Originally Posted by moonlite
First of all - the gym certainly is not a delayed gratification. Maybe it is for some fatty, but for an average person the pleasure is almost instant. Protein shakes are delicious. The atmosphere of a place - the meeting of brave warriors. And this feeling after workout - feeling of an accomplishment... And even pain (which is followed by a release of endorphins) is the pain that you control - and this is very gratifying... The gym very easily can serve as an illusion of control of yourself or your life. I don't mean that you are not supposed to use it but it's about building your muscles not about building your soul.
Oh man, you can't possibly be living in the USA
You just described about 10% of the people who go to gyms IMO, I've worked in several (I'm a personal trainer) and would bet that the majority of people there, except maybe the hard-core crowd that never miss a day, would disagree with everything you just said... Most people, if told that a gym atmosphere feels good, workout pain (the good kind) feels good, and protein shakes are "delicious" would think you were insane
I'd agree with you though.
I do agree with you about the gym becoming a compulsion, I've done that for quite a while before and think it's pretty common, especially in people who used to be shy and underconfident (me when I was younger) and found a way to build themselves up both physically and mentally by working out. It can become destructive as you tend to overwork. At it's core though, I just don't see how a properly followed workout is plan is anything but delayed gratification- it isn't as if you can go in looking like a boy band member, and walk out an hour later to be mistaken as Arnold. It takes a lot of time and hard work!
I also see the point about masturbating having the potential to become an addictive problem, however it seems to me that we're demonizing masturbating in that regard instead of focusing on why one would rather do that as an escape... Some people can go overboard with alcohol and become alcoholics, but that doesn't mean that beer itself is a nasty or negative thing.
Maybe I'm just an overly horny 24 yr old male, but I could only imagine what I'd be like after a full week of not doing it and seeing a decently attractive woman- I'd be foaming at the mouth and acting like a starved animal.