The 'menacing side to the preoccupation with fitness'

From Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book, “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer”:

… why should the mind want to subdue the body systematically, repeatedly, day after day? Many gym-goers will tell you cheerfully that it makes them feel better, at least when the workout is over. But there’s a darker, more menacing side to the preoccupation with fitness, and this is the widespread suspicion that if you can’t control your own body, you’re not fit, in any sense, to control anyone else, and in their work lives that is a large part of what typical gym-goers do. We are talking here about a relative elite of people who are more likely to give orders than to take them—managers and professionals. In this class, there are steep penalties for being overweight or in any other way apparently unhealthy. Flabby people are less likely to be hired or promoted; they may even be reprimanded and obliged to undergo the company’s “wellness” program, probably consisting of exercise (on- or off-site), nutritional counseling to promote weight loss, and, if indicated, lessons in smoking cessation.

Via The Baffler.