You may remember the president’s first annual physical, in which Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson told us that Donald Trump was pretty much the healthiest man to ever exist and “might live to be 200 years old.” Well, folks, I hope you’re ready, because Trump has another physical on Friday.
The only problem? It seems Trump hasn’t been adhering to the health plan that Jackson prescribed. Trump, in the last year, was supposed to lose a dozen pounds, stop eating fast food, and visit the White House gym for exercise.
Obviously, he hasn’t done this.
“The President received a diet and exercise plan last year after his annual physical, but the President admits he has not followed it religiously,” Hogan Gidley, the principal deputy White House press secretary told CNN on Thursday.
As we all know, Trump loves his fast food and sodas. His diet of edible garbage has showed no sign of abating since his visit with Jackson.
Another thing Trump hasn’t done? Work out.
Last year, Jackson said that the president was “more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part...we’re going to do both.”
That, it seems, hasn’t happened.
Last summer, Reuters asked Trump about his exercise routine, and he pointed out that he sometimes walks between buildings.
“I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that,” Trump said. “I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think.”
Trump is a terrible, horrible person. And yet, I have to hand it to him: he’s right about exercise. It’s dumb and sucks.
Fitness culture often comes with an air of superiority. People who work out are “pushing themselves” to “be their best.” The most successful people in the world exercise for hours before you’re even awake!
But fitness is largely a culture of consumerism and status symbols. Thanks to people spending money on pointless fitness trackers, fancy leggings, and expensive gym memberships, the fitness and wellness industries rake in $30 billion a year.
This brings me to another irritating facet of fitness culture—that its proponents see it as a cure-all for nearly any mental illness. Yes, exercise does help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. But that doesn’t mean it will work as the sole treatment for serious mental illnesses.
To be fair, even I’ve been known to do yoga or bike on occasion, and I do enjoy going out dancing. And I eat healthy, most of the time. But our culture’s single-minded obsession with “optimizing” ourselves feels dystopian to me, a reminder that we are all brands that need to be constantly improved and repackaged to be more appealing to our audiences, whether that’s our Tinder matches or our health insurance companies. Wellness culture, with its charcoal ice cream and raw water, is the most egregious example of this faux-self-care, but fitness trends like SoulCycle and CrossFit aren’t far behind.
This is all to say that though Trump is a detestable human being, he’s right about exercise: it’s bullshit. And doing it doesn’t make you better than the rest of us.
Then again, I may just be projecting.