If you don't have Facebook's On This Day feature turned on, do it. I use it as my daily reminder of how much life has changed, how much I've learned to throttle back my public opinions and for those less adult moments, I enjoy the occasional chuckle when I see old status updates that started with a verb. Remember those? Today's memory touched a soft spot compliments of an article that originally appeared on Your Fairy Angel and eventually made its way over to The Huffington Post in 2013. In the article, Iris Higgins recounts the 3 years she spent as a weight loss consultant only later to admit that while many of her clients walked in healthy, they walked out with eating disorders, body image issues and the notion they were a “failure.”
Weight loss. I hate that phrase.
I eat to live and live to eat in one of the best foodie cities in America. Thanks to Houston's enterprising chefs like Ryan Pera and Justin Yu, I never have to leave my neighborhood, or flip flops, for a 5-star meal. But I digress and am once again distracted by food. When my "weight loss" Facebook memory popped up this morning the irony wasn't lost on me that four years later, I am now the face of a fast growing start-up boutique fitness studio in its third year. I don't wear crop tops, or string bikinis and have never in my entire life been on a 1,200 calorie diet. I don't take pictures in front of fans to make my hair blow back and you'll never see me post a selfie of my backside while peering over my shoulder with pursed lips into the mirror.
Higgins' realization that it wasn't just weight loss clinics aiding this sense of body failure only answered half the question no one wanted to ask. Short of a true medical conundrum, why are doctors and registered dietitians on medical advisory boards, mass media and magazines fat shaming everyone?
Yes, sex and shredded abs sell but happiness is also a predominant force in today's experience-driven group fitness scene.
Let's take a stroll back to sophomore biology class and remember the 4 major chemicals in the brain responsible for happiness: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins (DOSE). Nicole Lazarro, (look her up, she's amazing) notes it doesn't take magic, just a little bit of science to understand the role each chemical plays in our quest for happiness and client loyalty. She reminds us 80% of serotonin exists in our guts, and is governed by our state of hunger. So when you get hangry, there's an actual reason why.
A little closer to home, Citizen Pilates' mission isn't to defy your ear drums or to rock your body to unrealistic BMI indicies. We are so much more cerebral than that. We understand the benefits of essential, proper movements and the importance of a strong structure from your feet to the crown of your head. We don't post sexy videos and we certainly don't take before and after weight loss photos of our clients yet despite all this, our digital media creativity is being copied by local competitors at a bold pace. I'm absolutely flattered.
All eyes are on Citizen and they should be. We're touching people's lives and giving them a sense of confidence they haven't found anywhere else. As 2017 rounds the corner towards cooler weather, Citizen is poised to transcend the meaning of fitness with the addition of more instructors, more class times, community partnerships, wellness programs and yes, expansion. We'll be further reducing our third party booking options as they equalize experiences in their users eyes while increasing our membership options for those who have a hectic life + work schedule.
Hi, my name is Jess Hughes and I am a thought leader not a fitness fiend. Welcome to The Citizen Experience.