Disclaimer: I totally stand behind living a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating right (ish) and working out (ish).
That being said, I think it's discouraging to see this plastered on Gold's Gym wall every time I work out:
Change your body. Change your life.
Now why is this seemingly positive message rubbing me wrong? Well, it's chafing me all over the place because it's wrong, and when it is right, it's still wrong.
Here's why it's outrightly wrong:
It is shallow beyond belief to think that if you simply lose a bit of weight or bulk up or whatever your workout goal is, that your problems will disappear. If you are truly overweight, then yes, working out will drastically change your life (and maybe even save it!), but for the majority of people looking to just lose a few pounds, it's not going to dramatically help you be any less of an asshole (or insert any word in there that applies to you).
Here's why I say this:
I am heavier than ever. I'd tell you how much I weigh, but that's not the type of embarrassment I'm okay with publishing. However, I can tell you that this is the most out of shape I have ever been in my life. But this is also the happiest I have ever been without a doubt.
Every time I decide to diet and exercise seriously, I turn into a wretched bitch. I'm no fun to hang out with because "I need to go to the gym," or "No, I'll just stay home and eat my lettuce wraps and then lay in bed hungry and miserable until I finally fall asleep."
Then I'm a few pounds lighter and a hell of a lot less happy. So, yes, my body may have changed and my life might of changed, but is that really worth it?
I'd go with no.
But I also want to explicitly say that when I do this workout thing gradually, like limiting my food intake and still working out at least a few times a week, I am happy. I still feel good and healthy, but I'm not neurotic about it. You know where that gets me? Exactly to where I am and have been for awhile now: at a consistent weight that is more than it used to be. But you know what I notice most? The happiness I see everyday in the mirror.