If I could short the state of your health over 5 years, I would! Chances are it would be incredibly profitable. The majority of us will be fatter, more stressed and less able to deal with our chosen lifestyle. I hope I am wrong, but keeping up with the Kardasian’s is the new norm and with the fitness industry being part self-help, part franchise and grow we are being sold a glossy lifestyle that is unachievable and in its search for perfection, deeply unhealthy.
Would it be fair to say that most industries are controlled by profit-hungry investors, ultimately sacrificing the ethical integrity of what the industry emerged to do? Yes you say? Well then….. You’re a commy! We got cha!
A lack of regulatory oversight, grab and run business models, combined with young do-gooder trainers and nutritionists make up the fitness industry. Its boom or bust with high turn over for both labour and customer. The industry, similar to that of the subprime mortgage industry in the US is built on promising short-term wins whilst negating long-term viability and stability of the people who invest in it personally.
We personify an industry when we think of it collapsing and often negate to think of the individuals that lose everything. Those responsible are never held accountable, so we don’t think of the winners either. This wont be an industry collapsing, make no mistake about that! Instead, it will continue to thrive in a zero-sum game. You will be the loser, exhausted, and chubby, whilst some other corporate fat-cat will be splashing fitties on titties at your expense.
Number based diets, open-ended memberships as well as regimes involving alliterative timelines, ‘6-weeks to sexy’, tend to draw people in for short, intense periods. Testimonial success goes to market: “I lost 6 kgs in 6 weeks! I’ve never been happier!” and we think ‘man, he/she looks happy, I’m not happy, maybe ill flog myself for 36 days and see if I can shake these shackles of exhaustion, stress and commitments.”
‘Man this guy is dark. What is health if not deprivative, strict habits enforced with dedication over short and intense amounts of time with the aim to look perfect?’ I hear you ask. I’ve always avoided answering this for fear of being wrong. But losing 2kgs in 2-weeks is weight loss, it contributes to your health but is not health. Health is not an act or a picture, it is a state where confidence, happiness, drive and (subconsciously) key health indicators meet more often than they don’t.
It is only with time that muddy waters become clear, and it is only by looking at time and how we spend our finite amount of it that we get some clarity as to what your picture of health looks like. This article attempts to build a framework that addresses health in relation to time. The framework looks at time management in relation to your individual realities and priorities and how they can be modelled to improve your state of health.
The healthy living framework has four goals. Firstly it seeks to highlight the shifting sands of time commitment and that a one size fits all model to a better life always needs to be tweaked. Secondly, to encourage you to think about how much time you have and what your priorities are at any given point in time. Thirdly, as a reminder that everyone has the same amount of time, there is no dead time, no one has more or less of it and you and only you are in control of how yours is spent.
Next week I will unveil and discuss the framework. For now, this is an opinion piece that makes some fairly general statements. I do not intend to offend but challenge. Hopefully encourage better thinking. Supporting evidence in the form of studies, examples or reviewed papers has not been referenced, but university made me incredibly good at finding people to prove my point so I can and will before pushing too much further. And yes, I know deprivative is not a word, but surely you know what I mean…. Commy!