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7 Signs You’re Getting Fit for the Wrong Reasons

Yesterday we shared why we’re no longer doing New Year New Rear Week. And today’s post is a great example of how our mission and messaging has shifted to the more body neutral and size inclusive.

Because while wanting to get fit is AMAZING and we’re in full support of it, it makes sense to examine your reasons for wanting to create change. What’s your true motivation? Does it come from a place of lack — or is your desire to push yourself coming from a place of self care/love/discovery?

The difference is huge.

Read on for seven of the most misguided reasons why people say they want to get fit.

1. You want to impress someone else.

Yes, it is amazing to want to be healthy and fit for other people — so that you set a good example for kids, inspire others, and are better able to be there for those you love. These are all amazing reasons — BUT, it has to be about more than just them. It has to start with you. You, wanting to take care of yourself. You, wanting to push yourself to discover how amazing you can be (and see how amazing you already are). You, getting fit, because YOU deserve to feel good and be healthy.

2. Your only goal is to lose weight.

We’ve written so many posts about weight loss (this one might be our fave). And let’s just say that we don’t think that weight loss, in and of itself, ever makes for a great goal or a great motivator (for a lot of reasons laid out in this post on diet culture). So, if your only reason for working out is to drop pounds, check yourself with a lot of self love. Try to approach your fitness journey as a way to discover what you and your body can do — and focus more on how much stronger you’re getting and how much more you can do (or how you can go faster or longer), rather than a number on the scale.

3. You feel like you”have to” or “should.”

Maybe your friends are doing it. Or, you’re being pressured by someone else. Or, you simply feel like you need to jump on whatever new workout trend is out there. Simply put, if you don’t like your workouts, you won’t do them for the long-term. So, yes, try a bunch of new workouts to see what you like, but settle on the ones you actually enjoy. Maybe that means you start walking instead of doing a hard-core HIIT class. Or, maybe that means you ditch Zumba for CrossFit. Forget those “shoulds” and instead go with what you like.

4. You’re doing it to burn calories or ” burn off” food.

Moralizing food is a concept we’ve written a bunch about, and it’s one of those sneaky ways that robs you of your power. You don’t need to work out to enjoy a donut or a glass of wine — or anything else you’re craving — so don’t make that your motivation.

5. You can’t pass up a good deal.

Gyms offer SUCH great deals right now. And, it can be a great way to save big on classes or a membership. But, if you’re only signing up because it seems like a sale you can’t pass it up … then take a beat and make sure it’s something you really want and that you’re truly excited to use. Especially make sure you’re not scooping it up because of reason no. 3. If you really do want it, save on! If not, skip on down to the “What to Do Now” section.

6. You dislike your body or wish part of it was different.

Having a good body image doesn’t come from having the “perfect” body. It comes from loving your body as it is right now. And you know what else is true? Loving your body right now is also a great reason to move it on the reg.

7. Workouts are your only form of self care or stress relief.

This is one trap we’ve fallen into over the years, but true self care means that, yes, you work out, but also that you take rest days, miss workouts when you’re not feeling well, eat the more than a traditional serving of pizza when you’re feeling it, and set your life up in a way so that you’re not overextended (hello, boundaries). Fitness is part of a good self-care practice, but it shouldn’t be your entire self-care practice.

What to Do Now

If those reasons don’t speak to you, go forth and sweat happily with the knowledge that you are truly getting fit for YOU. Good work on breaking free from a diet-culture mindset!

If those reasons do hit home, however, take a deep breathe, then (with a lot of self-love) take out a piece of paper and noodle on why — and what might be a better reason to work out. Educate yourself on diet culture here, and then start taking the steps to find a workout that YOU love and that makes you feel good.

We just shared the worst reasons to get fit, but now I want to know, what are the BEST reasons to get fit and work out? I work out because it helps me feel strong — inside and out. –Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Xycinews says:

    This is really great, I have being exercising for the wrong reason 😂

  2. Xycinews says:

    This is so cool and great. I so much appreciate your writing style as its clear.

    I just learnt some things great now. I was a victim

  3. I love exercising but I definitely need to check myself on some on some of these points.

  4. Rijhu says:

    Hi Jenn,

    A very useful as well as motivational post and many thanks for sharing this.

    Many of us perform our daily workouts and go for exercises to keep ourselves fit but most of the time reasons are very common and known as shared in the post. I too like exercising but my only goal is to lose weight but after going through this post I have learned something and need to check myself. Thanks again and keep blogging more motivational posts.


  5. fall guys says:

    This is a smart thought, thank you for sharing. I will counsel cautiously prior to choosing to enlist!

  6. Great article, so many people need to realize they should be doing this for themselves. And also, I think what people also forget to do is stretch a lot as well. They don’t incorporate it enough in their routine and because of this, they suffer from related injuries that occur because of a lack of flexibility.

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