Rant on body shaming and minding your own business
For today's newsletter I have a rant to get off my chest. On Monday I went to the Olive Garden with a friend for lunch. I just happened to be wearing a t-shirt that said "CrossFit for the cure." I obtained it when I did a fund-raiser for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) several years ago. The one organizing the funder raiser was a devout CrossFit member who held the fund raiser at the gym (or "box" as CrossFit people call them). I came away from the event with the aforementioned t-shirt.
Getting back to Monday, as we were passing through the lobby to leave, where several people were waiting for table, an older man out of nowhere said to me "Hey, you're not in CrossFit!" Pause. I was immediately insulted by this unsolicited comment. Granted he was right, but I would compare the remark to staying to an overweight stranger out of the blue, "Hey, you're fat."
However, being the gentleman that I am, I didn't attack back but attempted to get him to get him to contemplate his remark. The conversation, if you could call it that, went something like this:
- CrossFit guy: "Hey, you're not in CrossFit."
- Me: "How do you know?" * awkward silence *
- Me: "For being 54, I think in pretty good shape." * awkward silence *
- Me: "I may not be in CrossFit, but I work out every day on a similar program as CrossFit, not to mention other ways I work out on my own." * awkward silence *
- Me: "Pffft"
Then I walked out. While Mr. CrossFit never said another word, he just stood there with a grin on his face, as if to say "You know I'm right." Okay, he was right, but that doesn't mean every truthful statement should be said.
At this point, I could easily go down a path of characterizing most CrossFit disciples as being arrogant and judgmental, starting with their leader, Greg Glassman. However, I won't. I applaud anyone who works hard to stay in shape and healthy, whether in CrossFit or not. I'll even say that CrossFit is very intense and only the elite strong can keep up with it. But plenty of strong athletic people are not in CrossFit. The almost religious devotion to their program is not for me.
In my opinion, the important thing is that you work out in whatever way you choose. The essential thing is that you do anything that gets your heart rate up and builds muscle mass. The subject of weight loss comes up from time to time in my forum and its always followed by plenty of very specific advice. My advice is very simple if you want to lose weight and get in better shape - exercise more and eat less. It's that simple. "How should I exercise?" you might ask. Do whatever you find enjoyable. If you don't like it, you'll probably manage to easily find excuses not to do it.
In closing, I think the world would be a better place if we encouraged each other in self-improvement, as opposed to shaming those not at our own level. It's not often I quote the bible, especially in a newsletter promoting gambling, but this time I think it's appropriate.
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." -- Matthew 7: 1-5.