When life gets in the way Volume 4: Loss

One of the things that keeps people out of the gym is depression. Depression, in my opinion, is at its worst when you are upset over something you’ve lost. Something was yours, and now it’s not anymore. This can take many forms.

Your health. A marriage. A loved one who passes. A job. An opportunity. Trust. It could be something as small as quitting caffeine or stopping smoking. In any case, when we lose something that was once so valuable to us, we have a sense of vulnerability

Usually something happen that sets you off. And this causes you to feel lower than you originally did before.

Often times this reflects in the gym. Or your lack of motivation to actually go there.

What can you do?

1) First and foremost— talk to someone. A friend. Spouse. Relative. There are people out there who care. Shoot an email. Make a text. Do NOT be a hero and try to bear this on your own. Depending on what the loss is, it could take months to get over it. Once, I was out of work for about 8 months. Save prayer, determination and LOTS of conversations with family members, I would have been a wreck. By month number 5, hopelessness started setting in. “Why can’t I find work?” “Am I just not qualified?” “Why don’t they want me?” Talking with others reminds you that you are not in a bubble. That brings me to my next point.

2) Don’t give in to self doubt and hopelessness. It could be you were fired. It could be your spouse left you. It could be you were in a horrible accident. Whatever the case, as dark as it is today… the sun always shines tomorrow morning. Of course, it’s easy to write that behind the safety of a computer. But also, I’ve gone through the storm. And there is always an After the storm.

Just ask Monica… who dropped this album about a year after her boyfriend committed suicide and she went into a major depression because of it.

3) Remember the rule and apply it: “Every little bit helps”. Sure you might be a weight lifter. Keep lifting. Even if it’s light. Or skip the weights and head to the treadmill. The point is— show up.

4) Eat regular. Not too much. Not over eating. Eat regular.

5) Watch the alcohol. Look, too many people use alcohol as a coping mechanism. They want to “numb the pain”. Or “experience joy”. It’s masking your hurt. And it will cause you to hurt yourself further. Don’t drink. Don’t turn to the bars. Don’t turn to promiscuity. Don’t do anything that in your normal mind you’d look at yourself and say “What the hell did I just do to myself and my values?” Instead go the beach. Weekend trip to the mountains. you should…

6) …Get away. I’m a firm believe that many times, the problems we experience are merely reflections of the geographic location we are in. Hop a flight somewhere if you can and get away. You need YOU time. You need more than just lifting weights— you also need to lift your spirits.  Get a clear mind.

7) It’s wise to express yourself in some how. Blog, journal it’s all the same. Youtube vids that are private. Whatever. Don’t hold anything in, cause you’ll be surprised what comes out in the most awkward moments.

I’ve experienced enough loss in life… loved ones, relationships, jobs, opportunities, etc. to know it is never easy. And there’s always the tendency to want to “give up” whatever “give up” means to you in that situation.

I’m saying don’t. Try to get to the gym. Try to workout to remove some of that stress. But also practice “self-care” during this time.

That darkness is for a short time, regardless of how it feels. Life runs in cycles. You may be out of work for 8 months— then find a fantastic job for over 2 years leading you to the school of your dreams.

This thing called life is hard. But you can make it.

Into the Zuzka Light!

Day in and day out, the most popular post on this site consistently is the one I did some time ago on Body Rock, and their blatant use of Sexual innuendo in order to gain viewership.

I’ve haven’t really known what to do with that information. At least not until I stumbled upon this little gem.

Zuzana Light…the original Body Rocker. She was married to the male Body Rocker, Freddy, whom you see in the current iteration of the program. Until of course, they got divorced (as a gentle aside, I’m still not sure what that post is actually saying other than “We realized we’re friends, so we divorced. But wouldn’t you want to be friends with your spouse? That’s neither here nor there). Since then, Freddy has moved on to Lisa-Marie and the two are officially dating. (which is also kinda weird in and of itself, since it’s only 5 month after his separation was announced but that’s neither here nor there, either).

It’s no secret that while on BodyRock, Zuzana posed in the same sexual manner that we see of Lisa.

It’s actually not that shocking when I discovered that a simple search for her Facebook page revealed that Zuzana is in fact a former porn star named Susana Spears.

The line in the fitness industry between sex and fitness is a thin one, but BodyRock has melded the two together in a marketable format for savoring eye candy and getting your fit on…and they may actually be the smartest one of us. Think of it…take a porn star, who already has quite a fan base, tone her down into a fitness model/ trainer. Unleash on Youtube.

It is actually one of the most brilliant marketing ideas I’ve run across in the fitness industry.

Normally, fitness ads only ever hint at sex or are suggestive of it.

How many people tuned in to the first iteration of this show after realizing a former adult star was the lead?

Darkness before the Light

But looking beneath the surface a somewhat recent piece by the Huffington Post tells a story, not of a sex vixen looking to use her wiles to ensnare hapless victims into subscribing to her channel for T&A. Instead, we see the very real results of what the sex industry can do to a woman, who is used, then spit out until the next hot woman comes along. For all the hours spent in front of cameras

In the article, Zuzana states how a life in porn “almost killed her”. European girls (Zuzana is Czech) are spit out at a fast rate as they are sold into a life before the camera. Some will escape. Most will become prostitutes, drug addicted, alcoholic and forgotten and abused on a daily basis.

Zuzana, showing bravery but with a smile that seeks to hide her pain states that she got away and found new life in fitness. She owns her past and her attempts at survival while candidly stating that she regrets her past life in porn.

The danger with an industry that only looks at women as sex objects is that it ignores the role that fitness played in that woman’s life, besides getting those buns of steel. Fitness, literally saved her life and as a result of that we are blessed by her presence every day as we strive to be as fit as she is. Doing Tabata style workouts? Easy. Escaping a life of literal sex slavery? Not so easy. But she did it. And every day her smile inspires other to lose weight within 10 minutes a day.

Zuzana’s story is compelling and should push us to value women for more than their measurements. Or their past. By escaping the sex industry, she has both a story to tell and life to emulate. Too many woman are stuck there and will meet their demise on the streets.

Of course fitness models are sexy. But that sexiness may betray a story deeper than you could ever understand.

Body Rocked: The Sexual Exploitation of Lisa-Marie

For the longest time, I wanted to know what so many of my #FitBlog friends were talking about. Eventually, I decided to tune in and catch it. You see, normally, I’m up and about by 6:45 a.m., so by 7:15 a.m., I’m usually on Twitter seeing what everyone is doing for the morning. Many of my buds have tweets which give clear indication. They’ll be spending the next 12 or so minutes sweating it out to  BodyRock! Imagine a truly intense, at home workout that gets you going and gets those veins popping with minimal cost. So instead of the $140 you might spend for something like P90X, you pay almost nothing and get ripped out of your mind.

Body Rock has been sweeping the nation and the movement is something like a hurricane. These folks have a dedication to fitness and want to see everyone look better naked. And they are out to prove it. Almost quite literally.

While it’s no secret that there is a thin line in the fitness world between fitness modeling and overt sexuality, those lines are blurred quite regularly, not just on BodyRock but also in many fitness magazines, videos and especially all over youtube. Let’s be honest, here: Sex sells. Sex sells a lot. So of course a sexy woman working out and motivating you but making you think you will have even more sex with women just as sexy as her once you yourself get sexier… well…. that has some appeal.

The point is that the fitness industry is male dominated and often times, women are left in the place of not only having to have fit bodies but also having to present those bodies in sensual, erotic or sometimes outright sexual ways in order to attract the same notoriety and opportunities as a Phil Heath or a Jay Cutler. We want to see our men strong, with big round muscles. But we want the women to have strong muscle too, yet the same women then have to show they have maintained their femininity by posing and placing emphasis on their sexual prowess.

The case of Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie has been a Body Rocker for sometime. With her encouraging spirit, bright personality and never say die attitude, not to mention outrageously cute accent, she will push you to do your best, and then… do better. As far as trainers go, you couldn’t get anyone better, more attractive, fun or encouraging.

BodyRock wants you to know, you won’t find any better eye candy anywhere, either. When accessing the Bodyrock Facebook Page (the source for all the following images), this is what you get when it comes to images of Lisa Marie:

In some of those pics, she’s reduced to a headless / faceless body that only shows her breasts, abs and lower body in underwear.

Do these pictures push the boundaries of selling sex in a fitness industry designed to make one feel good about their own self?

I placed that last picture of her bent over the couch up there on purpose, because I think it really captures the slow change we are seeing from Body Rock. The message seems slowly to be going from “Get in shape so you are healthy” to “Get in shape so you are healthy, and outrageously sexy!” The problem though, is that this can also be interpreted as “Get in shape and be sexy, because if you’re a woman, all that really matters is your ability to sell sex!” Now, women ought to be sexy if that’s what makes them feel beautiful and special. But BodyRock seems to be stating that that should be their only motivation for any workout. Because of course, you want to attract the attention of a man… sexually… don’t you?

Here’s another example (you don’t need to watch the whole thing, maybe a few seconds to get the idea):

We have Lisa working out in what just a little less than shorts. Was this truly done for the females in the audience who wish to copy the moves to look like Lisa? Was it done to inspire the women to shoot for something more with their own bodies? Or was it done for males in the audience who will watch this vid, and whose clicks will increase this video’s ratings making it easier to find and promote on Youtube? Maybe both? Maybe reducing Lisa Marie to a sexpot works for marketing, since at the end of the day this is a business. BodyRock needs the views and they want you to buy the products sold on the site. Lisa Marie in a thong, jumping up and down and bending over multiple times will most certainly accomplish that.

Bigger than her Body Rock gives her credit for

It’s easy to discount all of this and just say, “Well, it doesn’t matter, she loves what she’s doing”, “I have no problem with it!”, “She’s happy and she’s just trying to help us look our best!”, and “You’re grasping at straws! She can control her sexuality anyway she wants to. Shut up, you’re just a man!!!”  To an extent, I concede that all of those statements are correct.

But let’s look deeper.

Lisa-Marie, is more than just the girl with the washboard stomach who can put your wife to shame in the looks department. It can get easy to get caught up with how her body oozes sex.

But she’s a human being. And she, like the rest of us has a story that goes beyond how long she can jump rope.

You only need to watch the 1st full minute of this vid.

Did you catch any of that? She’s crying. She’s lonely. She’s completely disconnected from her family. And despite how many of us are watching those vids, she finds it incredibly hard to make friends (i.e. people who see her as more than a possible sexual conquest and as a sexual object). You’ll also note that she is almost fully dressed in this vid. The problem with a fitness industry that constantly packages women as sex kittens is that we forget Lisa-Marie is a unique human being, as beautiful on the inside as she is fit on the outside (It’s Laura Michelle Prestin all over again). We forget that she goes through many of the same challenges that we do, just that she doesn’t get to talk about them that much to someone who will look her in the eye and listen… not stare at her chest and imagine. I think it can be tiring to only be seen as a sexual object day in and day out. To me this video proves that.

What we see in the fitness industry is merely a reflection of our society. In this video, she’s sad, yet in the comments section, the statements from viewers range from flirtatious to down right vulgar in reference to imaginary romantic romps with her.

It’s a mighty fine line between fitness and sex, since of course being fit IS sexy. But let’s not forget that our fitness and bikini models in the Bodybuilding and fitness industry are more than objects to satisfy our lusts. They are valuable women, many of them wives and mothers. BodyRockTV should remember that it’s okay for Lisa-Marie to workout in clothes that the average woman at Planet Fitness would wear. We will still love her just the same, and I guarantee still try our own best to get and stay fit.

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