Body Positive, Cari Li's Episodes, Health, Mindset, Personal Development

Why I Still Promote Fat Loss with Cari Li

There are many coaches out there in the fitness world; we all have various ways of reaching the people who need our help and we all have different areas in which we specialize in. I really respect a lot of my fellow coaches and the fitness beliefs they advocate, however it has not swayed me from my stance and promotion of body change and fat loss and I am going to explain why.


Outline/Key points:


(02:08) There are many approaches in fitness and despite having great respect for many of my fellow coaches and what they advocate, I still stand by my promotion of body change and fat loss.


I would like to start this by first saying that there’s many coaches out there. Especially in fitness and we all have different ways of reaching the people who need our help and we all have different areas in which we specialize in. Some coaches I agree with and I realize, even though we coach differently, there is a need for them to have that particular approach to reach a certain part of the population. There are also coaches I don’t agree with it, and they make me angry sometimes because they tend to disregard what truly happens to a client either by ignorance, inexperience or even poor intentions. Speaking a coach, we all learn more as we go and most of us coach to the best of our abilities.


Now I love that there’s a huge movement for body acceptance and I fully support that. I also love that I have friends who are weight-neutral coaches. I think it’s wonderful because there are definitely people who need that type of environment. However, that has never swayed me to stop promoting work with body change because after almost a decade of coaching body change, I’ve seen what it can do FOR a person (not to but for).  I am not trying to justify my approach, it is just something I want to put out there to clarify for people, whether you’re a coach or someone needing help with fitness because there is a lot of noise around what you should and shouldn’t accept about your body.


I am going into 2 reasons why I still promote fat loss and body change. 1 is sad, but that’s okay and the other is empowering.


My hope out of this episode is that depending on whether you are a coach or someone with fitness goals, you understand how body change can be useful and improve someone’s quality of life. Also, check in with yourself and your goals to see if they are really what you want, or if your goals are determined by outsiders.


(05:36) The first reason I still promote body change and fat loss is because, sadly, people are superficial.


I’m not talking about character or how you act towards someone else. I’m talking about your relationship with your own body. There are many people that still focus solely on how the body LOOKS instead of how the body feels and how healthy they are as an individual. They don’t really care about how they get “there” (meaning their dream body), even if it means sacrificing their mental and physical health.


A lot of times, we get bombarded with media and society telling us what we need to look like. One of the most popular requests I get is “I want abs”. Now for those of you who know me, you know that abs don’t mean anything to me. It doesn’t mean that you are fit, healthy or more attractive. In fact, having abs may require you to sacrifice your health and sometimes sanity.


But here’s the thing… as a coach I am very clear on how I want to help people. I know that these are some of the people I want to help. Why? Because I went through that journey of chasing the superficial and sacrificing my health. Many who approach me with those goals are often just lost and as a coach I want to help them find the best way to improve their quality of life.


So now, I have the opportunity to help people make that same switch. I ask them, “okay, you want to be extremely lean, this is how you’ll have to live to have that. You need X hours in the gym, calculate your macros, meal prep, etc. Do you wanna live like that? Oh and you also you risk losing your period, having thyroid issues, and wrecking your metabolism if you do this wrong or rush it. Are you okay with that?” We are being marketed to want to look a certain way and many people want to get there as soon as possible and that can be very unhealthy, which is something that is conveniently left out of the marketing. Usually after telling them what it takes to accomplish that in the short term, they start to question how important that superficial image is to them, which is great. If you have any body goals, ask yourself why right now, “why do I want that?”


So after watching them struggle a bit, I like to ask them “well, why do you need abs?” The response is usually laughter or confusion with a “I don’t know, it looks nice? Isn’t it healthy?” Basically, they don’t even know. If I did not support body change and without my own prior experience of being in their shoes, I would not be so equipped to have this conversation; to understand and help them out with this issue. There are so many people out there wanting to change their body for superficial reasons and I am glad to be able to educate and help some of them realize what they are getting themselves into and even rethink their motivations.


So if you have a goal for your body right now, please question where that goal is coming from. It is very important not to be led by superficial, external motivations.


(12:58) The second reason why I still promote fat loss and body change is that it is a great stepping stone for internal work.


I believe that the body changes in the best way when the change comes from within; meaning from your heart and intentions focused on caring and respecting your body. You body also changes differently during different phases in your life because at different phases of your life you are going and working through different things emotionally, mentally and spiritually, and I believe your body also evolves and communicates that.


I really think coaches (who have the right values) tend to do the same thing in different ways, and that is to uplevel someone; to help them grow into the best person they can be. With life coaches, it may be more spiritual and with a business coach it may be through taking action and building confidence with success and bouncing back quickly through failures.


With fitness, personal training and online programs, I’ve been able to witness people come into the gym or workouts and use it as a great first step to working on themselves internally.


I have seen body change do great things for people. Here is a scenario. A lot of times, people get to a point where they are unhealthy and they decide or maybe even a doctor decides they have to start exercising. So they find a coach and get in the gym and hopefully with the right coaching, they start feeling better. So the hormones are feeling good, the body is starting to feel strong, the energy is improving and maybe the body is changing too. All this helps build confidence and gives them the motivation and energy to take action that maybe they couldn’t before. When that starts happening they begin to take on more challenges, get out of their comfort zone and remove things, habits or people who do not serve them. They start respecting themselves more and it all started with body change. I’ve witnessed confidence from the gym translate into all sorts of real life changes benefiting the individual.


Working on our body and our health is a very tangible change that makes it easier to promote an internal change.


So if you’re a coach, and you’re feeling a little confused and maybe yucky because you promote fat loss, or bodybuilding, think of the good changes that you’ve help clients with. Not saying body transformations are not good changes, people are always look for that because many are still driven by the superficial, but think of the messages you get from clients that do focus on other things aside from the aesthetic body change; like positive changes to their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. These are internal transformations that change lives and they started with wanting a body change. So if you are a coach I want you to remember that there is just so much more that comes with helping someone transform their body, it can be a really beautiful transformation from inside out that you get to play a part in.


If you’re someone with fitness goals, I went into a lot of this stuff in episode 9 called, The Dangers of Fitness Trends. I go into detail about how to check if your goals and approach in fitness is really serving you or harming you. But most importantly, and this is really with anything in life; question why. Why do you think you need this result or goal? Why do you think you have to look a certain way? Why do you think you need to follow certain actions? You may have very valid reasons and that is great! Just make sure they are truly yours. I hate watching someone put endless energy into something only to find out, that is not something they want any part of.


(23:27) I want to end this episode by reminding you and myself that there is always balance in everything. When it comes to body change there is good and bad and hopefully, I have shed some light on the good for you.


(23:47) Closing message and social media links.


Links and Resources:

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