In my last article, I let my problems with the fitness industry be known; namely the fact that it’s an industry pervaded and perverted by companies and individuals intent on selling their methods first, often in place of any truly comprehensive education on health itself. It’s my contention that such strategies do much more harm than good for the large majority of people, and is thus irresponsible, selfish, and something to be disdained.
For every success story you see self-promoted by these opportunists, there are likely dozens of other people who have tried them – the silent majority – who saw little to no results. You might think that’s fine – no progress isn’t harmful, right?
Wrong. What you don’t hear about is the damage done mentally to these people when they test method after method that are touted as “the best,” yet still do not make progress or get healthier. You don’t hear about how they now question and stress about every single thing that goes into their mouth, and begin to lose trust in their own feelings and instincts because some “expert” told them they were wrong. You don’t hear about how the industry turned them out, how they are now bona fide fitness junkies searching for the next “fix” for their health woes.
You don’t hear about how truly lost so many people become.
When you lose trust in yourself, you have lost trust in your instinct – one of the greatest gifts we are given as animals on this planet Eairth. When you’ve lost your instinct, your mind has become separated from your body, your body separated from the earth that sustains it. And this is one of the most proliferate problems in our society today – our emphasis on mind over body and denial of our animal instinct. So many of our societal woes could be alleviated if we simply taught people how to live more like the animals we are.
Therefore, I believe it is the responsibility of every member of the fitness industry to first educate each individual person in concepts of health first, then, and only then, teach methods second. Teaching an unhealthy person how to train CrossFit and eat Paleo will not lead them to true health alone. Why? Because they don’t know what health is – that’s why they were unhealthy in the first place! Granted, they might lose weight and gain some strength – in fact, this is bound to happen with any drastic change in lifestyle. And that’s all fine and good.
But like I mentioned in my last post, fitness does not (necessarily) equal health.
So how do we properly educate the average person about health? First, we must do away with the notion that 6-pack abs or big biceps, or whatever other physical standards we think up, are indicators of health. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. I bet there were plenty of Holocaust victims with a 6-pack, no? (Yes, tasteless, but the point stands).
Once our superficial media-induced indicators of health have been banished from our minds, we must educate individuals in the definition of true health. We must help people understand the Oneness of their mind, body and soul – because without optimizing all three aspects, true health can never be achieved.
We must teach individuals to align their lives with their inherent Nature, with the Universe itself. Or all is for naught.
More on this to come.