Refuting the Revenge Body
Courtesy of Instagram
Oh, what a snowy, snowy day it is out here on the East Coast-- and I love it! I love it because I love snow (so long as I'm tucked safe in my house without anywhere to go and not trying to drive in it), but more importantly, I LOVE snowdays! (teacher perk!)
There are so many great things about snowdays, starting with vegging out and watching mindless daytime TV in my pajamas. Today, I turned on E! and was greeted with a bunch of episodes of their newest show: Revenge Body by Khloe Kardashian. I knew about this show, I saw previews before and understood the premise-- and it annoyed me. Today, I decided to give an episode (and a half) a shot. The result: more outrage than I originally felt from the previews.
As I mentioned, I knew the premise of the show going in. People go to Khloe Kardashian for weight-loss transformations and makeovers to avenge someone who wronged them in the past. In the words of Khloe, "The best revenge is a good body.". She then proceeds to hook her new protégés up with some of the best Hollywood trainers and glam-squads. In the end, these newly transformed people throw some sort of reveal party, inviting the people that they are seeking revenge on, and confront their "haters".
Now, speaking of of "haters", let me start my rant with the unofficial slogan of the show:
Let our haters be our biggest motivators.
Every time I hear this on the commercials, I cringe and my inner monologue starts running. Health and fitness goals should be driven by YOUR inner fire to better YOURSELF, you should be doing it for YOU-- not to "show" someone else, not for vengeance. What happens when you get that revenge or the fight fades away, is that it? Goals are over? Healthy lifestyle no more? What is going to keep you motivated if your only reason for changing your lifestyle is gone-- do you go out and find someone new to avenge?
As I mention in one of the "Fitness Tips" on this page, you should be doing things that you truly enjoy because if there is no genuine interest, you're going to hold yourself back in terms of your potential progress. If you are creating a health and fitness goal, do it for you--not for someone's perspective of you.
Now, let me praise Klo-Klo a little bit because #positivity. On the plus side, she DOES acknowledge that working out can be a great method for stress relief and notes that she utilizes it in that way. She talks about first discovering that she was relieving stress at the gym and mentions how that initial discovery sparked her drive to start committing more to working out/the gym. All well and good, as this is true for a lot of people, but unfortunately it is not true for all (including some of the people that come on the show).
What we see on the show aren't people realizing the same and gradually, naturally, getting into working out-- we see people with (little to) no interest being thrown into TOUGH, long workouts with intense coaches. This kind of working out, when mixed with the sole purpose of making someone else feel regret, can lead to a pretty unhealthy and skewed mindset in the long run. The chances for over-training post-TV show are heightened, and the participants may leave with an unclear understanding of what a healthy lifestyle is and how to achieve it in the real world (considering they spent their first 3 months of their new lifestyle with Hollywood trainers and nutritionists making their meal choices).
One of the last things that bothered me was a small, probably over-looked part of the show: the opening where we are introduced to the participants.
We are greeted by the participants sharing each of their stories for how they ended up here and who they are seeking revenge on. While listening to this, we see them on the screen over-indulging in junk food, looking depressed, and broken down. While yes, they may most certainly be feeling that way, and yes, they may often over-indulge in junk food, did the producers really have to make them do it for the cameras? What good does that do?
"Hey, we're going to film you ordering a pizza, can you have the guy add a bunch of toppings to it? Keep asking for more and extra."
"Okay, so for this opening scene we need you devouring Chinese take-out and chocolate cake..."
"Hey, basically we need to show you as a pig in the opening, so eat a lot and look extra depressed about it."
Those scenes were not needed, and definitely didn't help the mental health of any of these people-- I can't imagine how that would help? They could have just stuck to the participants sharing their stories, no video montage needed.
Yes, I know there are 2 sides to this. I'm aware that an argument could be made for why this show is beneficial and good, but this is my blog recording my inner monologue on all things fitness-- so this is the side you're going to get.
But, since I mentioned it, let me just highlight some of the positives that could come out of this show:
1. It could spark a genuine interest in a healthy lifestyle
2. It could lead to REAL, health-based motivation for hitting the gym and eating right
3. The participants could be gathering some really great knowledge for the future
4. Participants may discover more self-confidence which can be used to steer their lives into better directions away from self-loathing and towards self-loving
5. They get free makeovers!
6. (They get to do awesome workouts with some tough trainers (I'm jealous, I would love to be doing some of their workouts! Watching had me itching to go to the gym and knock out a killer workout of my own)
7? They can say they met a Kardashian?
In the end, please, please don't base your motivation on "haters" and revenge. That being said, I will leave you with this definition:
Intrinsic Motivation: The motivation or desire to do something based on the enjoyment of the behavior itself rather than relying on or requiring external reinforcement.