Im noticing a disturbing trend in social and mainstream media. More and more, I am seeing attacks against healthy, fit people. God forbid you are a healthy, fit mom posting her pregnancy pics. The popular fitness trainer Tracy Anderson commented that a woman should typically gain about 30 pounds while pregnant and the hate backlash was so strong she cowered immediately and apologized. For what? Speaking the truth? My mom was 115 pounds before having me and went up to 135. I was an 8 pound, healthy baby. I asked her how she stayed so slim; did she starve herself? She laughed and said “no, I ate lots of fruit and whole foods as well as cutting out salt”. I have trained many moms right up to the week that they gave birth. They train so that their skin will produce more collagen and have better elasticity, which by the way muscle promotes. They train so that they will have healthier babies and have an easier transition after the baby is born.
Fitness models and trainers get grief for showing their before and after pics pre-competition or pre-photo shoot. Thousands of comments like “you look fine now -just be happy with who you are” or “no one has time for that-stop being so egotistical” or the ever so popular “gross, you look like a man.” There is nothing wrong with challenging yourself to see what your best athletic body looks and feels like. I love starting new programs and shaping my body. If health is a priority in your life, you make time for it along with all of the other things that you must do on a daily basis. It is not an either/or situation, people.
Commentators more and more applaud big and beautiful as the ideal while taking a dig at women that they deem self-preoccupied or freakish because they have great bodies. I’m all for being happy in your own skin, but there are serious health consequences to not having an active body and to not feeding it whole, nutrient- dense foods. I think we are seeing it now; in our abnormally high cancer rates, autism, autoimmune disorders and depression – they are all soaring. Health professionals and drug companies cannot keep up with the number of people that are getting “lifestyle diseases”. All of which were very rare as I was growing up.
The tone on social media and mainstream media perpetuates an image that if you’re a very fit woman you must not be a very good mom or partner because you must be taking yoga and cycling classes all day. You probably have nannies to raise your kids while you focus on having a great body. Really? I grew up in the seventies and eightees. The parents of almost all of my peer group were trim. We certainly didn’t have nannies and many moms worked as well. So, next excuse?
I recently did a media tour and found it very difficult to book fitness segments. The producers simply said that it was unpopular. Women, who are the primary watchers don’t want to see perfect bodies doing exercise that they probably wont do and that just make them feel badly about themselves. They want gossip, shopping and fun foods. I enjoy gossip and fun foods too. But I also enjoy taking good care of myself and I love the self-esteem that comes from making positive choices.
I was watching a popular television show the other day. Its about a middle aged ad exec with a wife and child. He’s trying to adjust to the new youth culture and is told by his boss that he needs to rebrand himself to stay relevant. He visits a health supplement store and here is some dialog from the interaction he has with the fit employee; “Do you know how much time this ridiculous asshole spends to look like that? Hours every fucking day! Do you know how much self-loathing it requires to have washboard abs-how much you’ve got to hate yourself to work that fucking hard? Abs don’t tell the world your healthy, they tell the world your 120 away from killing yourself. To which the employee replies, “It’s true, I hate myself. I push myself to perfection in the hope it will make me worthy of love”. Well, I pushed replay three times to really absorb this hate tirade. Then I cancelled the season recording. Let me dispel the myth for all of you out there. I devote roughly 30 minutes to working out 6 days a week. That is the time that it takes me to shower, brush my teeth and do a quick blow-dry of my short hair. So if getting ready and working out takes me an hour and half total each day, don’t you think that the extra 13 or so hours are enough to run multiple businesses and take care of others? I wouldn’t dream of not giving my body the extremely important and healthy dose of exercise. Exercise is MEDICINE, not a self-indulgant masturbation. Do you truly think that fit people hate themselves or are you jealous that they love themselves enough to value the greatest gift God gave us-the body.
I’ve owned gyms almost for my entire 20 year fitness career and worked with hundreds of trainers. They don’t train hours every day. They mostly fit it in between clients. They go on to have marriages, careers and many have children or will in the near future. Generally, they have a positive outlook on life and are good-natured to the people around them. And before you judge, know this. Hundreds of thousands of people manage their anxiety and depression the natural way, through diet and exercise. So if someone is working out frequently, they are looking for extra serotonin and need those workouts for balance so that they can have productive lives. Should we all be like most Americans and just eat and drink and medicate our way to deal with life’s problems or mood instabilities? I admire someone that goes boxing everyday to relieve frustration rather than pigging out on wine, ice cream and fast food.
The bottom line is, you’ll never beat us because our way is the right way, so come on and join us. Its pretty amazing over here.