The Dysfunctional “unhealthy” Fitness Industry

The missing elements of REAL health and addressing the needs of the WHOLE human: MIND, BODY, HEART and SOUL.

by Misty Tripoli Founder of The World GROOVE Movement

We are in an industry that excites us because we want to help people and we believe what we are doing is suppose make people more healthy.  In some cases it does, but when you look a little closer and peak under the hood what you find is a mecca for dysfunction: eating disorders, body image dysmorphia, and many other obsessive compulsive ailments, addictions and disease. This may sound shocking, but unfortunately it is true. Many of you that are reading this may be struggling with one of these issues—I did! I was a fitness freak with food and exercise bulimia addiction for over 16 years. I am on the other side now but that experience gave me the eyes to see and recognize the epidemic of dysfunction in the “health” industry that I work in. I am not alone, everywhere I turn as I share my story trainers, instructors, teachers and students have come to me and expressed their personal hidden battle with one of these issues and the pressures they put themselves under in this line of work.  Sadly, It is overwhelmingly the norm. It is not spoken about openly because we are supposed to be “perfect”, we are suppose to have everything figured out and know everything about nutrition, supplements, health science, anatomy, physiology, all the new exercise fads and techniques AND have a PERFECT body at the same time. And if we don’t, no one will take us seriously…right?

We live in a time when we have instant access to literally anything we want to know, unlimited information is at our fingertips. There is a surge of new gym concepts, workouts, yoga/dance studios, boot camps, gadgets, widgets, fitness programs, nutritional and holistic science and personal trainers. Yet despite our access to all of these resources, exercise options, technology and information we aren’t getting healthier we are actually getting fatter, dying younger, experiencing more diseases, consuming more drugs (western medicine—now the leading cause of preventable death in America), and we are stressed to the max. What the BL#@P!

So what is the problem? What’s wrong with what we are doing when it appears so right and wrapped up with the label of “fitness”? I believe there are many factors. But first, I can’t help but think about this quote from Einstein: “You cannot change a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it”. To evolve we have to step back and look from a position of greater awareness or perspective. What is the reality of the situation, what is really happening, why does something that is supposed to be so healthy create so much dysfunction and unhealthiness?

Some of the obvious culprits are:

1. THOUGHTS! What we have been taught affects how we think and everything is what we think about it.  Most of what we have been taught is someone else’s ideas and beliefs.  We don’t question “WHY” we are doing what we are doing so we can come to our own conclusions.

2. Fitness/Health feels overwhelming! Things are way too complicated, confusing and intimidating. You have to be a Paul Check (genius) to be able to understand and apply it all. I have been working full-time in the fitness world for over 25 years and I am still totally confused, I can’t remember all the anatomy and everyday is a challenge to figure out how to feed this awesome meat suit to keep it humming vibrantly.

3.  The majority of the fitness industry (whether you want to admit it or not) is driven by esthetics not by true health—the marketing, images and things that are used to “inspire” us ultimately just make us feel bad about ourselves and keeps us on the relentless, never ending, exhausting, obsessive compulsive pursuit of physical perfection.  (I will note, there have been some minor changes in new programming (mind/body) and advertising (conscious languaging) over the past few years, but obviously not enough to make a difference when the majority is still in the dark ages and is more interested in selling you something than having integrity).

What I have observed as the primary cause that contributes to this dysfunction is this:

4. We are not addressing the needs of the WHOLE human: mind, body, heart and soul. We are amazing creatures, with amazing capacities! We are not just a physical meat suit that moves, we are so much more! Number one we are ENERGY (frequency) which is the source of our existence and that energy is creative! We are also emotional, intelligent and expressive.  Yet most “fitness” products and programs don’t address these aspects of being a CREATIVE, emotional and expressed whole person. But you are spirit, you are energy, you are what animates you, the energy and wisdom that beats your heart and you ARE the unlimited creative potential that made you. So why isn’t CREATIVITY part of EVERY fitness program if that is the core and essence of who and what we truly are?

You can even look beyond the fitness industry out into the world, the environment, the strife, the wars, the dis-ease in the world is the by-product of our thoughts and not recognizing and nurturing the core of who and what we really are— CREATIVE energy!

There is no one like you, you are a unique being. You are creative and yet our industry and society has programmed and choreographed creativity right out of the equation, nearly everything is defined, ruled and structured for us and then we pass all these forms, rules and structures to our students or clients (with good intention). But most of what we are doing is just getting them to follow, mimic and copy. Monkey see, monkey do (especially in the group fitness arena). Following can be very fun and good for certain parts of brain development and the community aspect of group fitness is wonderful, but we also need to allow our students to be creative and do it their own authentic way.  Many instructors think that they do this, but if your students are looking at you, they are going to copy you, they are following YOUR creativity not using their own!

We define EVERYTHING for our students or clients and they are so used to being told what to do and conditioned to follow that when you give them an opportunity to use their ability to be creative, they have no idea what to do. Sadly enough I have found that most people don’t even know what it means to be creative and even worse they are TERRIFIED to be creative, or expressive, or to explore doing it their own way because of the fear of getting it wrong (which is impossible), or looking stupid (irrational).

If you don’t address what and who you really are as a whole being when it comes to your health and wellness, working intelligently from the inside out, you are missing the mark. You will end up working much harder if your primary focus is physical and you aren’t doing activities that stimulate, nourish and enhance the potential capacities of creativity and expression within you. We have unconsciously been created an “empty” fitness model which has most people are seeking drugs, food, more exercise, sex and other things to help us fill the lack of wholeness we experience from not tuning into our own innate wisdom, emotions and creative potential.

The mental, physical and emotional benefits of utilizing your creativity are endless.  If you start by nurturing your spirit (what animates you) you create a healthier more harmonious inner environment for your cells, organs and systems that sustain your life.  Yes, it matters what you eat, yes it matters how you move, but even more important than these is how you think, how you feel, and how authentic and creatively expressed you are in your life.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? EVOLUTION! We need to evolve back to the basics and simplify so that EVERYONE can be successful and participate in “fitness”.  We need to become consciously responsible and REAL about how we market our products.  We can start to implement easy and effective ways to give our students and clients permission to tune into their own innate wisdom, utilize their creativity and personal expression and add these essential elements that are missing to nurture the whole human being. I am a warrior for this change and hope to see the evolution of our industry into offering more programs, classes and options for us, our students and clients that allow for personal expression, creativity, higher brain function and things that deepen the awareness of our mind/body/spirit connection, so that we are nurturing the WHOLE human not just select parts of ourselves.

I have spent the past 10 years developing The Technology of AUTHENTICITY™ and applying it to movement which creates the mind-expanding dance experience called THEGROOVE by Misty Tripoli™. I have founded the World GROOVE Movement which trains facilitators all around the world to offer community DANCEfloors for people to come together, be authentic, creative and dance their hearts! If you want to learn how to become a facilitator of CREATIVITY and AUTHENTICITY, no matter what you offer, teach or coach, we would love to share this revolutionary approach to movement that helps to enhance and nurture personal holistic health and is proudly leading the way in the conscious movement revolution for a truly authentic vibrantly healthy global community.

See you on the DANCEfloor!

Misty Tripoli
Creator of The GROOVE Method
Founder of The World GROOVE Movement