Tuesday, April 04, 2006


We got round to joining a gym - haven't been since we moved nearly 2 months ago. Very expensive - but I have been getting wibbly.

I like the gym but I have left it in an absolutely foul mood.

I resent being bombarded of images of fakely tanned, photoshopped women who clearly haven't eaten in a year. Did you know women have a temporary lowering of mood & body image after looking at such photos? And that is linked to the development of eating disorders. Maybe I'm just cross because I know people with anorexia who use exactly those kind of pictures as triggers and I think its totally inappropriate/grossly irresponsible for them to be in a place where people with eating disorders congregate (gyms!)

I also resent being told that "tanning is good for you, it gives you vitamin D and helps prevent osteoporosis", when tanning has been consistently linked with the development of skin cancer. You need 20 minutes in sunlight (not direct sunlight - walking outside will do) to get all the vitamin D you need. And its not exactly scarce in food either. And how many people with vitamin D deficiency do you know anyway?

So I am cross. The health and fitness industry is just not healthy.


postliberal said...

It's amazing how much is sold to us on the basis of a link between what's currently percieved to be attractive and what's healthy. Being out in the garden a lot, I tend never to be pale, but it's pretty hard not to get enough vitamin D. What's more crucial, and what the stupid salons can't sell you, is getting out per say. Excercise and the sight of the outside world is vital, and can't be bought in pills or food or memberships.

Contemplative Activist said...

Absolutely - although I'm taking advantage of a simulated bike ride in a spinning class tonight!

Er.....yeah, the weather sucks man!

But I agree with you - more time outdoors is so important.

Mind you, I have a sudden urge to deface posters of skinny orange women with "Feed me and bring me sun cream" 60s feminist style ;)

Rach said...

Go do it!!

I'm going to dress up as a "Stepford Wife" for a drerss up party thing I'm going to this month - but I want to be making some kind of protest at the same time? Any suggestions? I'm wearing my new pretty dress so I'm not wrecking that! But some feminist thing/I was thinking about having some bolts or whatever somewhere on my person to give the whole robot thing...


Contemplative Activist said...

Bolts sounds fantastic! LOVE IT!

And no, whatever you do - don't ruin that dress. Its gorgeous on you!

Rach said...

Thanks! How do I incorporate bolts though?


elaine said...

Eating Disorders is a tough one. its more complex than ads on t.v and working out outdoors(which is great by the way) but requires a complete overhaul of how someone views there self.

Contemplative Activist said...

Good link Elaine :)

Of course eating disorders aren't as simple as looking at skinny women - but I do think our culture is oppressive towards women by promoting this emancipated, tanned ideal body image.

Plus I'm very very very curvy and a bit proud of it!

postliberal said...

Go for it - subverstisement is a time honoured tradition. You might especially appreciate this scribbling.

Lorcan said...

Ah... the profit motive strikes at health... what next ( sorry for the ironic tone, ) wouldn't it be nice if there was ONE place ( including most churches ) were truth in advertisement was a deeply heald goal?
Well, have fun, wear blinders, be subversive... there's a life