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  • Writer's picturecoachmk

The Fitness Protection Podcast: Brainfire of the Vanities, Part 1: Wellness and Body Image

Updated: Jun 28, 2019

Fitness Protection: The Podcast is available on itunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, Tunein, Youtube, SoundCloud and anywhere podcasts can be found. Transcripts forthcoming on the blog at (direct links to the podcast embedded above, or just click the picture below!)


A funny story about a bootleg cassette tape from 1994 Russia provides the backdrop to discuss two hot button concepts which have been reduced to trigger words: ‘wellness’ and ‘body image’. The two are intertwined in ways that matter a LOT.

Coach MK’s brain has been en fuego since she emerged from a year of chronic pain spent almost entirely in bed and started the long journey back to reclaiming her body as well as her identity. What does a healthy body look like, what does it feel like? What IS health anyway and who gets to decide who is healthy and who is not? Can you love a body that doesn’t function the way you want it to, a body that doesn’t look the way you want it to? A body that is in constant pain? What kinds of bodies are we REALLY allowed to celebrate and love, and what does 'loving yourself' look like?

These issues are thorny and tough to unpack, but the intersection of ‘wellness’ and ‘body image’ seems like a good place to launch a conversation we are calling Brainfire of the Vanities...because caring about your appearance is VAIN and you shouldn’t do that, unless you’re ugly then CARE MORE DAMMIT LOVE YOURSELF and lose some weight unless someone thinks you are too skinny then EAT MORE DAMMIT AND DON’T EXERCISE SO MUCH LOVE YOURSELF unless your BMI is high then REDUCE IT AT ALL COSTS BECAUSE OMG MATH YA’ALL LOVE never ends. You cannot win.

The messages from society are conflicting, but we hope that the coaches’ message is clear: you are easy to love. There are two places a person can be in any given moment: “where I want to be,” and “not there YET”. It’s okay to be okay, and it’s okay to NOT be okay. You are in the right place, a safe place, where you will be #coachedandloved until you see that you have been #winningatlife all along.

(We don’t need to know anything about you to love you...unless you can’t find your size in our threadless shop, we need to know that! We'd never intentionally leave you out! Tell us which size you need and we’ll keep bugging our suppliers. Currently, we can offer the unisex shirts up to 5x, and plan to offer up to 8x in multiple fits and cuts in 2020).

Reference Material

These are NOT affiliate links. We don’t do those.

Shrill, on Hulu (based on the book of the same name):

This American Life, Tell Me I’m Fat:

Transcript to the podcast above, if you find yourself crying too hard to listen closely like Coach MK did:

Nadia Bolz-Weber, comparing forgiveness to bolt-cutters:

You Are What You Eat by Gillian McKeith (The book Coach MK’s nutritionist used as the basis of their work in 2007-2008 following her Celiac diagnosis):

That AMAZING Instagram post:

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