Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on a blog post about Fitspiration Photos

First, to get the gist of this blog post, you need to read this first (and it's linked article it leads off from). It's fairly short, so not a big time commitment to read it.

So, it goes off on these photos and sayings, fitspirations:

OK, first, let me address the first three beyond what the linked blog writer has to say. He says it well, I just have my own thoughts on it too, of course. So, this:

Somehow, and I don't know how or why, there has been a trend of hitting exercise HARD. So hard in fact, that you reach a breaking point. Pain is good. Work through pain. Don't give up. Exercise so hard that you can't walk the next day. Workout despite being unable to walk, etc.

Seriously? Do we need to be on the verge of crawling and puking to call it exercise? How long do you think most people can sustain that and will sustain that? Do you need to do a workout called Insanity to feel you are getting a good workout? It's nonsense! Ok, maybe for some people, it's what they need - we all do need different things, but there is too much of it.

What about moderation? If the options are doing things like Insanity workouts or nothing, most people will opt for nothing. But what about walking daily? Every daily walker I've met is in decent shape! How about swimming laps? Riding a bike? Doing Zumba? Hitting some weights or doing Pilates?

If people did any of these activities daily (mixing them up especially), they would be active and would get fit. Their blood pressure would go down, Cholesterol would go down and blood sugars would regulate better - even without adding in any form of dieting. We just need to get off our rear ends and DO something, but it doesn't have to be HARD to the point of breaking. Those messages are harmful!

Now, the 4th and 6th pictures - the one with women's amazing bodies. Again... as the blogger said, these bodies are THIN bodies, so saying that strong is the new sexy and still showing THIN strong bodies is still saying that thin is the ideal.

And yes, sure, being thin and fit is great, but fit should be first and fit does not mean having to look, or needing to look like a model because most of us, no matter how fit we are, won't look like that!

I've detailed in another blog post,  about looking at others who are fit and their imperfections. Yet, I think most of us get this idea that we will look like a model if we just get thin enough or fit enough. I have seen exactly ONE person at the gym that wasn't 20 years old that had a beautiful, perfect looking body - if you think flat chested can still be perfect looking. I think it can, but many do not.

I have seen a few that look pretty darn good, but I'm sure if you ask any of them, they would tell you their trouble spots - men and women. Now that I do a lot of strength work in the man's cave in the weight room, I hear the men complaining about weak this or flabby that. I see men and women doing crunch variation after crunch variation trying to get that perfect abdomen, but they still don't get it.

How about, healthy living is the new sexy instead? But then no shaming if people have a vice - a need for a daily chocolate, or a daily diet soda, or drinking on weekends, etc. Can we have some moderation too please?

And then there is the 5th fitspiration, "Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated." Yes, there is truth in that, surely. Some unfit, lazy people think that even moderate exercise is obsession because they can't imagine ever doing that, but it's not obsession, but dedication to regularly working out. But there are also obsessed people.

Last night at the gym there was a young man with a great body. I see him there quite often. Someone commented to him, "What? you got here at 6? Dude, the place closes in 4 hours. You'll have to stop early." Hmm... was that a jab? Or was it a truth? Did this young man spend 4 hours in the weight room several times a week? Is that dedicated or obsessed?

What about those who take 2-3 classes a day and throw in a run. Is that dedicated or obsessed? Where is the healthy line? Do we know?

But, another thought... do we somehow think that we are lazy unless we hit it every, single, day? Not taking days off for vacation or for illness? Yes, I have read over and over about people going to the gym while they had a fever or were vomiting. People telling others to go hit the gym despite being unable to breathe properly because of a bad cold. Really, is it necessary to push ourselves so hard even when our bodies are saying to do otherwise? Are we lazy if we give our bodies a few days of rest to heal? Is the fear of losing a tad of strength or stamina that bad that we are willing to do things while we are ill or injured? Is that healthy? Why can't we say, "I can take a few days off." Are we really afraid we will never go back? And if you never do go back, what does that say? Maybe it's laziness, but maybe it's something else.

So yes, I think there are some obsessed exercisers out there. If you can't rest, then something is up. It is not just dedication, it's something more.  And conversely, I don't think it's fair to think of someone as lazy just because they don't hit it as often or as hard as you - again... that whole shame thing going on that we as humans are wont to do.

Of course, maybe I was lazy for taking so much time off, but I think my reluctance to take it easy while being injured also led to more problems and even part of my depression.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I hear you. Find something that you like to do and have some fun. I cycle and it still is fun. My x would want to do 100 mile rides and it was more work than fun. Don't do that but now have fun when I ride.