Sunday, March 7, 2010

No Pain, No gain. . . Wait, Why Again Exactly?

There has been a current of excellent discussion running through the 'sphere of late concerning exercise and I figured I'd chime. 

OK, well, Transparency here?: I know why I'm fat. I get very little exercise. Thing is, I don't eat all that much either and that is where the main disconnect most mainstream people have comes down. Not to mention the outright denial of the Obesity Panic Advocates. See, according to them (and their thermodynamically absolute scale), to eat as little as I generally do and maintain my current weight, I'd  either have to be strapped to a bed expending practically no energy at all, or I'm lying about how much I eat

Concern Trolls and PC Psych people would have me believe that I'm either somehow unaware  of what I actually eat or what normal eating is (aka: It's not your fault. Your just stupid). While hard core Obesity Hysterics and Physics Wonks will except no other answer but the latter. Mainly because no other possibility might even be discussed lest the very fabric of the universe unravel (aka: we know everything there is to know about physics AND biology. Can't happen. Full stop). Ergo, as such, in as much, and thusly, I must be lying. 'Cause, yah know, I care so much about their judgments of how much I eat. Obviously. (Funny thing is, they'll tell you the mind-body interface of intuitive eating is a crock of shite then, in the same breath, spin around and tell you your an unconscious overeater. Or in conscious denial of how much you eat)  

In any case, with the flurry of posts on exercise flitting around the 'sphere over the past week, it brought back one of the weirder aspects of Americas' attitudes towards physical fitness. Well, at least for me it's weird. And that would be the 'No Pain, No Gain' philosophy. 

You see it everywhere. From the warm and fuzzy group hugz of Richard Simmons to the sadomasochistic stylings of The Biggest Loser. Beyond the conventional wisdom that dictates exercise, for fat people, should have no valid purposes other than weight loss, in America and most other countries on this planet, if it doesn't hurt. If your not suffering or, at least, sweating profusely. Then your not doing it right. And this attitude pervades across the gender spectrum. I've made the comparison before but, sometimes, it almost seems like we're reliving 14th Century Flagellantism

Now this might work for some people. Different strokes for different folks and all that (no pun intended. Or not much of one, anyway), but why would anybody expect it to work for everybody? We accept that there are a million different ways to do just about anything, but this? Well, talk about Yoga or Tai Chi. Tango, ballroom, jazz, belly or any other kind of dance that ISN'T considered aerobically taxing in under five minutes or less. Talk about the walking one must do to get to work while using mass transit or the walking one might have to do to shop locally and that, patently, isn't exercise. It must be scheduled, done daily or semi-daily and, with a few grudging exceptions, it must hurt. With this attitude we wonder why some people refuse to have anything to do with exercise at all. Now add the moral implication of being told 'you just need to stop eating so much' when you know that's not the case. And being called a liar when trying to explain that you don't need to put down the Big Mac because you eat less of that crap than most of the people you know (then you must be eating too much of something else!), that you eat an average of 2 meals a day OR LESS (then you must be eating two whole cakes for that one meal. Fatty!), or that you might even eat less than your skinny friends ('Liar, lair, Fatties pants are on fire!' So much maturity for, supposed, adults). Why even bother? 

Well, because your not doing it for them. Your doing it for you. Screw anybody who has a problem with what your doing, how your doing it, how frequently or infrequently, or how much it DOESN'T hurt. If you've never done it before, try it. Give it enough of a chance to really determine whether or not you actually like it, and if you don't then there's no law that says you HAVE to (not yet anyway). But if you do, then don't let anyone stand in the way of doing it as much or as little as makes you comfortable. 

Again; Exercise (or 'Movement', if even the word tends to stroke a nerve) has NOTHING to do with them and everything to do with YOU.  

Muzak Therapy:
Crystal Method / Bad Stone


  1. Thank ya! And keep Moving, but only because you WANT to ; )

  2. Thank you for writing this! I enjoy a few yoga classes a week because they're a gentle movement that makes my body feel better, I don't do it because I expect it to change the way I look.