Most people my age watch television. Everyone watches television. Children who don’t know words, mutes who don’t use words, and even the blind who can’t see images are all connected by television. Those who use clichés like ‘life is short,’ ‘then I looked up and…’ or ‘what happened to the time?’ are usually avid television watchers. Your real life has to unfold rapidly and without notice if you’ve given your life up to television. Television has skewed normal words like ‘reality.’ It’s made oxymoronic terms like “Reality Television” easy to understand. I’m guilty too. I associate years and eras with what was going on in sports at the time, and I really wish I could mark time lines with things that I’ve done. But I wasn’t raised in that sort of environment. There was always a television on in my home as a child, and it’s much easier for me to date things that I saw on television than things that happened to me in my own life. It’s the nature of our culture.
That’s not reality though, even if we’re experiencing someone else’s reality. What does it have to do with getting shape? Well, imagine how difficult it is to train a person to experience the realities of their body if they live other people’s lives all day?
Here are some of the ridiculous lies I hear from these people:
“I’m doing this for myself”
Well, everything we do for ourselves gets done immediately. So if you’re stalling in your fitness process, it’s probably because the things within you that desire sexual attention and feed off that are why you want to get in shape. For most people who are really in shape, the “life change” is much more esoteric than ‘more people smile at me, I can shop in my favorite stores, I can have sex with anyone I want and now hold so much power.’ Explaining things like being fully in touch with your body or rarely getting sick are hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand why that’s so damn cool. So when you’re really ready to do something for yourself, stop thinking about what it’s doing to get you, and focus on how you can get it.
“I know what I need”
I hear this from men who can’t do one push-up and women who wear medium tops and large bottoms. It’s not my intention to put them down, but I deal with many who have zero control over their bodies, yet still, they’ve hired a trainer expecting them to do something specific that they’ve obviously, never really done. How does a person who has no control over a thing tell their consultant how to help them control it? As a trainer, and a consultant much more, my job is to evaluate you, then tell you what you need. If my advice doesn’t work, you’re free to not take it. The other way is how poor advice gets around. It’s bad enough that there are bad trainers, it’s worse that there are fat people giving other fat people advice. No style, program or method is exactly what YOU need.
“I’m going to look just like (insert name of television star or singer here)”
Yeah, because you live their lifestyle, have their work ethic, or can afford to eat their diet. The truth is that you should hire a trainer who explains how to find what you need as well as find out who you exactly are. You can’t go out and do something special unless you go out and find out ways you can be more special. Looking like someone else or even comparing yourself to someone else isn’t very special.
I blame television and the culture of television for all of it. More than people just sitting and eating, television makes people fat in an even scarier way: Thinking about television, watching it, and shaping our lives with it seems to make all people fatter than they want to be. If we were connected with our own lives and the lives of our children, so much would be different. The realizations that come with getting in real shape are more about natural things, like air, the ground, sweat, discomfort. The illusion that fitness is all about comfort, pampering, ease and service comes from television. It comes from people’s need to live like royalty and celebrity if even for an hour or two. It’s why we dress up to go to expensive restaurants and go on lavish vacations. I’m not putting that lifestyle down either, but it’s made fitness about those things when it’s absolutely not. Not all of us are rich, but we have been blessed with bodies. Use, control, and maintenance of that body is all generally free, and losing control of it is a choice, not a disorder. Television made it a disorder.