One of my favorite Sunday rituals, after Mass and before I start cooking for the week, is reading the Mark’s Daily Apple Weekend Link Love post. Shortly into the first article, I found myself alternating bouts of hysterical laughter with moments of pure dumbfounded-ness and something that felt anger. The article was Greatist.com's list of The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness 2011. First, congratulations to Mark for making the list at #26! But here are some of my thoughts as I read deeper into the list:
#1 & #2 – Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, Trainers
I’m terrified by the marketing power that is growing behind these two. I won’t be the least bit surprised when Jillian introduces her new line of “healthy” meals at McDonald’s. It seems that she’ll allow her face to be put on just about any label for the right price. I also chuckled a bit at Bob’s redesign of the kettlebell. Did he think the Russian design made exercise too hard?
#3 – Jamie Oliver, Chef and Advocate
Jamie will get nothing but praise from me. I envy his garden, am frequently inspired by his recipes and own just about every cookbook he has published. Plus, he’s the only Food Network personality whose drunk and screwed up scenes were not cut from his holiday cooking special. Awesome.
#4 – Tim Ferriss, Author of The 4-Hour Body
A brilliant mind. Whatever you were planning on watching on TV, take an hour instead to watch this lecture Tim gave at Google headquarters titled “The 4-Hour Body: Masochism,Self-Experimentation, and the Scientific Method.” I’m looking forward to his next book, The 4-Hour Chef. Wait… if that book just explains to people how to cook healthy meals for the entire week in only 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon, I’m going to be pissed. I guess I’ll just have to come out with The 3-Hour Chef.
#5 – Tony Horton, Creator of P90X
[Rolling my eyes… trying to count the number of times I’ve heard, “CrossFit? Oh, that’s just like P90X, right?] Well, if Tony is here on the list, Greg Glassman can’t be far behind, right?
#8 – Bethenny Frankel, Natural Foods Chef
Wait, what? Real Housewives of New York? The same woman who markets her Skinnygirl Margarita mix as “all natural”? The same all natural mix that Whole Foods pulled from their shelves because it contains sodium benzoate? Yep. Fail.
#9 – Dr. Oz, Host of the Dr. Oz Show
#21 – Dr. Phil McGraw, Psychologist
In my eye, the exact same thing as #1 and #2. Marketing.
#10 – Dr. Drew Pinsky, Psychiatrist
Really? We’ve got two real reality TV spares in the top 10? Has this list lost all credibility yet?
#12 – Jane Fonda, Fitness Icon
#28 – Suzanne Somers, ThighMaster Spokesperson
Just checking to make sure… yup. This is the 2011 list, which makes me wonder if Greatist just cut, pasted and edited the 1988 list.
#20 – Michael Pollan, Author
One of the more popular figureheads of the Locavore movement. Great author. If you haven’t already read Omnivore’s Dilema or In Defense of Food, add them to your nightstand… or Kindle… or wherever you keep your unread books.
#26 – Mark Sisson, Paleo Expert
I like how they describe Mark as a paleo expert in their byline… but then continuously use the word “caveman” in their write up. I’m getting a little tired of hearing the Paleolithic lifestyle referred to as the “caveman diet.” But not as tired as I am of hearing, “So, it’s like Atkins, right?”
#30 – Tony Robbins, Self-Help Expert
He scares me.
#35 – Robb Wolf, Paleo Expert
The list’s second “Paleo Expert”! Another dash of hope mixed into this list…
#38 – Rachel Ray, Chef
Not sure about this one. Yes, she encourages people to cook their own meals at home and has a few pretty decent recipes to play with and modify. But beyond that, what about her smacks of health and fitness?
#47 – Barry Jay, Founder of Barry’s Boot Camp
Ah. The “boot camp” craze that is sweeping the nation. The way I see it playing out for most Americans: eat like you normally do all week… and punish yourself with a one-hour boot camp on the weekend. It all washes out, right? I suppose I shouldn’t knock the generic boot camp without having tried one. I’ve only observed them from afar while picking up my weekly CSA drop-off. I may take a class one Saturday in the future and write about it next year.
#56 – Gary Taubes, Author
Blah, blah, blah… names of trainer that I’ve never heard of… Oprah’s trainer at #83… and finally…
#96 – Greg Glassman, Founder of CrossFit
First of all, #96? Secondly, could they find a more unflattering picture? At least he made the list. But, honestly… who (besides me) read this article all the way to the bottom? The founder of CrossFit But then, Greg’s way isn’t an easy to follow, warm and fuzzy, feel-good plan that appeals to the average American.
As Greg would tell you, “No. It doesn’t ever get any easier. You wouldn’t want it to either.”