THE PHARISEES OF FITNESS
Did you know that we have pharisees in the fitness world? Yes, indeed we do! In the literal sense of the word, pharisee means separate or separated from. Who were the Pharisees as portrayed in the Synoptic Gospels? Well, they are written as a group who were obsessed with man-made rules, especially rules about what they considered to be pure and impure. These groups believed that their views and their way was right and everyone else was wrong. They looked down on others who didn’t practice and meet their moral standards. Their leaders were the most vocal in the community and whether or not you agreed with them or cared to follow their ways, they still let you know what they believed and why you should be living life according their methods.
The pharisees of health and fitness are those who I refer to as food purist bullies also known as the food police. Are you a food bully? Not sure, well my handy and unscientific questionnaire will help decide that for you.
Do you think you’re a caveman/cavewoman and eat like one? Well, that’s all good and healthy, but the real question is do you insist that your eating lifestyle is the only correct method? Do you stare down friends, co-workers and family as they place a piece of non-caveman approved food in their mouth? Do you proceed to tell them how unhealthy their food is and as a result, emotionally ruin the meal for everyone else?
Do you insist on informing everyone you encounter that eating anything other fruit, vegetables and nuts is detrimental to your health? Do you become uneasy when you enter someone’s kitchen and see them cooking food? Do you suddenly find yourself telling them to turn off the burner as you preach to them the reasons why their boiled peas are now useless?
Do you go around telling everyone that you don’t eat carbs? That you are somehow miraculously able to stand up straight, let alone lift weights without having consumed any carbs what-so-ever? Do you have a bad habit of telling everyone at the lunch table how many carbs are in everything they are about to eat? Do you have carb envy, you know, that look that you get when you see a well-toned and fit person happily eating carbs while talking about their latest half-marathon stats? You don’t know what look I’m talking about; well, those of us who consume carbs are well aware of that look 🙂
I could give many more examples of fitness pharisees; just because you didn’t make the list of examples in this blog post, you still know who you are! LOL!
Are you a fitness pharisee? Let us not take our health pursuits to the extreme level that New Testament Pharisees took with religion. We are not here to create rules about health that make taking care of ourselves become a soulless, spiritually void list of value-based duties. If you’ve found a method which works for you, then great, stick to it, but at the risk of being a stumbling block and discouragement for others; don’t insist that your healthy way is better than someone else’s healthy lifestyle.
The wholistic goal of health and wellness is to take care of what God has created. We are God’s creation and He expects us to take care of ourselves. Body, Mind and Spirit is what we are made of. God does not want us to be a hindrance to our self or others with rules that He never created.
If you have a difficult time respecting the health and wellness choices of other healthy people (whether in your thoughts or in your actions), pray and ask God to give you a heart of peace. Pray for protection against a spirit of judgement and superiority.
Each time you feel compelled to correct or ridicule someone else’s healthy plan, please, STOP! Simply put your lifestyle approved food in your mouth and keep eating! Bon Appetit!