Body Image

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I was reading an article the other day on the image of fitness and it made me think about why so many people shy away from exercising, joining gyms, or attending group classes. When you look at fitness magazines, billboards for various fitness activities, commercials on TV, etc., they choose models with seemingly “perfect” bodies. But the misconception is that some people have “perfect” bodies and others do not. That’s where the problem lies; most people think they need to look a certain way to be fit or strong, but that is not true. We need to take the focus off the physical only and make it about the person as a whole.

Fitness needs to be a lifestyle, not just a passing fad, but there are quite a few exercises programs promising instant weight loss and a “perfect” body, which are not attainable without an unhealthy approach. This sets people up for failure. The general public needs to be informed about the realities of getting an extremely muscular body and the fact that every human being has a different body composition so you can NEVER look like someone else. And that’s okay. You should want to look like you. It’s one thing to admire someone for the hard work they put into being healthy and having a strong body; it’s another thing when you wish you were them.

There is more to fitness than diet and exercise. If you are not okay on the inside, wish you looked like someone else, put yourself down, and are generally unhappy, you will never achieve the fitness goals you have set for yourself. Your self-esteem and self-worth have a lot to do with what you look like and feel like on the outside. So if you are working out regularly and eating a decent diet, but are putting yourself down and have constant negative self-talk, your mind and body are not in sync and it will be difficult to get results. We are not just physical beings. Our minds are extremely powerful machines and they can make or break us.

My philosophy on fitness touches on the mind, body, and spirit of a person, because if there is not a balance between the three, problems can occur such as, illness, weight gain, chronic pain, eating disorders, etc. We have to get back to what is really important in life and that is accepting ourselves for who we are and where we are right now. Even if you have 10, 30, 50, or 150 pounds to lose, working on our inner selves is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Once that process begins, adding the healthy eating and exercise will not seem as difficult. We are all here on earth to have different experiences and live different lives. Comparing yourself to someone else is the worst thing you can do. There is not one person who has a perfect life or body. We are all just doing the best we can to live our best lives and we all have different lessons to learn. Having a “perfect” body does not create happiness, but loving who you are and accepting the person you have become, does.

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