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Where Are They?

Where are they?

Where are the true representations of women who exercise?

Typical fitness image

Here is an example of typical fitness images.

Let me explain. In running my personal training boutique I spend time online looking for social media content, pictures, memes, and quotes. In this process, I see a lot of fitness images. Most of these images contain half naked women who are very fit to extremely fit. I am not judging these women. If you are one of these very fit women and you are comfortable working out like that, go for it.

I have been a personal trainer for 17 years and for 14 of them I worked in big chain gyms. Believe me when I say there are very few women working out with their midriffs exposed in sports bras and shorts so tiny that they could be underwear.

Most women are wearing fitness clothes.  Some are in fancy, coordinated outfits. Others are in more simple outfits, still they are wearing shorts, pants, tops, and even comfy looking sweatpants that cover rather than expose most of their body.

Here is my dilemma.  If this is how most women dress for the gym, where is that representation in fitness images and media? It goes beyond the clothes.  Where is the inclusive representation of women’s bodies? Where are the women in good shape, average shape, and not-yet-in-shape?

Fitness facilities everywhere are full of women of diverse sizes and shapes in various stages of their fitness journey, but many are ignored in the media.

This topic has been wearing on me for a long time.  Looking at images of what the fitness industry thinks are ideal female bodies does not motivate me. I wonder, does it motivate most women? Looking at these women wearing workout outfits the size of a handkerchief does not succeed in making me feel included or welcome in the fitness world. Many of the images I see online border on gym porn.

Click here to see Google search results for “female fitness images”

Instead, I am motivated by the thought of a diverse cross-section of women of all shapes and sizes taking action to improve their health. Gyms and fitness facilities can be intimidating.  Maybe if women saw more images of women who looked like them exercising they would be inspired to give it a try.


Tracie Thompson teaching Revolution class.

My frustration level has been growing by leaps and bounds with fitness images and I feel that the time for change has come. I am going to take the plunge and start with myself and my fitness business.  My goal for 4Fitness is to use images that contain a more realistic portrayal of women in fitness environments – even if I have to create them myself.  If stock imagery sites refuse to portray the diversity of women in gyms, then I will find another source that is more inclusive.

At the end of the day I love what I do because I am fulfilled when I am allowed to help someone succeed on their journey to health and fitness. As I write this blog, I know I could be doing more. While I have never loved having my picture taken, I can get over that and start taking photos of myself exercising.  I can invite clients who want to show their confident side to participate in this with me.  If I need to, I will find models that represent an authentic cross section of the 4Fitness client base.   In the end, if I inspire even one woman to feel welcome and start exercising, then I have succeeded.

I Am Fat.

I am Fat.

“I am fat. I am so fat.” How many times have you heard someone say “I am fat”?

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said “I am fat”.  No wait I changed my mind. Since I am making wishes what I really wish is that people stop saying “I am fat”. You are not fat! You are a person who has fat. You may even be a person who has more fat than you would like to have. You can even be a person who is unhappy with the amount of fat that you have. But you are not fat.

You are not fat, you are a person who has fat.

Let me put this another way. Do you walk around saying “I am an ingrown toenail”? No, you don’t. You would say I have an ingrown toenail. No one walks around saying they are the things they don’t like about themselves. People don’t call themselves names based on what about their body they would like to change. I know this is true because I have never met “I am saggy boobs” or her husband “Too much back hair”.

So why is it so acceptable to say “I am fat”? Probably you never really stopped to think about that statement. If you believe, like I do, that real change starts in our minds, then know that the way to combat being overweight is to start changing how we discuss our body fat. Stop saying “I am fat”.  Especially if you are saying it to apologize for being the weight you are.  If your weight is a source of negative feelings for you, then admit that and make changes.  However, don’t make a temporary condition of “fat” your identity.

Since we are making changes, we should stop saying “I am skinny” too. Being fat or skinny is not an identity any more than “I am migraine” or “I am grey hair”.  Remember, how much fat your body has is something that can be changed and altered. You are a person with many qualities, attributes, and even a few flaws. Talk about yourself and to yourself with respect.

Holiday Special


The holiday season is here.  It’s that time of year where things get tight.  The schedule, the budget and sometimes even our pants!

This year I want to help you lighten things up.  I am offering a special holiday 10 pack of training sessions.  These sessions can be for you or to give as a gift. Just click the button below to reserve your 10 pack and use the kickboxing-santadrop down to choose half-hour or full-hour sessions!   This is a limited time offer, so take advantage of this offer today.

When I get notification of your package purchase, I will reach out within a business day to discuss scheduling your sessions or who to expect as the recipient of your gift.   If you know of someone who may be interested in this offer, feel free to share this post.

Holiday 10 Pack Specials