Monday, August 1, 2011

"I am strong." (and a note on positivity)

Hey,'s Monday. I taught, I trained, I hit the grocery store, I did the laundry and the dishes, I'm currently blogging and will soon head back to the gym for one last client. A manic Monday, indeed. But, who am I kidding. Aren't they all? And why is that? Is it because we're just not quite ready to give up our weekends. Perhaps we feel the need to catch up (emotionally and physically) on all the things we failed to catch up on over the weekend. I don't know, it's unexplainable. What I can explain: Why you are strong. You might recall an ad I posted a few weeks ago, and it seems the company has a series of such ads. Here's the newest one I've seen (in Oxygen, of course):

Again, I don't  endorse (or suggest using) the product should you discover what it is, but I do endorse the company's positivity. What's wrong with a little positivity? I think we need as much of it in our lives as we can get, don't you agree? And this is why I have a bone to pick with the latest issue of Oxygen. Well, with Robert Kennedy (the publisher). He's quite negative in his letter. And I quote:
 1) Not everyone is into "hardcore progressive resistance training," but I think everyone is into finding inspiration in another woman's (or man's) fit body. I find it interesting that he assumes these other health-based magazines are "copying" the Oxygen cover style. Last I checked, pretty much every magazine out there, fitness or any other, puts a pretty face with a hot bod on their cover. Am I wrong? This is nothing new, right? And surely not something RK came up with.

2) The term "really useful advice" can be interpreted in a variety of different ways by a variety of different people with a variety of different interests. I personally reference Oxygen way more than I reference any other magazine, but that's because, as a certified personal trainer, I am looking for a more focused publication that I can benefit from at the gym. BUT—I also subscribe to Self Magazine. I find it quite useful and inspirational as well. And as a professional in the field, I would never say that they print "bogus" workouts and "fake" diets. They print workouts and diets, which might be a little different than those in Oxygen, but are worthwhile nonetheless to someone, somewhere out there.

3) I think it's funny that he calls out "sugar-loaded foods and drinks" when Oxygen is filled with ads for supplements and protein bars that hardly qualify as "wholesome". In another part of his letter, he takes pride in helping women "build their self-esteem by adopting a wholesome lifestyle." Seems like a contradiction to me.

For a women's health and fitness magazine, I applaud Oxygen for it's ability to communicate effective diets and exercises. It's a beacon of positivity, that's for sure. But Robert Kennedy's column has put me off one too many times in the past. Step down from your soapbox, sir. Lead by example, not by putting down your peers. Adopt some of the positivity that streams from your other columnists, including your own wife. Tosca is great, and I often wish her column could replace yours permanently.

And to all my readers: Remember that positivity and inspiration come from a variety of different sources. What may inspire one may put off another. If you don't like Oxygen, but prefer Women's Health or Fitness or something else, know that they're fine magazines. In fact, any fitness magazine that gets you off the couch and into the gym is a fine magazine. At least in my opinion.

Finally, to Robert Kennedy and every woman out there—remember that hardcore resistance training, while completely effective and definitely worth trying at least to some degree, is not the be-all/end-all when it comes to health and well-being. We are all different and we all require different things. And we all, once again, find inspiration from different sources. Instead of shunning women that lift differently than us, or read different magazines than us, welcome them into the wonderful world of healthy, happy females.

And males. Guys, we girls love you, too. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have my own soapbox to step down from.

Question: What health-based magazines do you read? Why?

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