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Local fitness community tackling ‘diet culture’ head on

Loyobo FIT is a community where people are supported in a holistic approach to happiness and self-care

Self-care and loving the body you’re in is not a new concept, but as we’re still enmeshed in the stress and uncertainty of this pandemic, the importance of maintaining optimal well-being is more important than ever before.

Courtney McCarthy is the owner of and an instructor at Loyobo FIT  (Love Your Body), a fitness studio with a philosophy that’s vastly different from a traditional gym. Since 2018, McCarthy and her team have been supporting their members by providing a safe space to not only exercise but to also go inwards to tackle inner obstacles to overall happiness.

“We describe ourselves as a community and as a transformative movement that helps you in your health and wellness journey to get to that place of loving your body,” McCarthy said.

Losing weight and inches is not the focus at Loyobo FIT

While Loyobo FIT offers several types of classes online, in-studio and outdoors, which includes everything on the lower-end relaxing spectrum such as meditation, yoga, and gentle stretching to higher impact classes like kickboxing, Zumba and sculpt and sweat, McCarthy said what they’ve created outside of classes is just as important. 

They believe in taking a holistic approach to health and well-being and have created the philosophy of, and operate from, the four pillars of self-love which are: movement, mindset, nourishment and community. 

This means they host social events, game nights and other ways their members can connect and feel comfortable with their peers. They also have a certified holistic nutritionist on hand, provide group coaching and teach their clients strategies to create positive self-talk and behaviour change surrounding food, their bodies and the deep-seated beliefs that may be holding them back.

“All of our instructors are trauma-informed so we understand how to support people through difficult moments or periods of their lives, and we choose our language very carefully on how we motivate and talk to our clients,” McCarthy said. 

The concept was created through the lens of McCarthy’s own experience as she too struggled with her own body confidence and health issues as a result of being out of shape and overweight. She eventually lost weight and transformed her body but said it didn’t solve anything. However, after figuring out it wasn’t about an ideal weight or restricting what she ate, but instead tackling the inner work, it eventually did.

“It’s a lot harder to turn inwards and say, ‘Why is it that I tie my self-worth to looking a certain way,’ or ‘Why is it that I am only considered worthy if I only weigh a certain amount,” adding that once you start tackling those things that’s when real transformation can begin.

Breaking through the stigmas and stereotypes of the fitness industry

At Loyobo FIT, you’ll never hear phrases like “Go hard or go home” or “No pain, no gain.” You also will not be “congratulated” if you have lost 10 pounds. Not because it’s not an accomplishment, but for too long McCarthy said the fitness industry has measured “success” on weight loss alone.

“It’s about breaking down diet culture and going against the popular narrative in the fitness industry that says if you’re not succeeding it’s your fault, you’re lazy, you’re not trying hard enough” or the fitness industry’s fat-phobic narrative of “if you’re worthy, you have to look like this” when really it’s about connecting with your body and identifying with how you feel,” she said. 

McCarthy said at Loyobo FIT, they hope to help their members create a lifelong, fundamental change of being able to look at their body and movement in a whole new way. “We want to take away that guilt, shame and the unhealthy yoyo back and forth relationship with food and exercise. And instead, help people find their joy and build their confidence through movement. To finally feel the way that they’ve always wanted to feel in their body!” 

If you’re looking for a safe space and a supportive community to exercise and make a change, visit Loyobo FIT in-studio or online today. Contact them or call them at 519-265-8528 for more information or to book a tour of the studio.