May is Mental Health Awareness Month - and it's totally our jam.

On our podcast this past Tuesday, Move More Worry Less, I shared my mental health journey so today on the blog, I want to talk about mental health in our community and brand.

(If you missed it, here it is!!)

Just the other day, I posted a very personal video on our IG stories about how I am talking to my therapist about seeing a psychiatrist and thinking about medication; in the video I had JUST gotten the message from my therapist, I was in a bit of shock/overwhelm, and I was crying. I bring this up not to talk about myself but to open up a conversation.

After I posted this story (which I recorded and posted a full 24 hours later because I was so nervous), the conversations that started were incredible. As a brand we talk a lot about community and this was proof of how strong our Thirteen Fit community is.

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their support. It is so meaningful to me to be surrounded by such sympathetic, loving, and authentic people.

Second, I want to share WHY I share my story and how it translates to our brand and the bigger picture.

I'm sure there are people who think #vulnerableposts are for attention. They're not totally wrong - but the kind of attention I seek is not validation nor sympathy. I am trying to draw attention to the pain that so many people are experiencing behind closed doors and highlight reels on IG every single day because mental health is just as important as physical.

I had so many loving messages come through of people who have or are experiencing similar things as I am. For both parties, it's a hopeful feeling speaking to others and knowing you are not alone.

In most cases, we are in different places in our journeys, so most of the messages I received were from those who have already experienced the pain that I do and have done something more about it, like taking medication.

For me, the idea of medicating has been a hard pill to swallow (pun 100% intended because I LIVE for puns) but hearing how it's helped shift the mindsets of so many community members (a.k.a friends) gives me hope that there is a way out.

The more we talk, the more we can heal. Right?

After posting the video, I asked what YOU struggle with. Some of the responses were:

  • Consistency
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Toxic Productivity
  • Mom Guilt
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • Toxic Masculinity

If you saw the people these responses came from, you would NEVER know they were experiencing these feelings - because you can't see mental health.

I'm so grateful for your participation in the conversation; the more we talk, the more we can see that everyone has sh*t to cope with. And it's really good reminder to be kind because you really don't know what people are dealing with inside.

Our community is built on authenticity. We talk about the "journey to our #ultimateself" and I want you to know, from me to you, this "journey" isn't some fluffy concept built out of unicorns and rainbows. Everything we do as a brand comes from a real and vulnerable place.

It's not like I had this incredible journey that I just want to tell you about and I made it to some fantasy end destination - I am living it WITH you. I am learning alongside you, we are sharing our experiences, and you are teaching me.

My hope is that through our designs, our blog, our podcast, and all of the things we do that we can continue along this journey with you - learn together, grow together, FEEEEEEL together.

Yes, I love fitness. We love fitness. Physical health is the bomb and like many of you, without it, I wouldn't have found my way here. Physical strength builds mental strength and vice versa. For a long time, I thought in order to continue building my mental strength, I had to continue working hard in the gym but I'm coming to realize that sometimes, you have to start with mental strength.

Remember. You aren't alone. Ever.


Paige Festa

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