When Fitness Is No Longer Fitness - Excerpt from a T-Nation Article

Just wanted to share this small excerpt from an article on T-Nation, "The Dark Side of Fitness".  Tony Gentilcore is a very-highly-regarded trainer and genuinely funny dude whose posts frequently both crack me up and elevate my knowledge.

His contribution to the article, which talks about how to know when the pursuit of fitness begins to turn negative, really aligns a lot with our feelings on the subject at The BTG, particularly the last paragraph:

"Fitness is a hard word to define, if not altogether murky and ubiquitous. If you look up the definition of fitness the two most popular are:

  1. The condition of being physically fit and active.
  2. The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.

See what I mean? Those definitions can mean anything to anyone.

For some people, "fitness" means being able to squat or deadlift 3x bodyweight. For others it means having six-pack abs year round. I don't feel people's personal definitions of fitness deserve any belaboring. Truth be told, any time someone is doing something positive for their health and well-being it's a good thing.

But we all know the joke:

"How do you know someone is a vegan?"
Don't worry, they'll tell you.

Now, don't get me wrong: we can just as easily substitute "yogi, powerlifter, bodybuilder, CrossFitter, or early 90's Mariah Carey aficionado" in there as well. All are fine things to be into and, without any hesitation from me, make you a very cool person to hang around with.

However, I'm sure you get the gist and can commiserate: it's annoying when someone you know – friend, colleague, family member, significant other – turns something they're passionate about into something that defines them.

They're the person who refrains from social get-togethers or even vacations because the idea of missing or skipping a training session is apocalyptic. They're someone whose nutritional neurosis dictate they bring their own cooler of pre-packaged grass-fed beef and organic, unicorn tear filtered acai berries everywhere they go in lieu of having the audacity of enjoying a slice of pizza.

This isn't to disparage people who take their health and "fitness" more seriously. Anyone who reads this site recognizes there are innumerable day-to-day sacrifices we make to not be average.

But when said sacrifices come at the expense of deteriorating interpersonal relationships, exceedingly more and more incidences of negative self-talk, or even decreased self-worth for doing something off plan, fitness is no longer fitness. It's a problem."

– Tony Gentilcore

(Here's a link to the original article, in case you want to read the whole thing.)

Consider carefully what you are pursuing fitness for, and at what cost.  If your healthier, more active lifestyle improves your health and physical appearance, but makes you constantly worry about food and how you look in the mirror, or damages your relationships with family and friends, is it worth it?

Learn how to balance fitness and healthy nutrition with life with our BTG Foundations Coaching Program (powered by PN ProCoach).  We can help you be the best YOU possible without food anxiety or body image obsession, so you can really LIVE life.  Click here for details.