A lesson in false humility: Christians are allergic to healthy lifestyles

Another Christian falling prey to the idea that lifestyle-identity is great when it’s also idolatry. Going to a gym is not the only possible healthy lifestyle and the entire concept of healthy lifestyle is consumerist, not Christian. Living a life where physical activity is just part of life is the historical human norm and wealth means most people now have to spend money to live that way. But sneering at them for not adopting that particular mode of consumption (which in the case of this blogger happens to be self-serving “I work in the fitness industry”) is not exactly Christian or loving.

Instead of “working in the fitness industry” helping people near him do more physical activity in their daily lives without going to a gym would be another option. Mostly people have real obstacles to getting more physical activity, like working very long hours and/or care of others and living where it’s very difficult to do much physical stuff outside or inside. This is particularly the case with Christians, who are more likely to be caring for little kids or old people, including the men.

Anyway I reblogged this because it’s an increasingly common knife jabbed in the ribcage of Christians by (usually single, childless, responsibility-free) men. I hope to do a bit more of a post later, we’ll see.

Christianity and masculinity

The idolatry of chasing the perfect body. (h/t Coastal)

As many of you know, I work in the fitness industry. So articles like this amuse me as a Christian. Amuse me a lot. Let’s deconstruct this, shall we?


There is a certain accomplishment in achieving your fitness goals. You’ve been working hard on that fitness program and are finally seeing the fruits of your labor. You also may start to get some attention from others who are also noticing your fitness progress. And you like it. A lot.

In our world of constant social media updates, we often view fitness-related images with arms and legs bared. Skintight clothing. Muscles bulging.

It makes sense to a degree: People are proud of their hard work. With all arguments for modesty set aside, I think that it is crucial to consider, from a biblical perspective, why we post or share these…

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17 thoughts on “A lesson in false humility: Christians are allergic to healthy lifestyles

  1. Amen.

    “Living a life where physical activity is just part of life is the historical human norm…”

    This is why I like the new-ish ‘movements’ of people like Katy Bowman (Nutritious Movement), Ido Portal, and even MovNat (don’t know if you’ve heard of them, but that’s not the point) who promote (to the extreme in some cases, but still, learning their viewpoints and perspectives is excellent food for thought) making movement part of your entire day and their “out-of-the-box/gym” thinking on this. It’s honestly the only way of thinking that allows people to do something/behave in a way that is accessible to everyone, instead of the brainwashed idea that we have to “work out” an hour or whatever each day in some isolated way or at some designated location.

    I just so appreciate this post; thanks TPC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “…the brainwashed idea that we have to “work out” an hour or whatever each day in some isolated way or at some designated location.”

      And the awful truth is that that isn’t good enough.

      “…women should work out 60 minutes a day, seven days a week, to maintain a normal weight over their lifetime.”


      That’s not weight LOSS, ladies, that’s just weight MAINTENANCE.


      “Studies in men have consistently shown they require less exercise to maintain body weight.”


      Liked by 1 person

        • TPC said:

          “Testosterone. I see it on the pastures. The males are skinny minnies, while the females cling to every pound so they can keep the lambs/colts/calves coming.”

          There is that–adult bulls are very muscular even though Lord knows they don’t lift.

          Also, I recall reading that men’s naturally higher percentage of muscle versus fat figures in–it requires more calories to maintain all those muscles.

          If you ever want to depress yourself, try playing around with a metabolic calculator.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I read a very sad book once about North Korea that mentioned during famine it was almost always the husbands and sons who died off first. I remember reading about how women lasted longer in the gulags, as well. We store fat well.


              • LOL! Well, there are some benefits. Surviving famine for instance, being able to grow and nourish kids. It also makes our bones strong and protects us from certain kinds of injuries. There are two things going on in our society, being our healthy best, and this cultural attempt to transform women’s bodies into something unnatural and frail.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, I have a post coming about idolatry that briefly mentions health and fitness as potentially idolatrous things. It’s something that’s been on my mind lately, too.

    Not only are these ‘spherian declarations of false humility utter rubbish, they are very elitist, too. People without money cannot afford gym memberships, they have a harder time being able to afford nutritious food, and they have a closer relationship to exhaustion and depression. Rather then kicking poor people for allegedly being lazy and stupid, those who would sneer should get off their own behinds and start leading their less advantaged brothers and sisters towards better health. Start a training program at your church, volunteer as a personal trainer, invite someone to the gym with you.

    As to false humility, sheesh, even false humility is preferable to the perpetual arrogance and navel gazing of the manosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m kind of off the wagon right now (partly due to recurrent middle-aged person injuries, partly due to Baby Girl graduating herself from the stroller), but I did have a fairly serious exercise program some years ago, and it required a number of hours equivalent to a part-time job to achieve even very moderate results.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I found the number one cure for obesity is Live Outside America For a Few Months.

    A friend of mine got noticeably slimmer living a typical life in Korea for one year.


    • The urban-suburban thing is also important.

      Anecdotally, I’ve seen a number of people report 10-15 pound weight gains from moving from an urban area to the suburbs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I also got fatter after moving to America. I think it’s the corn in everything plus no facilities to allow you to travel by foot anywhere.


  5. Incorporating movement into daily activities is nothing new, and is how our ancestors lived. My grandparents lived like that, and to an extent my mom lived like that too on a farm.

    Like Hearth, I also lift and while I like lifting, if there was a way for me to get lifting in without using a specific weight or going to the gym, I’d do it. If I lived closer to someone’s farm, I could ask how to help, or do the same thing with a SAHM who needed an extra pair of hands to complete physical tasks.

    My generation is putting up a fuss in some suburbs and is insisting on sidewalks and more walkable neighborhoods. All the old people are pissed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: In which the blogger Deep Strength illustrates my points about exercise, health and idolatry – The Practical Conservative

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