It has to be said.
Instagram is flooded with this parasite disguised as friendly, fit women. They add you as a friend and then flood your inbox with kind words. The try to connect with you over your kids, motherhood, that fitness journey, and an offer of financial freedom and living your best life.
I used to have a specifically fitness oriented Instagram. I did a lot of weight training, some high interval, and a lot of adventure hiking. But who care, right? I enjoyed connecting with other women who were also on a journey to be in their best shape and just share my struggles and accomplishments.
Somewhere along the way I noticed more and more of these women who called themselves "coaches." Some of them come off as being very kind and friendly and leave the sales pitch until later on, while some flat out demand you do what they say. It's actually horrifying. And if you've come across them you know exactly what I'm talking about.
After taking some time off Instagram for personal reasons, I returned to find that the virus had spread. The second you hash tagged fitness anything, there they were. Inboxes flooded with the same profile photo. 20 something, 30 something, somewhat in shape white female, hair in a pony tail, big fake smile plastered upon their faces, 90% leaning forward so they look thinner, ruining the fitness community for everyone else.
And I humour them! I don't come off as mean. I answer their little questions and say "Oh yes, it's darling having a baby. That new mom life!" and I go on to politely decline the chance of having it all, I'm not coach material. It's just not for me. I don't like pressure sales and to be quite honest, I didn't spend years of my life studying at university and working to become an online salesperson.
The GoodI have to admit, there have been one or two of these coaches who actually were the outliers of the bunch. They friended me, sent a message and we just chatted about kids and our journeys. One I've had on my Instagram for at least half a year now and she has never come out and hit me with that sales pitch. She lets people come to her. We will call her Tori. I've seen her transform into amazing shape and she seems to be doing well with the whole coaching because she lets things happen organically. These women are cool in my books. They are really the ones who are suffering when these other "coaches" are bombarding women and being extremely pushy.
The BadUnfortunately most of these women are not like Tori. I'll share a couple of my experiences here.
One woman, I believe her name was Lauren, added me to instagram and went straight for it. She inboxed me saying, "You need to do what I do for a living!" I told her I was pretty happy with my life and had very little time for anything new as I have a baby, we are far from our family and friends, and my husband works a lot. She basically wouldn't take no for an answer. She responded with something along the lines of, "You need to do this. You have to do my program, I have a baby too so no excuses." I was livid and annoyed. I basically kindly declined again, being nice to her the whole time. After two or three more attempts she went on to unfollow me. Maybe the unfollow was a blessing is disguise as she was super annoying. Posting vacation pictures constantly bragging about how she achieved financial freedom by coaching, when in reality they are probably still paying that trip off to this day.
I had another "coach" message me the other day and I pretty much immediately explained to her that I can't work out, except for a bit of low impact as I am in physiotherapy and have been advised not to. I wasn't lying either. She tried a couple times to entice me with how she works from home being a coach and gets to be a stay at home mom. Nice try Nancy, accountants get to work from home too, and we don't have to go scamming people off instagram. She went on to unfollow me as well. No surprise there. I mean, if I'm not making her money what is the point of talking to me?
What really is BeachBody?I want to be nice about it, I really do. But after doing my research, reading about other women's experiences with coaching and really investigating how the company works and how you make money, it really basically fits the description of a pyramid scheme, with a few minor adjustments to allow them to function as a legal company.
You work under someone who basically coaches you. You spend money on shakeology, the program, and other tools, and then you do the same thing to other women. The more women you have under you the more money you make. I actually read some people posting about how BeachBody coaching ended up costing them way more than they made, even at diamond level, or whatever the hell they call it. It all seems very fake, pushy, and downright exhausting. All you have to do is google "BeachBody Scam" and you will find a whole lot of peoples opinions on this. Decide for yourself.
I will admit that the workout videos look great. They have a lot to choose from, as they should being such a huge company. I just don't think the whole coaching aspect of it is really necessary. Well, obviously it makes them a lot more money!
I have been an active and fit person my whole life. I even worked at a gym in high school. One thing I can say is that you don't need BeachBody to get in shape. There are so many much cheaper options. With the internet, Instagram, and YouTube you could spend all day finding new workouts. There are loads of women out there who will follow you and offer support without you needing to buy their products or join their cult.
Be an informed individual. Check out other fit people on Instagram and find out what they do. Do they do weight training, Yoga, Crossfit? Just take your time and find what works for you.
And for me? Well once I have the all clear to do what I want I will ultimately continue building my own workouts and wearing my headphones. I don't want to make a business out of me being fit, it sort of kills the joy of it in my opinion.
With love and a little annoyance,