Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Fitness racket exposed!Part 1

I've been in the fitness racket for a long time to know about how they work. And mind you, I am using the writer’s artistic license to make this article more interesting than it is! This racket, this scam, is the one we play out with ourselves, our minds.

Yes, we are no lesser racketeers than our glorified and political bigwigs. It is just that their shenanigans affect a major chunk of the populace- well, by affect, I mean people who are perturbed by it, not people who care about it. Another article J

Coming back to the point- Because it’s national news, and because a select few are perturbed by the scams going on around us, it becomes a big racket, mostly revolving around money. However, when we do this day in, day out, as long as we live, with our own body, nobody raises a finger. Nobody causes a stir. Nothing happens. Now the question that may come to your mind is, what the hell I am talking about, and if not that, how and what is this fitness racket?

What I am talking about is the false promises, the lies, and the deception that makes us scamsters in our own right. We have complete disregard for our bodies, and yet blame our schedules for our health. We may be educated enough to earn Management Degrees and Fat pay-cheques from conglomerates, but we are ignorant about food labels and how they might affect us. While buying  a pair of shoes, we research every available medium, physical and online, badger our friends over social networking sites and don’t rest until we find the cheapest yet the best quality sneakers ( for our “soon to begin” jogging sessions, of course). However, we read or listen to a latest health fad or diet, how so ever mind numbingly dumb it sounds, and get right to it.

This is what I am talking about.

 The “We” mentioned in the above para is you. Yes you. The one reading this article. The one with access to the internet, the one who KNOWS how to use the internet. The one who knows. The modern one. We’d rather spend an hour on FB chatting about how difficult it is for us to find time to exercise or follow a diet plan because of our work than walk for ten minutes a day. We’d rather expend a ton of energy blaming the traffic and the work pressure for tiring us so much than directing the same energy towards a better lifestyle.
This is how. This is how we run a fitness racket within ourselves, and since it is a personal one, and since it does not affect a lot of people, we justify that we aren’t scamsters. And of course, we seek conformity by talking to people about our busy schedules, ranting about them and agreeing to each other’s predicament.

  •          The next time you meet a neighbor, and you talk to them for fifteen minutes about the rising inflation, the soaring temperature and the disrespectful children, can you do it over a pleasant walk?
  •          The next time you want to spend “quality time” with your children or spouse and are considering a movie and a day at the mall, can’t you take them to a nature hike instead?

Is your mind filled with justification, excuses and solid good reasons not to take my suggestions as valid ones right now? Welcome to the club. An elite club with about 7 billion members. Home Sapen Sapiens.

We’re built that way. We thrive-at least our mind thinks we do- on denial, in conformity, in herd mentality. And because of that, our most valuable resource is getting wasted, and is languishing in the trenches. Our health, our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

I know I’ve laid out the bad part. I’ve addressed the problem. I’ve shoved the banana right up the monkey’s butt hole. I’m a smart alec, aren’t I? The Mr. know all, who is standing on a pedestal judging us all? Honestly, no. I’m one of you. I am the scamster you see in the mirror.

But, there are certain things that I have learnt from many people, and many places, and this is what I am going to implement in my life. You are free to use any or every step that you fancy.


It all starts with acknowledgement, doesn’t it? Yes sweetheart, I love you. Yes, I think Tendulkar should retire now. Yes, I acknowledge that the Parle-G biscuit of the 90’s – and the actors- weren’t better off than today's.

You and I have to accept that we have this problem, that we are fraudsters in our own right. We have to accept that we neglect our health at the pretext of:

  •          Not having enough time. (Is walking ten mins a day really that big a deal to start off with?)
  •          Not having enough energy. (Visiting your favourite watering hole after a hard day is an energy saving exercise?)
  •          Not having enough money (Are the people who visit the gym and weight train the only healthy ones?

I am not endorsing Gymming, Yog-asan, Weight Training, Functional Training, Cross Fit Training, Pilates, Aerobics, Swimming, or any other form of exercise over the other. I have never done that and I never will. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing one over the other is a purely personal choice. The problem lies much before this. The problem lies in motivation, and staying motivated. The problem lies in taking the first step. We are so deeply entrenched in the quagmire of excuses, that we keep debating on which form of exercise is the best, which shoes, what time, which kind of diet, which kind of lifestyle is the best, and more than that usually, the fastest, that we end up doing nothing at all. Acknowledge this.

To read more, well, please read the Part two which explains mind over mind, a technique. The  part three, which is work in progress, will cover topics like:
  •      Time Management
  •       Prioritize

Thank you for reading. I am hoping that you felt of this time spent as an investment towards your health. Feel free to comment on whatever you think of this write up.


Anonymous said...

So very true, Kartik! Staying focused and motivated is THE key to success. And it applies to all aspects of our life, not just fitness.

It is also so true that we spend time and effort researching trivial stuff while taking a casual approach to things that really matter; our health, peace of mind, family, friends...

Kartik said...

These scams may not affect a lot of people. But they affect the people who matter the most to yo; your family..

Unknown said...

Amazing post bro!! Just realized I have become a big scamster. Waiting for some tips from you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kartik.
Its Parle-G...not Parleji!

and yes...they dont make it as good as they did ;)

Kartik said...

Duly Noted :)