While cooling down from my run yesterday (more on that later) I was browsing facebook and saw a link my sister had posted.
6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitsipration” Photos
And I was like “WHAT?”
I clicked on the link and immediately saw photos I had once used to motivate myself and the reasons for the negativity behind them. The guy who wrote the post has valid points. I agree with him on most of it. In fact I saw some of my self loathing coming out from these pictures. Here’s one that hit home from the post:
” 1.) Your Body Is The Enemy
WHAT THEY THINK THEY’RE SAYING:
“Don’t give up! You may think you’ve given all you have, but you have so much more! You can make it if you just grit your teeth and push!”
WHY IT’S BULLSHIT:
Getting mad at your own limbs sounds less like the behavior of an Olympian and more like the crazy-eyed hobo who lives behind my building’s dumpster.
It is absolutely true that, if your muscles finally reach the point of failure, an emotional response like fear or anger triggers the release of adrenaline, which can keep you going. It’s called the fight or flight response and it’s been attributed to everything from moms lifting cars off kids to soldiers who refuse to lay down and die.
It’s also not something to f*ck around with.
Pushing your body’s limits just because you want bigger biceps is sort of like setting your house on fire because you’re cold.
Central heating is for quitters! FITNESS!!
Routinely stressing your body’s physical capacity is called overtraining, and it’s a massive problem in the fitness industry. It is linked to everything from joint degeneration, ligament tears and bone spurs to depression and—no joke—post traumatic stress disorder.
The fight or flight response only kicks during moments of impending danger precisely because the response itself is potentially dangerous. It’s a calculated risk on the part of your own biochemistry: turn it up to 11 and risk the joint damage or become food for a cave bear. When invoking that kind of biochemical gambit becomes less of a do-or-die, last-ditch effort to survive and more of a “Tuesday-at-the-gym-is-chest-day” scenario, you’re inviting in a whole mess of future problems.”
The post goes on to address other topics like: You Should Be Ashamed – using the popular phrase “Don’t Stop Until You’re Proud”, and so on.
But the part that really got me was this one:
The fitness industry—from gyms to clothing manufacturers—collectively produces more propaganda than North Korea, a lot of it just as crazy. This particular class of ads is almost comically absurd because what’s written on the picture directly contradicts the picture. It would be like if Oscar Meyer produced an ad saying “vegetables are awesome, eat those instead of hot dogs!” printed over images of freckled Normal Rockwell kids happily stuffing their faces with hot dogs. It shows just how little credit advertisers give the public: they assume that if they tell you what you’re looking at you wont actually see what you’re looking at.
“But Kevin”, you might argue, “the women in those images have great muscle tone! They’re totally strong!” They certainly are. So is she:
Kristin Rhodes, folks . . .
And you’re not going to find her in a Nike ad, even though she’s a stone-cold badass who probably deadlifts the combined body weight of those other three ladies as a damn warm up.”
He goes on to state that:
“Now, before I get bombarded with angry comments from skinny people, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being skinny. I’m also not suggesting that being skinny and strong are mutually exclusive. I’m only pointing out that strength onlysells when it’s sexy and, make no mistake, advertisers want very badly to make you feel like you are currently failing at both.
Strong isn’t really replacing skinny; being skinny is no longer enough. Now, ladies, you need to be skinny and ripped. It’s an additional layer of self-loathing (perfectly suited for hypergymnasiacs), just in case people had started to get desensitized to the omnipresent and psychologically crippling display of corpse-thin women in the media.”
I have to say, that I am SUPER GUILTY of using these photos to somehow motivate me to push myself harder in my workouts, and when I realize I am not getting to those physiques and I’m sore, tired, and injured – I get very discouraged, which for me is where I turn to binge eating – which pushes me farther away from where my goals are. So for me, these pictures are actually a bad and very prominent part of my spiral of doom (or really my inability to control my emotions without eating – which is my fault, not the pictures, but the pictures play a role.).
So what am I saying?
If you get a umph in the gym thinking these phrases and you don’t get discouraged because you don’t look like these people (Who are arguably not real but aliens from Planet Hot) then great! PLASTER YOUR WALLS WITH THEM.
But if you are like me, even slightly and you look at these pictures and just simply start looking negatively at yourself thinking you don’t measure up because there is no WAY NO HOW you will ever look like these people, or be able to accomplish some of the incredible feats they can, and you suddenly look at your (Run, Long walk, Shoulder press of 20 pounds, Crunches, Yoga Session, Bike Ride, etc) and think that you didn’t do “enough” or you didn’t work “As Hard as them” – ESSENTIALLY – If you start comparing yourself to these people, you need to take a step back and say “No.”
I’m doing that today, because I am doing what I enjoy, and while I may never be able to do CrossFit or power lift, or bounce a quarter off my ass, I am still going. I haven’t given up.
Yesterday’s Run: So I started running outside, in like 100 degree heat, and after 2.3 miles I was like “No.” So I started on my way home, and then with about 1/2 mile left, I said eff it, and took off my shirt. It was so hot, and it was sticking to me, and I was so tired, and I said eff it.
I ran outside, in public, in a sports bra and capris.
While I might have blinded small children, woodland animals, and made a few men vomit in their mouths with my stomach being so pale, and lets face it – jiggly – I didn’t care.
It was liberating, and I will never do it again. :-)
Today: Should be a rest day, I am debating a run – just 3 miles – but I don’t know yet. Keep you posted Loves.
GIVEAWAY – Will Be Posted Tomorrow!