Well, here we go again. Another article that’s aimed at our vanity, overlooking general health and wellness. “Yeah, America, let’s indulge in the quick fix, and not worry about actually being healthy when we can just look healthy, and only for just long enough. Thanks TheKnot.com and Doug Rice for perpetuating a vanity-first approach to fitness.
There are a couple things I take issue with in the article, The 3 Most Important Areas of Your Bridal Body. One is that there is a disregard for health improvements, and personal growth through exercise. The other is that there’s a bit of glossing over what actually goes into the changes of appearance, and how stinking difficult it is – so it feels like they are trying to sell a lie.
Let me briefly address the first, and then I will address the second part in more depth. Maybe I take issue with the first part because of my personal mission and core values. I’m very fortunate that my massage and personal training practice is run out of a young gym that has been developing its identity as a company and looking forward to growth.This identity is being built from the core values of the people working there. In our discussions of core values, helping people look a certain way or lose weight has never popped up as anything more than a fringe benefit that’s a byproduct of helping people achieve personal growth. I’m proud of that core value, and that I get to surround myself with people who share it. So, I have a fundamental conflict with this article because of my core values. But I’ll set that aside, because some people may function from a place of pure vanity, and maybe that’s valid. I’ll just pretend that I can accept that much of it, and move on to what I see as selling a lie.
Here’s the thing about “toning” and changes in physical appearance: it’s hard work. Really hard work. Like, really, really, soul-crushingly hard work, when you want to get to a specific appearance of “tone.” I don’t mean hard work in the gym – that’s merely the beginning. I have had a couple friends, both women, who have decided to train for and participate in figure competitions. Both of these women are beautiful, fit, tone women in fantastic shape.
Both of them quit.
Why? Because the level of discipline in their training regimen ruled their lives and their schedules. The level of discipline in their dietary regimen was worse – both of them said that the diet they had to adhere to just made them miserable. We’re talking about women who eat healthy as it is, and don’t care for fast food or excessive desserts.
So, if you are expecting that you can crash diet and crash exercise your way off of a typical american diet and into an exceptionally toned décolletage, then I think you need to look up that mountain, and understand the kind of journey you’re about to undertake. Would you decide to get off the couch and climb Kilamanjaro in three weeks, without years, or even months of being active first? Not likely.
So why on earth are they trying to sell you this exceptionally challenging undertaking with a cute little list of three exercises that are presented in a way that it almost sounds like all you’ve got to do is go through the motions? I suppose it could be just to drive people to the boot camp you’re running, and get them to drop a chunk of cash in your coffers, and then you can blindside them with the rest of the equation, and it’s up to them to actually do the work. You have their money, so why care about anything from here on out?
I can’t roll that way. At the very least, I think that it’s reasonable to include a simple disclaimer that these three exercises should only be a part of a more comprehensive exercise and nutrition plan to health, wellness and results. I mean, that’s a whopping sentence, and it’s vague enough to really cover the bases, but at least it puts these three exercises in their place, as only a small part of a much, much bigger and more involved plan and process.
I want my clients to be informed. I take it upon myself to inform them. I want you to be informed. So when you see articles like this, that don’t offer much substance to chew on, question the validity or the completeness of the information. It’s not to say that the information isn’t accurate, but in this case it’s wildly incomplete and doesn’t acknowledge as much. Hopefully this will help you look at health and fitness articles with a more critical eye and as a more informed consumer.