The Confessional, Part II

<!– Field notes for becoming Fitter Happier –>

A few quick notes that I will fill in shortly:

  • J., my fitness consultant, didn't even know the name of her certification, though she did know it was administered by CanFitPro
  • we had a discussion of my background
  • height, weight, body fat, resting heart rate, and anthropometric measurements were taken
  • a photo was taken of me, shirt off (asked by J. if I would like to, ultimately my choice)

  • the body fat monitor is electric: it sends a current through your body and measures the time it takes to travel from hand to foot against the conductivities of fat and lean body tissue
  • J. is so tiny there is no way she could ever be "fat" … how can she be empathetic in her role?
  • though the confessional is a Foucauldian concept, most of the "expert" knowledge comes from the computer — J. is simply a circuit
  • this process seems less like a "consultation" and more like a "diagnostic" — which is what the heading on the final printout read
  • I am reminded of Baudrillard's observations of cybernetic society — indeed, I am simply in a cybernetic loop with the "expert" computer that measures my fat and tells me how much to lose, how fast in order to be "normal"
  • the exercise bike is another cybernetic device providing "expert" feedback on my performance
  • the appraisal room is separate from the main gym
  • it also has black-and-white "artistic" shots of disembodied "ideal" body parts: a male biceps and pectoral, a female breast and torso, and a male back
  • J. was not supportive at all


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