Fitness… What Is It?

The term “fitness” never sat well with me… like a sweater that just doesn’t fit right and you keep adjusting it, fidgeting in it, wondering is it you or the sweater. Now I think I know what’s wrong with the term “fitness” and the explanation to “what is fitness” fits fitness like a fitted shirt.

I’m reminded of the quote…

“The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it.
A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it.”

Let me use a parallel to provide the context…

Every now and then, one or a group of females will take issue with the representation of the female body made by a retailer, or a magazine, or a manufacturer of a particular piece of female clothing and how the female figure is branded, marketed, packaged and sold. The image of female perfection comes under intense fire as it is deemed not representative of the majority.  The most recent time – I think – this was in the news was when mannequins were vandalized in retail stores, specifically those that represented the “average” female body as something in the range of size -2 to 0, maybe +2 at most. The typical pattern in the ‘fix’: industry apologizes, a temporary fix is put in place with promises of policies and procedures to be written and implemented at the corporate level promising that this travesty never happens again, caution tape is wrapped around the offending mannequins, and in a couple of weeks… the tape comes down, and we are back to the way it was.

What a perfect parallel to “fitness” because… like the ideal representation of the female – or male – body … in reality there is no such thing as “fitness”. Like the clothing industry, the fitness industry must create an illusion of perfection in order to sell itself. In the clothing industry, the value of an article of clothing depends on how “beautiful” it has the potential to make the buyer think they will look in it… hence the thin mannequins used by retailers. In the fitness industry, if the services of trainers, the value of a gym, the entire concept of working out is to be sold over and over and over again… then there must be a prize, a treasured outcome to the pain, the sweating, and the agony that we are to put ourselves through… and there it is… if you buy our services says the fitness industry you shall end up beautiful.

Problem is…  there is no such thing as fitness!

If you can be healthy but not look fit because you do not fit the industry model of a fit human being, and if you can be fit but not healthy… then fitness is an opinion, neither real nor a reality.

Fitness is a sales tactic to emotionally trigger our inner desire for health, but by selling to our senses instead of our intellect, our ego is targeted hence our hunger for beauty, for admiration, for acknowledgement, even our quiet desires of making others jealous and covetous of our appearance, guilty over their own lack of appearance… and just like that we are sold on personal training, bootcamps, spinning classes, 10wk weight loss programs, plus assortments of protein powders, bars, gels, smoothees, all promising instant solution to our problematic ugliness with beauty just a handful of intense workout sessions away. Beauty that you will be able to post on Instagram and Snapchat hopefully adding to your popularity.

Problem is…  there is no such thing as fitness!

No, its not a problem for the fitness industry… its a solution, because they have the masses chasing something that does not exist! Brilliant! Sell an illusionary image as the goal, but don’t tell anyone that the image isn’t real. It’s the old bait-and-switch game… make a promise then forget to tell the customer that the promise is an impossibility.

Why isn’t fitness real? Because we are not uni-dimensional beings we are multi-dimensional beings: we are indeed physical beings, but we are equally intellectual and emotional and spiritual beings. If anyone of the bunch is not healthy, then the entire human is not healthy. If just one of the bunch is healthy, it fails to make the entire human healthy… even though they may look healthy (from the outside).

Surely you have heard that “beauty is only skin deep”…  and that is why beauty is not equivalent to health, because beauty is like a piece of clothing… on trend this moment, out the next. Health on the other hand doesn’t trend; it cannot because health you can neither put on or take off: either you’ve got it or you don’t, and the reality is… there is no hiding it when you don’t (doesn’t matter how much concealer and foundation you think covers it up either cause it doesn’t). Health takes work…. loads and loads of work, in fact health can take years of work to regain after the health of youth has been spent chasing fame and fortune.

You can look like a fitness model, and you may not have any signs or symptoms of physical disease, but that doesn’t indicate health because you could easily be suffering mental health issues, or having suffered a recent emotional event in your life be incapable of continuing on in daily living despite your good looks.

If good looks were everything, then why do so many athletes and celebrities commit suicide?

I challenge you to consider… if you are pursuing fitness, then what are you truly trying to hide and from whom? Do you really think that by fixing what you look at in the mirror every morning is gonna fix the inner turmoil, restrain all those unresolved hurts, those pains, will somehow silence the repressed emotions that eat away at you everyday?

I challenge you to consider… not a workaround solution instead believe that you are worth the investment of a full, real, true solution. It will take work but you are worth it… seek true healing, true health not the quick fixes that industry wants to sell you.

“Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Matthew 7:7