The perfect body. The right look. The best abs. The right “booty”. Sculpted arms.
The perfect “everything”.
Men and women are bombarded today with images and news stories that the media or fitness world tries to convince us that we should look like.
It might bring you down before you even get started. The seemingly overwhelming and impossible task to look “perfect” without living a restrictive diet and hours in the gym.
Does the average person even have time for it, if perhaps, that was their goal?
And let’s be honest, what’s perfect to one, will not always be perfect to another. It’s a very illusive pursuit.
Let’s also not forget how much genetics will play into our bodies and how we can shape them. If you have your moms wide hips you might be able to slim them down or tone them up, but you most likely will never have a small round bottom like you admire on your fit friend.
You might want long lean cut abs, but again, depending on your body type and structure the look you want might be harder, if not impossible to achieve.
Besides a good disciplined exercise program, your nutrition needs to be on point the majority of the time to lose the fat and build some muscle.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I thought I wanted the past few years I’ve been on my health and fitness journey. I’ve learned more about what matters, or what is important to me.
Learning what I wanted
In the beginning, I thought just being “thin” was the goal. Just get “thin”. I really had no goal beyond that and looking back now I wonder what seemed so desirable to me about just being thin ( as a goal) Of course I needed to lose some fat.. that was important. And I did get thin.
But I was still learning…
Once I had lost weight ( I was exercising along the way too) I started to see how exercise and some weights were shaping me differently. I had picked up running and it was during the time of really cutting calories and more exercise I realized I had abs.
Ok…so… that’s cool… well at least to a middle aged woman who had never really had defined abs or a strong hard core before. Age is not a limiting factor to changing your body composition, by the way.
When I got injured and couldn’t run for over a year, I picked up cycling and did a lot more weight training. Not running 55-60 miles a week, it allowed a little weight back on me that was being reshaped into a stronger more powerful body.
Embracing my body. This is where I got it.
This is where I started to appreciate exactly what my body could do even if I wasn’t a perfect fitness model for a magazine or even if my body parts never shaped up like the articles I saw in magazines.
It didn’t matter and I didn’t care.
The important part?
In all my training and various activities, my body performed for me. It was strong. It was powerful. It adapted to my training to allow me to do more. It made more blood, grew more vessels, learned to deliver oxygen in a more efficient manner during my strongest workout sessions, it grew new cells and more mitochondria ( the literal powerhouse of the cells) it grew my heart and also made it more efficient by giving me a super low resting heart rate so it doesn’t have to work as hard. The other side of that is having a faster recovery heart rate. My muscles grew and got stronger. I was able to run longer, faster and with more ease. I could lift more weight and do more reps.
Do we ever stop and ponder how totally adaptable and changeable our bodies are? What amazing machines they can be with the proper care and fuel? The glorious things you can do with them with some investment of time and proper nutrition to train them to be stronger?
Do we value them as they are, where we are, at this moment in time?
We live surrounded by media and the world that would constantly convince us we are not there yet, that we are lacking, that we aren’t “enough”.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, be patient with yourself and embrace what your body can do now. Know that as you lose weight and exercise you’ll become more fit and definitely more healthy.
If you’re already working out, stay the course, appreciate where you’ve come from and that if you want continued change, it’s possible for you.
But no matter where you are on your journey, never lose sight of the amazing, adaptable gift your body is and all it’s capable of doing for you.
As you move into this year with new goals and plans remember this: Love and value your body, it’s the only one you’ve got. Remember you are “enough” and don’t shrink from all you’re capable of being and all you’re capable of doing.
Have you learned to embrace yourself ? Do you appreciate your body for all it can do for you even if you may not have achieved certain goals?