What My Body ‘Should’ Look Like
Most people, no matter how old or young, have a feeling or image of the way their body should look. This image is composed of the actual view in the mirror combined with life experience, such as the image of our own younger/fitter/slimmer body, and the expectations of the way their body should look. This ‘should’ comes from media images, parental influences, peers, past experiences or who knows what.
I’ve noticed one common pattern among new fitness participants, starting their fitness journey. Most newbies start a fitness program to get healthy and fit but mainly to change a particular body part.
Note the phrase here is ‘a particular body part’. For example, it is common for men to want to lose the fat roll around the midsection (love handles) and for women, that too but also to trim the hips.
Body Image: Let’s Change It
Have you ever really observed other people in your gym? If you do, you will notice that there are a lot of men doing upper body workouts and a lot of women doing lower bodywork.
Weight training and aerobics style fitness programs are ultimately the best to start with to lose weight or to get fit. Fitness newbies start these enthusiastically but at the 1 month follow up it’s revealed that the exerciser has thrown out exercises that did not target the imagined problem area (like, glutes, stomach legs arms etc). They replaced them with extra sets of the exercises that did.
Now, take that same newbie, get him or her working out regularly and systematically for about 6 months and you get the beginnings of real body transformation! What does this mean? to me, it means BALANCE and balance is beautiful.
A body system that is in balance moves better stands straighter (this means looking better in your clothes), can be trusted to perform physical activities longer and better and is less likely to sustain an injury. Yes, the person’s perceived problem areas do change, but so do all the non-problem areas.
The Body Image Transformation
The most interesting thing is that with this body change, the newbie now truly enthusiastic about their changed body also has redefined goals and expectations of what it means to transform their body and what a healthy body should look like. It’s very common to hear women say that they had no idea that their arms could be so attractive and shapely and for men to comment that they like having legs that aren’t so skinny. These very same women started out avoiding arm workouts because they only were thinking about slimmer hips or bigger bum.
After six months or so when new trainees start to see real differences, they talk about how they feel a real sense of accomplishment (it is hard work to get there no doubt about it!). They begin to formulate new fitness goals which are surprisingly different than the ones they started with. They have not only begun to transform their bodies, but they have also transformed their mind. Their perception of their body, or body image, has become very different.
They KNOW they look good and feel good!
Want To Look And Feel Good?
Give yourself 6 months of consistent, dedicated and hardworking routine. Focus on your general health and wellbeing rather than ‘a body part’, especially if you’re unfit and new to fitness. Everything is achievable if you are in the right mental state. You can transform your thinking to transform your body and the image you see in front of the mirror.
If reading this has got you interested in starting a fitness programme, subscribe now and get in touch!