Take a look at the history of torments people went through in the name of “beauty” and social status, and whatever else they tried to prove by torturing themselves to fit some illusory image. From eating arsenic in small doses to bloodletting to literal self-mutilation, it seems we’ve seen it all. And yet, humanity collectively embraced another trend, and in some ways it might prove even worse in the long run.
Now the trend is to get obsessed with health and fitness. And let me tell you right now, this obsession is as unhealthy as the aforementioned indulgence in arsenic. In fact, it might be worse because at least with arsenic you are clear about what the end result will be. The fitness-and-healthy-lifestyle-obsessed of today, on the other hand, think they are doing good for themselves.
I think that the most tragic prospect in this situation is that they actually might do some good and boost their well-being. But when they start along that road they end up speeding down it so freaking fast that they finish up smashing all their aspirations to pieces.
The gym obsession, in particular, stands out in this time of “fitness junkies” as today it has the power and potential to ruin lives. This is because a gym today is not only a place where you go to work out because you don’t have the tools you need at home, but it is also a sign of social status.
I kid you not, the wallet, car and watch combo now also includes the glamour appeal of your gym and/or personal trainer.
And of course, when you are obsessed with the gym culture you also have to adopt the diet fads that go hand-in- hand with it. After all, one must go all the way down the road of the fitness junkie.
Do you hear that? “Fitness junkie”! The term alone should send the alarms ringing, even without the evidence from studies of how abusing your body through extreme fitness regimens destroys both your physical and your mental health.
Sadly, the epidemic of obesity and marketing of the fitness-obsessed lifestyle as the primary route to weight loss don’t help matters.
So, how do you avoid being swept into the fitness craze?
Like with everything in life, you keep yourself out of trouble by thinking the matter through critically and making choices that are truly healthy.
The first important thing to acknowledge is that exercising is great for your health, but only if you don’t go overboard with it. Any weight loss that you achieve can also be good, but again it’s only good when shedding that weight is something you need to do for health reasons, not because the trending model shape right now is reminiscent of how starvation victims look.
So doing exercise to lose weight and boost your overall well-being is all good within reason. But you can do this whilst at home with a much simpler setup than fancy gym equipment which costs a fortune.
A fortune provided by obnoxiously expensive memberships.
Never again should you feel ashamed that you aren’t spending a good chunk of your hard-earned money on a fancy gym. You have nothing to prove to anyone, especially through empty but expensive gestures like taking out an exclusive VIP membership.
The second important thing to acknowledge is that your weight doesn’t define you. In fact, it’s perfectly healthy to NOT chase the improbable model body shapes that you see in cool pictures online and in magazines, and on posters in the aforementioned gyms and their ads.
The majority of those are photo-shopped anyway because it’s literally impossible for human bodies to achieve that shape naturally.
And lastly, don’t let other people define your exercise routine. You don’t have to work out in order to lose weight. If you want to exercise for pleasure, go for it. But don’t count the calories or push yourself past your limits to shape up that butt or get a six-pack.
Exercise if you want, when you want and how much you want and it’ll be good for you.
It will be good exactly because you want to do it. This means that by exercising the way you, like you achieve your goal and release endorphins. And if you do need some scientific reassurance, just remember that any amount of physical activity is good for you.
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