome respite from the stress of constantly looking at myself with a critical eye, as well as a counterattack to the once predominating idea that dishonor gets bodies in shape( it doesn’t ). So why was I so happy at the sight of my new, thinner shape?

I lost more than 100 pounds in two parts over 18 months, during two big stages of my life. The first occurs when I ran from a depressed, overworked college student to a emphasized, fully utilized adult. I replaced meals with coffee and eat once daily- usually the easiest thing I could pop into the microwave after a 12 -hour day. On top of my 9-5 task, my four-hour daily commute constructed finding any time for myself nearly impossible.

My body responded to my new environment by shedding 50 pounds, but even then I knew my weight loss wasn’t healthy. My stress had reached a peak, and all I could do was shrink in the face of it. I had no time for physical activity, and if I was lucky enough to get a day off, I was too depleted to move anyways. The stuff I devoured could scarcely be called food; I feed quick meals rife with saturated fats and sodium that just made me more sluggish. Research backs this up: stressful tasks lead to poor eating, junk food makes us depressed and failing mental health becomes a roadblock to improving health.

I bristled whenever someone congratulated me on my weight loss. To accept outsiders’ compliments on my weight loss was to betray the body-positive ethos I had adopted.

And then, just as easily as I had adopted it, I threw that life away. Less than a year into my first full-time job, I discontinue to travel Europe for five months. Suddenly, I had a limitless resource of something I hadn’t had my entire working life: time. I could expend all day walking, climbing or hiking in a different country. I could stroll through local marketplaces, relishing the hues and odors of the displayed fruits and vegetables, to pick foods that induced me happy and gave me the energy I needed to keep exploring. Regular physical activity, a Mediterranean-style diet and liberty to do as I pleased altered me, and I lost another 60 lb.

When I came back home to the US, my family and friends were shocked by my dramatic transformation and my weight loss was only part of it. Yes, I was smaller, but I also seemed happier. I was more confident and said stuff like:” You know what would be so fun right now? A bike ride .” I even got a cool haircut. My new body was a reflection of the new life I was living.

One of the biggest alters my friends noticed is how experimental and colorful my manner sense had now become, are comparable to when all I wore was an ensemble of leggings and a T-shirt. Being more confident assists, but buying cool clothes is just easier the less fat you are. Albeit I’m still a solid sizing 14, but the realm of possibilities for my wardrobe has vastly expanded from the ironically slim size-2 0-and-up rack I used to shop from. I can set more care into my appearance and feel more secure in the way I present myself to the world because I actually have options.

There’s just one thing, though. My new commitment to health has also bordered on obsession at times. I don’t want to fall back on my old habits, so I pore over the ingredients in everything I eat. I work out regularly, sometimes to the point I can barely move my muscles the next day. And when I can’t bring myself to push my limits again- only one extra define of crunches or lunges- I feel like I’m failing myself.

Maybe getting healthier has made me happier, but being so preoccupied with health can be my downfall. Orthorexia, ailment eating influenced by an preoccupation with “healthy” foods, is one symptom of the larger problem diet culture was born from. Being perfect is a never-ending game of moving goalposts, and we’re compelled to spend the rest of our lives chasing after it.

I’m still plus sizing, but I have become a more” socially acceptable” fat girl worth catering to. For once, I feel like my body has the right to exist because there’s less room for me to take up. Is that anything to be happy about? All I know is that I own a pair of jeans that fit, and I’ll stop to admire my reflection when I wear them.

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We’re deluged with images of’ beauty ‘. No wonder so many of us feel so bad | Dawn Foster

Adverts for weight-loss and cosmetic procedures bombard us on social media, undermining our self-confidence, says the Guardian columnist Dawn Foster

In the early 2000 s, the internet was a key component of my teenage life: many evenings we annoyed my friends’ mothers by hogging the phone line and spending hours talking to schoolmates on MSN Messenger. But during the day, we didn’t use the internet: we had clunky phones that could only call and text. So I wasn’t bombarded 24/7 with images of purportedly perfect-looking women. Few of us bothered with teen magazines bar read the problem pages.

Today on social media adolescents and adults are spate with images of traditionally “beautiful” people, along with endless adverts for cosmetic procedures such as Botox, and lip and cheek fillers. And this week a survey for the Mental Health Foundation found that one in eight adults has thought about killing themselves because they were distressed over their body image. The foundation’s chief executive, Mark Rowland, said:” There has always been idealised body representation across media, but it’s the quantity of those images and the frequency in which we consider them- that’s what we’re worried about .” He also warned that social media platforms were” increasingly consumerist, increasingly celebrity-orientated, increasingly focused on external appearances “.

People have always worried about their appearance, but the survey confirms what many have long suspected: being bombarded with images of the “perfect” body shape, together with adverts for weight- loss apps and cosmetic procedures, can have a huge negative effect. One in five people told the foundation that images on social media had made them worry about their body image, and one in ten females said they had self-harmed because of this.

And it isn’t just the imagery. Any woman who speaks out on social question can face victimisation. One of my friends recently had a man write extensive abuse under photos of her brother’s wedding on her Facebook page. My Instagram is locked after a spate of people wrote eugenicist arguments under photos I had taken in hospital, stating that disabled people should die out.

It’s obvious, too, that more and more females are having cosmetic procedures at a younger age. Many nail bars, hairdressers and beauty parlours offer Botox injections. The adverts that target young women normalise the procedures: surely they should not be seen as akin to getting your nails done.

We all deserve to have confidence in our body image. Social media platforms have to be more responsible over the adverts they carry, especially those targeted at young people; and television and film should show a greater diversity of bodies. We all predominately share photos where we think we look our best. Without being mawkish, everyone is attractive and beautiful to someone else, and we all deserve to have confidence in our body image. Casting directors should work to include those who look like the general public- those shows that do so, such as Line of Duty and EastEnders, are a welcome change from the norm. Real beauty is far more encompassing than the images we are deluged with.

And the industry promoting Botox and other cosmetic procedures should be more strongly governed. One company has bombarded me with adverts offering interest-fee credit for several procedures. Young women should not be targeted by these messages , normalising painful procedures by persuading people they are ugly, that they have flaws in their face that should be eliminated.

Teenagers are notoriously image-conscious and also intensely worried about their body as it goes through changes. But adults, too, are not immune. Ultimately, different people find different people attractive: we should all remember that beauty and attraction are wide-ranging- even if you don’t love yourself, the chances are that someone else will find you beautiful.

* Dawn Foster is a Guardian columnist.

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo @samaritans. org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

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Sofie Hagen: ‘Fat is a neutral word – I want us to reclaim it’

In her first book, the Danish comedian is calling for fat liberation and happiness. She talks about anti-capitalism, abuse and how her view of her body changed overnight

Sofie Hagen no longer tells fat jokes. “I did at the beginning of my career,” she says, a bit regretfully. “Nothing negative, just laughing at myself. I had one joke, where I said something like: ‘I’m fat because I overeat. And I overeat because I have a lot of pain inside. Like, for example, right here’” – she points to her cheek – “‘is a chicken bone I haven’t quite swallowed yet.’”

I laugh appreciatively, but was I supposed to? “It’s really a lose-lose situation,” she says. “I do think there’s something powerful in a fat comedian being visible, owning the stage and calling out what the audience is already thinking. But I don’t make those jokes any more.”

Hagen has a different message now. For several years, the 30-year-old comic has been vocal about what she describes as society’s “deeply ingrained” anti-fat bias and the way it marginalises people, particularly women. On social media, she has highlighted fat phobia in advertising campaigns, inevitably attracting the attention of trolls whose personal abuse can “last for days”.

Some of this abuse, as well as the street harassment she endures, features in her award-winning standup comedy. Hagen’s routines cover everything from politics to boybands. Her outlook and voice – that of an awkward millennial outsider – has pulled in a dedicated fanbase of “quirky feminist introverts, like me”, she says.

Hagen on stage at the Edinburgh festival in 2016. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian

Her debut book, Happy Fat: Taking Up Space in a World That Wants to Shrink You, documents her own experiences as a fat child and adult, from crushing weight-loss attempts that were always “95-98% likely to fail”, to dating men who were looking to “settle for a fat girl”. She writes about the problems of flying while fat (do you book two seats or risk not being able to fly at all?); and the “hell” that is summer, with warmer weather bringing chafing, sweat and the increased scrutiny that leaves fat people feeling forced to stay indoors.

When we meet to discuss the book, I have to ask: does she really want me to describe her as fat?

“Yes! I want us to reclaim the word fat,” she says. “I know not everyone likes it. I used to say ‘overweight’. But fat is a neutral word. If you look it up, it doesn’t say good or bad. I want to remove the negative associations, that’s why I put it in the title.”

Happy Fat mixes memoir and political commentary, humour and more difficult moments. There’s her story of visiting a theatre where all the seats had fixed armrests, and having to be seated on a stool instead, “towering over everyone, looking like a lifeguard”. She writes about how food was used to express both love and punishment in her childhood, growing up in Søndersø, Denmark, with her sister and mother. Hagen had little contact with her father, but her maternal grandparents played a large role in her upbringing, and she shuttled between the home of her mother – who forever had Hagen on a diet – to the home of her grandparents, who expressed love through sweet treats and felt insulted if she didn’t eat.

These memories are mixed with statistics, scientific studies and interviews with activists, painting a shocking picture of fat-prejudice and its impact on wellbeing: one survey, for instance, which measured fat discrimination, found that 89% of fat people who had lost weight would rather go blind than become obese again.

Hagen’s book also acts as a guide for women who are overweight or obese to find happiness and learn to accept that their body is – if not beautiful – then, at least, just fine.

This last message is somewhat at odds with the current body positivity movement, which urges everyone to love their body, whatever their shape or size. Hagen recalls speaking on a panel with a prominent figure from the movement. Every time the panellist would say “love yourself”, the crowd would whoop and cheer, and Hagen would respond: “Yes, but how?” Her question only spawned more slogans, more cheers – and no answers.

“Loving your body can feel impossible,” says Hagen, “and just another thing to fail at. You fail at dieting, and then you fail at loving your body. And even if you love your body you might not love it all the time.”

For Hagen, body neutrality, which focuses on respect and acceptance of your body, rather than love, “is something that we can all aim for and achieve … It’s like my ears. I feel very neutral about my ears. I don’t have bad or good things to say; they’re just ears. And if I could feel like that about my whole body, that would be amazing. Especially as everything within body positivity is based on looks.”

So, for instance, the rise of plus-size models has been seen as a sign of positive change. But Hagen notes that even Tess Holliday – who is “actually fat”, she says, compared to most other plus-size models – “is still incredibly beautiful”.

‘Fat is a neutral word. If you look it up, it doesn’t say good or bad. I want to remove the negative associations.’ Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

“People feel uncomfortable talking about beauty privilege,” she says, “but it is part of this discussion.”

Aside from her size, Hagen notes, Holliday is conventional. “She has a symmetrical face, she’s white, femme, able-bodied, long hair. It’s making fatness more palatable, but not really changing anything.”

For Hagen, learning to accept her body wasn’t a drawn-out process; the change came instantly. One day her university friend Andrea asked her to think about where self-hating thoughts come from, and who profits from them, and her whole perspective shifted.

“I used to think – of course fat is ugly, lazy, stupid and bad. I never questioned it. But when Andrea said: ‘You feel bad then you buy more stuff, so they make money,’ it clicked. Overnight I stopped seeing it as a fact.”

This is the political centre of Happy Fat: the argument that fatphobia is a product of capitalism – designed to keep us consuming diet products and miracle foods; and patriarchy – which demands women exert an impossible level of self-discipline around their looks. She sums up the argument with a Naomi Wolf quote: “A culture fixated on female thinness is fixated on female obedience.”

To challenge fatphobia is to challenge capitalism and to see fat people in the context of other marginalised groups. The ideas Hagen discusses come from fat liberation, a grassroots movement that started in 1960s New York and the manifesto of which is included in the book. This includes a demand for “equal access to goods and services in the public domain” and singles out as special enemies “the so-called reducing industries [including] diet books, diet foods and food supplements”.

Hagen says that when fat liberation became body positivity, the movement became more palatable to mainstream culture. “Big clothing companies can make money by saying they’re body positive and that they cater to all sizes, when they only cater to a size 22, and all the people in their adverts are white and perfect-looking, except for a bit of stomach.

“We cannot keep fixing ourselves. We’re never told to look around us. I’m doing panels asking: ‘How do I love myself?’ How about we do a panel with the people who make [fatphobic] adverts and ask: ‘Why did you make that advert?’”

She includes many examples of little acts of kindness throughout the book, including the friends who have swooped in and saved her when she is caught in a conversation with somebody who tells her, unprompted, that being fat will kill her. Then there is the musician she dated, who, realising she might struggle up the many stairs to his flat, stopped every flight for a kiss, to let her catch her breath.

Even the most well-meaning people and those who have suffered marginalisation themselves can have a bias against fat people, she says. One example of how this plays out particularly struck me: telling people they “don’t look fat”. Hagen says this only serves to deny the person’s experience. And it strengthens the belief that fat is wrong. I tell her I am guilty of it myself.

“We all make mistakes. It’s tempting to think of ourselves as good – and therefore not able to be, say, sexist or transphobic – but we’ve all been raised in the same society. The answer is never going to be: ‘Oh, I’m not [prejudiced], phew!,’ because that way we do nothing. We should be saying: ‘I am racist, I am homophobic, I am transphobic and I want to do better.’” She pauses before laughing. “What a quote! I can see the piece now: Sofie Hagen says ‘I am racist.’”

Is it possible to find happiness in your body if you don’t want to dive into anti-capitalist politics?

“For me? No,” she says. “The politics was the main attraction. Politics gave me the desire to want to fight this system so that other people don’t have to fight it any more.”

Happy Fat: Taking Up Space in a World That Wants to Shrink You is published by 4th Estate on 2 May. To order a copy for £11.43, go to Sofie Hagen’s Bubblewrap, Happy Fat standup and book tour travels the UK from 26 April to 15 June,

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Those Fitness Assessments at Gyms Could Be Lying to You

Deborah Shatzkes joined a new gym in 2015. Along with her membership, Shatzkes got a free personal training conference. She also got what was called a fitness assessment to help inform her personal educate session.

Shatzkes wasn’t interested in personal train, but the person selling her the membership said it was worth it to get the assessment to get acquainted with what the gym had to offer.

So Shatzkes took it. During her assessment, a personal trainer took her height and weight, then told her that, according to the gym’s chart, her body mass index, or BMI, set her in a category right under obese.

” I looked at this and I was shocked because I’m in really good shape ,” she told The Daily Beast.” I’m a runner and I eat really well so I looked at him and I was like,’ How can this be ?'”

The trainer deflected the issues to. And when Shatzkes, who’s 55 and works as a radiologist, reached out to the gym management for an explanation, she received the same various kinds of deflection.

” The chart was manipulative and there was a lot of pressure for training and it was clearly directed towards stimulating me–and people–that they were less fit than they were and therefore needed educate .”

Shatzkes is far from alone. The warmer summer months construct societal pressure for ” summer bodies “ or the eye-roll-inducing” bikini body” that marketers and fitness institutions often are applied to shame people into spending money on memberships, personal training, and more.

And free fitness assessments are part of the problem, sometimes leaving members in vulnerable places that could contribute to body dysmorphia and eating disorders and sometimes pushing members to overtrain in order to achieve a body type dictated by the gym as ideal.

BMI, which is measured by height and weight, has long been a way to put what seemed like a scientifically backed, neutral but cold number on one’s healthy weight. But recent years have proven that the BMI is controversial. In 2013, research from the Centre for Disease and Control and Prevention challenged the longstanding hypothesi that lower BMI equals lower mortality rate in 2013.

” I looked at this and I was shocked because I’m in really good shape. I’m a athlete and I eat really well so I looked at him and I was like,’ How can this be ?'”
— Deborah Shatzkes

Experts agree it’s problematic. Jeff Plasschaert, a University of Florida health physiologist focusing on cardiac and pulmonary health, works with the hospital’s fitness centre and told The Daily Beast that BMI tends to incorrectly categorize people.

” If you’re looking at BMI just as a number of a measurement of overall health it can be very inaccurate ,” he said.” You can have an individual that’s 250 pounds but all muscle and their BMI would put them into highly obese category, and the problem is that BMI just goes by height and weight .”

Some fitness centers go beyond BMI. At Equinox gyms, clients doing fitness assessments–called EquiFits–step on an InBody machine that measures body fat percentage, muscle mass, body water values, and even the difference in weight between your right and left limbs.

And TMPL gym in New York City takes it a step further with what it calls a Metabolic Assessment, that includes the Styku, a 3D Body Scanner, that proves clients exactly where fat deposits in their body and” The Metabolic Code ,” an extensive questionnaire that Christopher Piegza, develop administrator at TMPL, told The Daily Beast helps” determine within the accuracy of bloodwork where one’s metabolism and hormonal levels are at .” Clients then work with” Metabolic Specialists” to fine tune diet and exercise.

Everyone who joins the gym gets the assessment for free, and Piegza said that even if clients insist they can’t afford the service, which ranges in cost but reportedly starts at $750, he tries to talk to them about their fitness aims.

” I favor it be an eye-opening experience, rather than a sales pitch. I tell them to come in and we take it from there, and I’ll do a presentation around this is why you need this ,” he said.” People do realise if it’s something they’re really after, the money becomes less and less of an object .”

Ross Hurley, a certified strength and conditioning expert who works with MotivNY and has worked for various gyms, told The Daily Beast that the fitness world is moving toward rethinking fitness assessments as” How well do you move” versus” How much weight do you want to lose ?”

” We’re starting to look at people from a motion perspective and say,’ Hey if you’re the various kinds of person who wants to do constraints and obstacles or play with your kids, here’s the kind of workout for you ,'” he said.

” With what’s been offered to me, I feel unmotivated rather than motivated .”
— Alyssa Chaplin

The bottom line is that not everyone is looking to reshape their body or change their diet, and surely not by way of a controversial, potentially misleading statistic. Alyssa Chaplin, a 27 -year-old special education teacher, told The Daily Beast that the numbers from any kind of body analysis she’s had has induced her feel bad about herself. She’s been avoiding a free personal training conference at her gym.

” Some people want a trainer to be able to stay the way that the objective is. I’m not necessarily going to do a drastic weight loss, and with what’s been offered to me, I feel unmotivated rather than motivated and you feel forced to go to the gym rather than go to the gym because it feels good ,” she said.” I believe rather than measure stuff, they should ask: What are those areas you’re not happy about, we’re not going to measure it right now but let’s talk about it .”

Justine Roth, a registered dietician who specializes in eating disorders and runs as the director of the nutrition department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told The Daily Beast that any hard numbers can be harmful for people.

” It’s all just as unhelpful as the BMI scales. Body fat percentage measures and inches are so exact and rigid that really nothing but preoccupation can come from taking them ,” she said.” Questions like,’ Can you walk up a flight of stairs without get out of breath ?’ or’ Do you work out on an empty stomach’ are better indicators to what type of interventions might be best for a person to gain cardiovascular strength and more energy during a workout .”

Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are things some gyms take very seriously and some gyms don’t think about at all. Roth said that many gyms don’t have policies in place for when an eating disorder is suspected, which can be very dangerous for the member struggling.

Alex Zimmerman, Equinox’s senior director of Tier X programming, the gym’s highest level of personal educate, told The Daily Beast that Tier X coaches are put through a six-month developmental training program, that includes working with a psychologist, in order to ensure a body positive surrounding.

” That is something we have to tread gently on, it’s very sensitive datum ,” he said.” We’re aware people can respond any which way and what we try to do is identify where their strengths lie and build upon on that as opposed to shaming them as to where they’re falling short with their behavior .”

Everyone answers differently, though. And for some, numbers can motivate, but it’s also about the trainer you’re working with and how they make “youre feeling”. Marcos Perez, who’s 29, worked with a trainer at Equinox when he realized he had gained so much weight it was unhealthy. He uses the InBody machine every month to track his progress.

” I got paired with a trainer who had a similar weight loss journey and it’s been encouraging and motivate, and I think having that experience to start truly maintained me on track because it’s really hard the first couple of months and to have someone be like,’ you got this, keep going ,’ really helped ,” he said.

Hurley said it’s important for clients to always question their trainers: Why are we measuring this ? Why are we doing this movement? And Plasschaert said to talk to a potential trainer about their knowledge and skills, how they can help you and if they might recommend someone else they know who could be more equipped to help you reach your fitness goals , not a gym’s prescriptive version of objectives.

” If you’re hiring someone for a job, you wouldn’t want someone just off the street, you don’t want someone who just has a shirt that says’ trainer’ on it ,” he said.” Ideas that some people follow might not fit everybody they develop .”

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