snapshots of an idle mind

November 1, 2005

on men and fitness and being a picky bitch

Filed under: Uncategorized — sassinak @ 3:22 pm

I thought that a friend of mine was going to blog about this and I was going to wait to see what he had to say before I did this but I don’t wait well so I’m going to go after it.

For the last 5 years I’ve been going after my own health. On December 21st I will have been a non tobacco smoker for 5 years and right about now is my three year anniversary with the Pilates transformation. Had I not had my accident I would be hitting 5 years of climbing in May but instead I just broke a year. Beyond that I’ve been involved in some form of athletics for basically my entire life.

So. Yes, there was a year long hiatus from said health kick after my accident (although i managed not to pick up the tobacco again) which involved eating a lot of really unhealthful food because it really was so much easier than cooking and smoking enormous amounts of pot for the pain. [I would basically go into spasm if I stood up long enough to cook anything.] If you discount that year though I’ve been at this for a long time. I took a major setback but my healthy self came back kicking once I was given the tools to fix my body.

When the accident happened I had a boyfriend. Now it’s been well over two years since I had a boyfriend so I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I need and want… and you know what? Fitness turns out to be something that’s really important to me.

Important enough that I consider it a dealbreaker.

I am not, for the record, saying ‘thou shalt be skinny’ or even ‘thou shalt have a body like an Olympic athlete’ or even ‘thou shalt carry very little body fat and lots of muscle’ … I am saying none of those things. I am saying none of those things *because* I don’t give a shit how sheathed in muscle your body is or how low your body fat is or even how much you can bench.

What I give a shit about is fitness. Exercise. A healthy enough diet. Not smoking. Giving a shit about your *self* and your body. Because here’s the thing… I spend an enormous percentage of my life exercising or teaching exercise to people and I want to date someone who will actually find that interesting.

More than that I’d like him to be someone that either a) shares one of my seventeen forms of exercise with me or b) is passionate enough about a sport/activity that me spending three nights a week at a climbing gym with other men won’t bother him.

Too many times I’ve gotten involved with slothful men and fallen off my own fitness train and I just refuse to do that again. More than that my body cannot afford for me to slack off because it’s still just as broken as it ever was if I don’t maintain it.

On top of that I know for certain that what I eat and what my dating person eats have an enormous amount in common because one of the major activities people share with each other is meals. Ideally I would date a vegetarian but otherwise someone who is careful about the food that enters their body or is at least willing to pay attention and to eat healthily with me would be nice.

So here’s the thing. If I were saying that I needed a man to be funny or intelligent or compassionate or sparky with me noone would think twice about it. But somehow when you start discussing physical fitness and diet people start calling you shallow.

Oh you’re only into X because he’s hot.
Oh you’re just into his muscles.
Yeah but does he have a brain?

And that brings to mind another pet peeve. This idea that athletes are stupid. This is one of the most enormous fallacies that I have ever encountered. Why? Because the VAST majority of professional athletes that I know, trained with, knew, went to school with, train, etc are really intelligent people.

You can’t possibly be a good hockey player and be stupid and you definetely can’t be a great one without a brain. Nobody talks about Gretzky’s speed (although he was fast as hell) instead they talk about his rink and puck awareness. That’s brains and not brawn.

The same can be said for any truly competent athlete because the amount of thought that goes into something as ‘simple’ as front crawl or a forward somersault or a tendu [dance term] is unbelievable to the lay person. We think about the direction our pinky finger is pointed and the exact angle of an elbow as it combines with whatever is happening in your left big toe.

And if you think i’m exaggerating for effect I’m REALLY REALLY not. In fact I’m underplaying just how much work goes into any one of those moves.

Okay that was a bit of a side rant but this assumption that people are stupid if they’re jocks or worse that someone who trained 30 hours a week for YEARS is a ‘natural’ athlete rather enrages me.

So back to the point of the post. Is it in fact shallow to put fitness as a dealbreaker in your what you will and won’t date planning? Is it any less shallow to want a sense of humour? Brains? Compassion? Awareness?

Why is it that when you discuss physical attributes you’re shallow but when discussing mental ones you’re ‘appropriately picky’ or whatever?



  1. Wow.

    Is it ok to repeat? Wow.

    Step outside the box and look down onto this situation: you’re out and there are 2 guys that you find attractive. One guy watches what he eats, exercises and is in good shape. The other guy could care less. He’s not obese or anything, he just doesn’t care about his body. What is more appealing? Everything being equal, the fit guy.

    People who are fit generally carry themselves in a different way – they stand a bit taller, move smoother and have a better outlook on life. While there are the exceptions to the rule I’ve found this to be true.

    If wanting to date someone who is fit is shallow, wouldn’t the same be said for dating someone who was smart, or easy on the eyes?

    The thing about being healthy is that ANYONE can do it – ANYONE. Me, you, the guy next door , the lady across the street. It doesn’t take much – just time. I spend 4 to 5 hours/week in the gym. I could have easily focused that time on learning a different language, learning a new career, learning new skills, etc. For my investment fitness has been the biggest payoff. If I’m at work talking to someone they aren’t going to say “oh wow, you’ve learned PHP!” or “hey, learned Swahili have we?”. Those things aren’t visible.

    I picked up a degree a few years ago, no one noticed. I started going to the gym and didn’t tell anyone. People noticed. “Wow, you lost weight?” “Nice back”, etc.

    I just blog about this tonight, when/if I arrive home.

    Comment by castufari — November 1, 2005 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  2. jeez, sometimes i read your posts and think ‘how did she get into my head? and how did she say it all so pretty?’

    sersly, i have lots to say on this, but i must refrain until the evening (i.e., when i’m at home).

    i agree with you, sass. totally.

    Comment by Blondie — November 1, 2005 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  3. Umm.. Me like to climb for lots of time. But, me fuck hot super models only!

    Unfortunatly, I think that I must be actually shallow in this regard. Yes fitness is important to me. Yes, my body and its appearance are important to me. But as for my fuck of choice, I don’t care if she exercises or not. As long as she looks like she does. Now that said, by the time you are in your mid-twenties or older, most people that look like they exercise look that way for a reason. The others look like they sit around and don’t take care of themselves. The exceptions are very few.

    But basically, I’m looking at the tits and ass. Not the lifestyle. Brutal but honest.

    Well I’m off to go admire myself in the mirror for the next hour or so as I haven’t seen how incredible I look in over 15 minutes:-)

    Damn….. I’m a God.

    Comment by Light Strikes A Deal — November 1, 2005 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  4. I don’t think it’s shallow of you to want your significant other to be fit and healthy … and I’m a fat guy! LOL

    Seriously, if you were heavy into reading and didn’t watch TV, you wouldn’t want a tv-junkie … if you liked hiking and camping, it wouldn’t work with a city person who hates even being in the suburbs. If you like clubbing and dancing, you won’t last with a homebody kind of person.

    Like you said — it’s not about physical appearance or looks; what you’re looking for is a someone fit who’s into some of the same things you are and can understand your needs to climb and othe phyical activity.

    That’s far from shallow.

    Comment by DZER — November 1, 2005 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  5. Dzer is completely correct, if you have a choice, choose what you want. You need a part for a job, choose the part that fits.

    It’s not shallow, it’s smart shopping.

    Comment by Johnny Canuck — November 1, 2005 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  6. sounds like a good non shallow standard. I am into several activities, to look at me ppl wouldm’t say I am, and I find that giving the person a chance to show you or to try with you can go a long way to peaking an interest. I think that’s basically because I’m willing, always, to try something and if it’s fun I’ll do it again, but I get a lot of resistance from ppl who don’t know me and think I can’t because I’m unfit. I’m not at all, but I am still overweight, and that’s something I’m working on that’s not as easy to remedy as being fit. Anyways sometimes all someone really needs is the chance to try. So go try to get the man you want. It’ll be fun, promise.

    Comment by Amber — November 1, 2005 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  7. Sass~take it from someone who has been married for 16 years, make sure you have the same interests in life. If you don’t, it won’t last. You will find yourself looking for someone more like you.

    Comment by SignGurl (Jenn) — November 1, 2005 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  8. wow i love you guys… treesa i had no idea i was in your head.

    amber i would take you climbing in a second… and i would believe you are fit. i was fit long before i fit into size 32 jeans…

    as for the supermodels? i can look like that if i starve… it’s overrated trust me… everyone thinks you’re a moron

    Comment by sassinak — November 1, 2005 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

  9. okay proper response now…

    cast: why wow?

    it’s funny you mention the way fit people carry themselves and stand because someone accused me of having a very sexy vibe recently and the only explanation i could come up with is that i live fully in my body in a way most people don’t. i think it’s hilarious that i’m sexy though.

    i’m looking forward to your post.

    blondie: i said it pretty AND in your head? *blush* thanks babe! high praise from an editor!

    i’m looking forward to seeing your lots to say later when you’re home.

    lsd: funny thing… it’s easy to look like a supermodel… hella hard to look like you’re in shape. the one involves starvation and cigarettes… the other? actual work.

    funny, i would have thought you would care… climbers move from their pelvis… out of shape supermodels? not so much. but i guess if it’s your eyes that feed your passion it doesn’t matter.

    dzer: but i don’t care if you’re fat, *IF* you’re fit. if you’re fat, whining about it and doing nothing? that irritates me. i’m glad you don’t think i’m shallow, your perspective is pretty legitimate to this one.

    johnny: way to be succinct and yet totally right!

    amber: yeah i don’t judge fitness by appearance, i judge it by what you do and don’t say regarding exercise. [i fucking love your profile pic btw] I was a fat girl who was fit long before the catsuit fit and it always made me laugh when skinny unfit people looked askance at me at the gym.

    i won’t judge on appearance but i will judge by being out of breath at the top of a flight of stairs.

    jenn: thank you for that… i thought it was true but i don’t know too many folks that are still married.

    Comment by sassinak — November 1, 2005 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  10. sass:

    I just penned mine, long day, haven’t been home too long.

    The vibe thing is on the money too. When you’re feeling good you send out vibes. If you can back them up with a physical presence it’s all that much better.

    Ok, I’m trying for 180 by Christmas.

    Comment by castufari — November 1, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  11. OK Sass,
    The super model thing was (I thought) obvious sarcasm. Since it wasn’t clear I shall clarify.

    Simalar intrests, (which seem to lead to fit people) a sharp wit, and a tender heart are the qualities that I look for. The interests don’t have to be exactly the same as mine, but they should dove tail in some way. I like to hike, maybe she loves hordiculture. The other two are self explanitory.

    Comment by Light Strikes A Deal — November 1, 2005 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  12. cast: i look forward to reading it when i get home… and as for the vibe? apparently i have it but it isn’t doing me any good! (and according to a pile of people who don’t want to fuck me i have the presence…)

    lsd: the supermodel thing was clear sarcasm… but when you say brutal but honest regarding what you care about in someone’s looks/appeal it seems more serious and less sarcastic and thus you might want to expect a little of it back.

    as for wit and heart… hard to find but worth chasing if you find them.

    you’re right, i don’t care if my partner climbs but i sure hope he likes being outside!

    Comment by sassinak — November 1, 2005 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  13. You are talking about your HEALTH, and your health is very important to you, especially because of your accident. You want to take care of yourself, that isnt always so easy to do (I speak from experience here)
    Watch out for yourself, and all the rest will fall into place! I admire your attitude! :-)

    Comment by whitesgem — November 2, 2005 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  14. whew! now i’ll speak. even though i’m back at work. i was all ready to wax poetic yesterday and then some asshole saw my profile pic and said i had fat legs. sweet, hm?

    anyway!!! i completely see where you’re coming from on this. i come from a polar perspective, though, from your point of view. as in, i was never really very active as a kid and i was pretty much a chunk all my life. after taking my health and happiness into my own hands, i find that it’s way too easy for me to fall into my sloth-like ways if i’m with someone who doesn’t have an interest in being active.

    i’ve also realized, as you have, that it’s a HUGE part of my life now and i want to keep it that way. isn’t a relationship about bonding over similar interests? i think that’s a huge part of it. there’s a ton to be said for someone who takes care of himself, and i really see that as an attractive trait. and it motivates me to keep up with myself when i’ve fallen into a mental rut.

    in the end, i would say it’s definitely NOT shallow to count fitness as a major reason for dating someone. mainly because it’s a major part of who you are. it’d be different if you were saying you want someone with a ton of muscles, no matter what they do to get them. fitness encompasses so much more than good musculature. it’s a lifestyle and a mental state.

    Comment by Blondie — November 2, 2005 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  15. wow…i really am ineloquent at the worst times. i’m sorry about that!

    Comment by Blondie — November 2, 2005 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  16. whitesgem: i completely agree with you. and i’m glad to know that the people around me don’t think that it’s a shallow attitude… becuase i’ve been told it was more than once. (generally when discussing how hot someone is but yeesh… hot is a bonus and tends to be in the eye of the beholder…)

    blondie: and you so don’t have fat legs… that’s just uncalled for! isn’t it amazing how easy it is to just fall off the health train? i’ve done it before and i hope not to do it again but it’s just so damn easy.

    that’s the key i think… if i date a sloth it’s just a little too easy to not go to the gym that one time and then that second time and then suddenly i’m fat and out of shape and my new jeans don’t fit me! *sob at the very idea!*

    yeah i like muscles but they don’t matter… health and fitness? matter a LOT! my sister’s man is super skinny and yet totally fit… so yeah :)

    you’re not ineloquent at all dude, you can use eloquent in a sentence fer chrissakes!

    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

  17. Sass- Im gonna just say that I think you are awesome for getting ship-shape. As well I am glad that you found a fitness outlet that suits you. You’ve travelled a long road and you deserve to be treated to only the very best for yourself. When am I coming over then?

    I don’t think it’s shallow to have specific needs when it comes to dating that will eventually make you happy with your choice for the rest of your life.

    Niether physical or mental.. whichever makes the decision the best one for you is what matters. If anyone tells you any different they can fuck off.

    *heart* you for your post, it was insightful, and though it sounds funny, it was educating too.

    Comment by Everything nice — November 2, 2005 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  18. Blondie – seriously… the legs are hot. Dude just wants an anorexic chick so he can fend away the hip bones and take a rib cage count.

    Comment by Everything nice — November 2, 2005 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  19. educating? what makes you say that?

    as for visiting… i have a very small apartment but you’re welcome to come on up and try to fit into it for a day or three. i’ll show you my town and you’ll fall in love with the place.

    it’s just so easy to assume that when people say fitness they mean ‘hot’ and that irks me…

    ^5 on what you said to blondie btw!

    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  20. i think the biggest thing is that, as you said, people equate fitness to hotness or buffness. usually they go hand in hand, but an active person is an active person, no matter how they appear. you look for what works for you, sass. that’s what counts.

    eh, i was hurt, i cried, i’m over it.

    Comment by Blondie — November 2, 2005 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

  21. Educating because I think it will serve as a reminder/thought to those who don’t know how to seperate fitness/hotness. I really think you made a good point for your readers… even if you didn’t think you did.

    Blondie – Im loving the legs… and I would say something really nasty about errr… wont do it.

    fighting… urge… for…. lewd… comment……

    *kisses Sass and Blondie*

    Comment by Everything nice — November 2, 2005 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  22. someone made you cry?

    lemme at em! just point me in the general direction and set me loose!

    you’re right you know… it’s really all about what works for you :)

    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  23. I wrote this long freak’n post and I just erased it…fuck!

    So here goes the short version….

    Anyhoo- you are not shallow at all. In fact you should demand a partner that is into fitness and IS hot because that is what you deserve for all the hard work you put into yourself.

    I went out with this girl a couple of times and her deal breaker was telling me “I’ll NEVER do that” after I explained to her that I get up every morning to work out at 5:00 am (even after only 4 hours of sleep) – that is how dedicated I am to making my body my greatest sculpture.

    I’m not vain.

    I do feel that the person I’m with should have a hot boyfreind to play with and I expect the same…its hard work and a lifestyle and your partner should enjoy that lifestyle otherwise it won’t work.

    I personally LIKE hot fitness models – am I shallow? Maybe. Do I care? Not really ;)


    Comment by Daywalker — November 2, 2005 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  24. bubbles: thanks, i am often surprised at the responses i get to my posts. i hadn’t considered this educational but i can see how it can be considered so.


    hey daywalker don’t you hate that? i think my biggest blogger pet peeve is how easy it is to erase stuff and not get it back.

    AND is hot? dayum… that would be kinda nice I do admit. Thing is with fitness that it tends to lead to hotness so yeah works for me.

    did that girl work out herself? did she just have a different schedule or did she just think you were nuts?

    i think you’re a little bit vain, but so am i and so is blondie and bubbles and othercat and and and.. i don’t know anyone who isn’t a little bit vain.

    i’m not into fitness models myself… little too chiseled and they don’t look like they use their muscles… now climbers… climbers make me feel like you feel about fitness models!


    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  25. I never mentioned her to you?

    She “said” she worked out and she seamed in fairly good shape (she was very cute) but that fact that she wouldn’t even consider the possibility of doing something like getting up early to go workout realy threw me off…

    I really lost interest at that point I think…

    Everybody is a little vain or else the beauty industry wouldn;t be thriving. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look you best…

    Attraction is very subjective so what I might find attractive may not be the same for someone else…

    I’d rather be with the right person for me then compromise…

    Comment by Daywalker — November 2, 2005 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  26. no you mentioned her to me, i just hadn’t realised that that was your point when you lost interest. i can totally sympathise with your loss of interest though… do you really need someone whining every time you set the alarm?

    personally i think you’re nuts but i can be found at the gym at 11pm so it’s really not that different is it?

    the thing is… when does caring what someone looks like mean you’re not looking at the person inside? like where’s the line?

    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  27. I think its the whole package… When I say I’m attracted to a girl that doesn’t mean she is a “super model” (even if she works out).

    I like what I like so really I have no say- I just know when I see it. Beleive it or not no one has a say as to whom they are attracted too – they just are.

    I think over the years you understand what things you look at but that can change at any moments notice so really attraction is not soemthing really defined…to me anyways.

    There has to be something in her head as well and there has to be a connection or all she becomes is another shell and that’s really tiring…

    I know a lot of pretty girls that I’m not attracted to and some less pretty girls that I’d like to jump their bones…its just the way it is.

    Comment by Daywalker — November 2, 2005 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  28. I know a lot of pretty girls that I’m not attracted to and some less pretty girls that I’d like to jump their bones…its just the way it is.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    Comment by castufari — November 2, 2005 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  29. dw: you are totally right when you say “Beleive it or not no one has a say as to whom they are attracted too – they just are.” and no matter what else we say we all have to remember that. i can discuss fitness and muscles or lack thereof all I want but i can’t control who i like.

    in fact when i fall for someone hot i get sort of annoyed

    cast: yeah i was going to comment on that but you beat me to it. say hi to my cuz :)

    Comment by sassinak — November 2, 2005 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  30. I forgot to mention this because it slipped my mind…

    I met this girl not too long ago that I was/am really attracted to yet she has no arms and no legs- she is a severe amputee (I have no idea from what though)…

    In any case I was really atracted to her because of the way she is around people… just something about her.

    Plus she has a cute face as well…

    She works with a freind of mine and I did manage to sneak in a few words but the situation didn’t allows for much more (it was at a convention and she was working)… plus she made me really insicure so I didn’t have the courage to do more rgardless.

    She has a certain energy about her…

    It wasn’t pity I was feeling either- I thought she was hot and inspiring yet she is missing all her limbs…

    Looks are part of it but again the package is really what does it for me anyways…

    My brother saw her too and thought she was the coolest girl…

    Comment by Daywalker — November 2, 2005 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  31. wow dude… just goes to prove that really we have no idea what’s going to attract us until it hits us in the face.

    do you think you’ll get to see her again? i would guess yes cause the convention world you hang out in is pretty small…

    why insecure?

    it’s funny how it may start out as looks but it’s never how it ends :)

    Comment by sassinak — November 3, 2005 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  32. Hey Sassinak,

    I know what you mean about the fitness thing. It’s not that fit people look better or are better to be around because they’re skinny or something, it’s because they take care of themselves. (Out of shape skinny people are just… skinny.) You can take the fitness thing too far — being obessed about it or driving yourself because you don’t think you’re good enough isn’t very attractive either. It’s just nice being with someone who’s happier in motion than in front of the tube.

    Take care,


    Comment by figleaf — November 15, 2005 @ 2:32 am | Reply

  33. figleaf: you fully fully nailed exactly what i’m talking about. you just did it in one paragraph and it took me a whole post.

    it really is all about feeling good in your body.–>

    Comment by sassinak — November 15, 2005 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

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