October 13, 2014

Chris Pratt and Body Image

by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness
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This is a different kind of Motivation Monday post, especially after we’ve probably all consumed exorbitant amounts of food for Thanksgiving.

I’ve talked about body image a lot (a lot, a lot, a lot). It kind of haunts me but it is a motivating factor in getting healthy.

I saw the summer blockbuster movie Guardians of the Galaxy a few months ago and really enjoyed it. Although it was incredibly campy and over the top, it was entertaining in all the ways I love.

Among the beautiful special effects, clever dialogue, interesting characters, kitschy 80’s references, and crowning moments of funny, there was something else. The protagonist Peter Quill (aka ‘Star-Lord’) was portrayed by Chris Pratt. As star of an action movie, I’m sure he was expected to look a certain way and have a certain body. And he did…


Chris Pratt as Peter Quinn (aka “Star-Lord”) in Guardians of the Galaxy (source)


But there were a couple things about his appearance that surprised me:

  1. A short time ago, he wasn’t fit!
  2. He looks fit, but not extreme like a bodybuilder.


Flab to Fab!

I didn’t know anything about this actor until Guardians of the Galaxy. I now recognize his voice from The Lego Movie, but that was just his voice. He portrays Andy Dwyer on the TV comedy Parks & Recreation but I don’t watch that show. However, I’ve noticed in stills that  he’s quite overweight in earlier seasons.

In the movie Moneyball, he was supposed to portray a Major League Baseball player. So he lost 40 pounds! Over the next few movies his weight varied from 295 to 220 pounds. When he was signed to Guardians of the Galaxy, he concentrated on fitness for the role.


There’s a lot written about it, but being a joker about it, he never really talks seriously about the weight loss. But the before an after pictures speak for themselves:


Chris Pratt Before and After (<a href=


Actor Chris Pratt before and after photo (source)
Actor Chris Pratt before and after photo (source)

I think that’s rather inspiring.


 “I like clothes now. I have more energy. I sleep better. My sex drive is up. Blood’s flowing. I’m less susceptible to impulse. I’m in a different mode. When I was way out of shape, the idea of using whitening strips on my teeth seemed terrible. I have to do that every day? I’ll never do it. What you want is instant results when you’re out of shape. You want your teeth whitened in 45 minutes with the use of lasers. But when you’re in shape, you know it’s the result of doing a little bit every day. Moments aren’t just moments. A moment might be a week or a month. So instead of Boy, I’d love to eat this hamburger right now, I’m considering a little further into the future. I’m thinking, I eat that hamburger and that’s 1,200 calories, and I’m gonna work out tomorrow and lose 800 calories. I may as well eat a salad here, still do that workout, and then I’m actually making progress.” — Chris Pratt




“Reasonable Body”

I grew up with images of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan and professional wrestlers and cartoon superheroes. These represented brutally unrealistic and extreme body types. But young, impressible children learn to think these are idea and idolize these body shapes, and begin to think that anything less is inferior.

But here’s a hero, with an almost reasonably fit body. Based on the image below, he’s probably in the 12-15% body fat percent range, which is healthy but reasonable.


Body Fat Percentage image (source)
Body Fat Percentage image (source)


Body builders are not the stereotype for fitness, but they aren’t really healthy or strong. So I think it’s rather revolutionary that action star Chris Pratt looks healthy and reasonable.



Form vs. Function: “Sculpture Body for Show” vs.” Guy Who Fights Bears On A Mountain” (source)


I’ve never been proud of my body. My BMI is mobidly unhealthy by most measures, and I don’t have the rippling muscles of my childhood ‘heroes’. But, I don’t think I’m that far from Chris Pratt’s body as shown in Guardians of the Galaxy. And sometimes I look like the “Body of the guy who fights bears on a mountain” from the image above.

I suppose a different point of view can be the healthiest thing in the world.

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