Thursday, September 12, 2013

" Shockingly Irresponsible "fitspiration photos"- An overview of Kevin Moore's Article, Skinny is not sexy, health is, unless you're into popular media.

So, while doing my usual Facebook browse I came across this link that one of my friends posted.

The article is titled

By Kevin MoorE

(Disclaimer..there is a bit of bad language, I don't promote it or care for it, but the points he make are creditable)

        First of all I was somewhat shocked at this article at how much I've become a pawn to what he was mad at. Being extremely involved in fitness, I'd always had issues with how I looked. I have spent daily sessions at the gym making up for the pizza or cupcake I had eaten previously that week. Becoming involved in running has turned my focus away from the looks and more towards the function of becoming a stronger athlete (including swimmer and biker) . My husband asked me a few days ago, "why do you buy those fitness magazines. Do you feel like you have to compare to those women?" I explained to him I liked the articles inside but I couldn't help but feel as if a part of me wasn't being entirely honest with him or myself. I still do find myself wistfully thinking.."man I wish I had her stomach, man I wish my legs were as small as hers" . Sadly that's exactly what they want. It's rare that those magazines actually use athletes, unless it's an article about a specific athlete. Even some athlete magazines will put "so and so model" in their caption underneath the cover shot. It's sad but unless you have 4-5 hours a day to devote to yourself, or you've just won the genetics lottery, you've got a long road a head of you killing yourself trying to look like them.

Kevin goes on to post inspirational photos that are pretty common among pinterest and/or fitness websites that have seem to go just a bit to far. Some to the point that even encourage pushing yourself to a hurtful level mentally and physically. Here are some of the best points/pictures he posted

....Here are three ladies...One showing nothing but her butt, another almost losing her shorts, and one about to lose her top. It states "Skinny is not sexy..or "In" anymore... strength is" I somewhat agree with this.. but strength from person to person is really different..I feel like we were fed for the past 4-5 years that you're not sexy unless you're feel like the media is using the exact same trend but now you have 2 requirements, you have to be Skinny AND Muscular... holy crap... why do we even buy this?  I think Kevin's comment on this post is quite accurate "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. "

He then goes on to prove a point (WHICH I LOVE)
“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 . . .
           One point I TOTALLY agree with. With all the run's I participate in I always observe those that place and even win. They normally are muscular but look nothing like the models we see in these magazines...My point? You don't have to be super skinny to be athletically beautiful, you don't have to be ripped either. Functional strength to participate well in the activity in which you desire and overall health are the two most important things you should aim for.

Picture # 2 

I've had heard it been said that the majority of your fitness level is mental. Of course you have to train your body to be capable of achieving a long run, but if you're mind is continually telling you to stop, you are more than likely to listen to it if you haven't trained it as well. Being a good athlete is training yourself to know the difference between serious pain, and just soreness as well as overcoming the little stuff. If you're whiny, complaining, and just not pushing through it then yes, it's time to take things up a notch but if something is hurting you then you need to know when to stop. Being a little over the top myself I've learned what good pain and bad pain feel like. The more you confuse the two the more likely you are to become injured and have a long period of recovery

. Kevin says : "The trick is to know your limits. Pain is helpful in this regard. Of course, there’s pain and there’s pain, but part of being healthy is knowing the difference. Training so hard as to induce vomiting and uncontrollable sobbing is to slowly undermine the basic human judgement of what constitutes challenge versus what causes injury; It’s a fundamental component of self-control. Toddlers learn it when they figure out that they don’t need to cry over skinned knees but that a broken arm is a big deal. "

 Yet, so many pictures, like this one, depict that you need to be Ironstrong, you need to push until you're about to collapse. That's all good if you're in basic training, but for every day life? It's just not necessary.

To wrap this post up, I myself still have some work mentally to do about getting the media junk out of my head and welcoming the reality of being good enough for what I need to achieve. If I need to get ready for a run, I need to run and do strength training to the point where I can still run the next day.. .not to the point of pushing and starving myself for a 2 inch waist (just an example, not a real goal)'s not necessary ...Yes, I think it is important to push yourself out of your comfort zone when you can.. see if you can do 5 more pushups, see if you can run that extra will always surprise yourself between what your mind thinks and what your body can do..

Just...leave the rest to the photoshop editors... You and I are real..:)

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