As a personal trainer I spend a lot of my time witnessing progress and change. What is achieved with a client within the hour spills over to all areas of their life. It’s amazing to watch someone who could barely keep up at a level 4 on the treadmill now doing intervals at a level 9! And it’s this realized drive that changes the way we think about ourselves and our bodies. And “bodies” is a subject of common discussion. “I want so-and-so’s butt” or “so-and-so’s arms, legs, six pack….I want to look 20” Of course we all want to look great. That’s a given. I’m not different. But after many discussions on nipping, tucking and altering I’ve grown to see a “body” as more than just and image. I prefer to take a more philosophical approach. Of course this philosophy works best when I know someone is doing they’re best to stay fit and be healthy. Some things we just can’t change. Personally I’m accepting more and more about myself. I am what I am. I’m more than how I look. And I started to understand this when I was pushed beyond my level of comfort. The leaner, stronger body image gained due to the work involved was a bonus.
I’ve worked with individuals who look quite slim - size 0 or size 2 slim. But they tell me that they can’t run or keep up with their kids. They’re often tired, experiencing headaches and out of breath while doing simple daily tasks. Does it matter to be a size 2 and not be able to run a mile? Or get up the stairs comfortably? When you achieve something that is physically demanding and requires commitment and change to your life style you begin to look at yourself and your body differently. There was a time when I cared more about being a size two than about being balanced and healthy. That was a long time ago. Maybe I’ve matured. Maybe I’ve seen too many unhappy size twos. I joined a gym a few months shy of turning 16. I lied and said I was 18 and signed my first contract. I’d watch folks riding the bikes for an hour at a time then running to the aerobics class. They would tell me how they ate a can of tuna for lunch. I thought that was the way to go. I was trying to figure it out and I had no idea what I was doing. But by lifting weights and running I was feeling better and I was stronger and this changed my outlook on my body image. By no means was I slim. I was a chubby teen. But I felt good and strong and I was impressed with my efforts and commitment.
We all want to look better. But when we continuously look outside ourselves to feel better we are always at the mercy of time and change. We get older, gravity takes over and there is always someone better looking, leaner, stronger, younger…I read this quote “if you seek the highest first everything else comes to you”. So this is what I’ve found with exercise. Do it, stick with it and everything else will follow -improved eating habits, mental alertness, feelings of satisfaction, confidence and of course a stronger, leaner body. Your body. Just better.
Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.