In a newsletter from a prominent fitness training organization and publisher, the CEO wrote:
Those obese monstrosities waddling around Wal-Mart didn’t drop from the sky that way. The LAZIED themselves into those hideous globs of egregious fat. Those of us who choose to deftly entropy- and cultivate ourselves as physical specimens- WORK and EARN our specimen-hood on a daily frickin- basis. Body mastery is a daily performance art piece that degrades without constant practice.
This is the attitude we teach fitness professionals!? Basically, “I’m a hottie and you people are a bunch of disgusting sloths.” So many things to say about this, but I want to make two main points:
First, this attitude completely ignores the connection between fitness and wealth. With crappy food, constant stressors, and little access to even a doctor, yes poverty is terrible for your waistline. Meanwhile, Whole Foods shoppers get expert instruction of their squat form.
Second, this lack of compassion! How we think about others is how we think about ourselves. We can push ourselves and others without the drill sergeant routine.
The self-loathing and constant need to perform are two sides of the same coin. Instead of constructing a veneer with punishing exercise, let’s drop the facade. Fitness trainers can be more than pretty bodies- they can be educators and agents of change.
By understanding how the body works and what moves our students we can offer empathy, education, and tough love. We are all in this health crisis together. Yes, we need to work hard but compassion may the toughest muscle to flex.