First question today comes from me to you. Is a moustache cultural appropriation if you are only doing it for the comedic value? Important note - this is not a German moustache…even I have my boundaries.
Why do I have such a sweet moustache?
Firstly - I think they are hilarious. Secondly - I can't grow a beard and my friends won't let me click on the Copenhagen beard grooming ads that plague my Instagram, so I guess I just play the hand I am dealt. Now accepting suggestions as to what kind of epic moustache I should cultivate.
My second question is maybe a little more serious and dare I say it…relevant?
In the famous words of Abe Simpson, “I used to be with it….now I’m not even sure what IT is.”
I’m pretty confident I used to be with it. In this case, "it" being the health and fitness industry. I care about my chosen career. Not in a ticking the boxes for progression and advancement type of way, but about genuinely helping people be less shit at life.
I don’t care whether this comes from exercise, diet, movement or getting a chuckle when I send you an email.
But now…I have clearly lost sight of what IT is. I will freely confess my stupidity. I guess I just don’t understand the self-love movement.
I mean in concept I get it, like I get how planes are supposed to fly even though they’re heavier than air (BUT HOW DO THEY STAY UP?????). It’s the nitty-gritty physics of it all that I find confusing. Like where is the boundary between self-love and acceptance of the human being that you are, and striving to actually better yourself? Should my clients now feel ashamed because maybe, just maybe, they think they might be a bit happier if they lost a little bit of weight or were able to move some more weight?
In theory, self-love is great. I mean who is going to love someone who can’t love themselves?
There is beauty in being confident within your own skin, in having a body that does what bodies are designed to do- move.
I am always a little cautious about speaking on this topic (jokes, I don’t care what internet people think about me), because it now seems to be the norm that people who question the difference between self-love and laziness are likely to be crucified on social media.
So where is the line?
I want a hard definitive answer so if I have a client I’m coaching, I can tick off if they are just having a self-love day…or if they’re being a lazy sod and need to get into the gym.
Luckily for me, this is my email (welcome to my internal monologue by the way, jump on in the water’s warm).
This means I can put out my own standards and tell you where I draw the line in the sand.
One of my favourite quotes (that’s right, ONE, I am a learned man of many quotes), is from Socrates.
"It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable”.
....Or to sum it up, ala Game Of Thrones, “Shaaaaaaame.”
So besides us learning that Socrates doesn’t think its a shame for women to grow old without blah blah (not exactly an equal opportunity society for our first democracy), what does it actually mean?
Socrates isn’t talking about a rock hard six-pack and an impressive gun show. He is talking about the ability of a body, not its aesthetics.
And this is where I agree.
Love your body in the form it is in, but there’s always room for improvement. Make it a body that is up to any task you wish to put it through. Make it a body that is strong, confident and able. Whether that is a size S or a size XL.