This piece from Mark Dapin in the SMH details how despite the growing number of gyms in Sydney the population is still, statistically, becoming fatter. Usually I like Mark Dapin’s writing, it is funny and usually about himself and his experiences as a father, husband, writer and lover of roundabouts (the ones in the middle of the road). But this isn’t one of his good ones. There are too many things just accepted as fact that aren’t. Perhaps because Dapin is like me and isn’t a fitness expert. But then again the people he talks to for this article are supposed to be fitness experts and I would question that too.
According to the founder of gut busters being thin nowdays is simply proof that you can afford someone to help you to be thin in a ‘obesogenic’ age. Which, quite frankly is crap.
Then Dapin meets Michelle Bridges. As two of his friends have recently lost a significant amount of weight using her new diet she obviously knows what she is on about. I disagree. I could write a restrictive diet and sell it and people would lose weight. I have absolutely no qualifications but with a smattering of googling you bet I could come up with something that helped people lose weight – short term just like Bridges does. It doesn’t mean that I have any idea what I am talking about. It doesn’t mean that the people who have lost the weight are in any way better off either.
Bridges: “As I said to one of my contestants, You’re standing on the corner of Man-Up Road and Pussy Street. Which way are you going?'”
I’m going down ‘F you and your sexist crap’ Way.
Out of all of this I think this is what I found most disturbing:
Bridges: “And a lot of exercises that used to be contraindicated are now the latest fad,” she says, “like burpees. Once upon a time in the fitness world, people were like, ‘Don’t give anyone burpees: they’re so bad for you.’ Now, I prescribe them in the newspaper.”
Now I prescribe them in the newspaper. For people I have never seen, for whom I am not there for to ensure they are doing it properly and not doing themselves an injury. I wonder if they are able to sue if they do get injured?
Luke Istomin: …even rolling the ab wheel is back. “That was ruled out a couple of years ago because people thought it was too bad for your lower back,” he says, “but if your core strength is fine, you can do that.”
I’m assuming that this guy works at a gym where they check that people’s core strength is fine. I certainly hope so. Where is this blase attitude about people’s bodies coming from? Is it be thin at all costs including your bodily integrity?
Shannon Ponton from TBL, scarily, comes closest to making sense.
He says people always ask him, “What’s the easiest way to lose weight?”
“There is no easy way,” says Ponton, “and the more fads and gadgets people come up with – the Abdomenizer 1000, 2000, 3000 or 4000, where you can get abs in three minutes a day – it makes business better for us.
“Because people know that once they’ve come home at three o’clock in the morning, drunk, and bought an Ab Sculptor off infomercials and it doesn’t work, that they’ve really got to come in and do some hard work.
“It takes commitment, it takes consistency and it takes discipline, which, at the moment, rules out about 85 per cent of our population because they’re just soft.”
Unfortunately he is also caught up in the thin is beautiful. What is wrong with being fit? Just being fit, as fit as you are able to be in your personal circumstances? Why are people soft if they don’t enjoy punishing workouts? How about trainers take up the challenge of making exercise fun before telling everyone they must do it? How about making it possible for everyone who wants to, to exercise? Or would that mean too much hard work? Who is soft now?
This comment also really pissed me off:
“In Australia we have an obesity crisis. We don’t really have a flexibility crisis.”
We don’t have an obesity crisis. We have a fat hate crisis. If everyone got over this ‘fat is bad m-kay’ reflex and concentrated on letting people live their own lives then we wouldn’t have a crisis. Personally I’d much rather be flexible than thin. I don’t care that pilates won’t make me thin because it makes me feel stronger and more flexible and more comfortable in my body. My fat body.
But how are we ever going to get any sort of acceptance of people’s bodies if we have this crap circulating constantly in the media? As a good friend of mine said “If you are looking for your business you won’t find it on my plate” to which I’d add “or on my body” unless of course I choose to share with you and that is strictly invitation only.