If I was to look at a friend who looked like me, I guarantee you I wouldn’t feel the same about her as I sometimes do about myself. I would tell her she is beautiful. Because she would be and that is truly what she is.
Many fitness enthusiasts including myself struggle with body images regardless of how grounded you are. It’s hard to deny when a majority of our goals are related to physical change, which can have many positive motives.
However, I also see the when the ugly side rears its head at times. We look in the mirror and we pick ourselves apart. We pinch this, grab that, twist one way, bend another. Yet, we are never really satisfied.
One thing I know deep inside is what you “see” and sometimes what you “feel” is not reality.
It is a tiny devil that raises its ugly head from time to time. But you know what you have inside, a big, beautiful, resilient heart and your heart truly knows the progress you have made. That is your self-concept. A higher concept of yourself involves taking on new truths and shedding your old views of what you can achieve. You must begin by replacing your old set of truths with a belief in the existence of a higher self within you. This is akin to doing a somersault and landing in a new reality—a reality in which all things are possible
Body image: On the outside and inside
For me, it’s helpful to be supported by my coach who continues to help shape my thinking about my body and self-concept.
I am an athlete and get on stage to be judged about my physique but my overall health – mental and physical – is much more important. She encourages breaks and rest. She also encourages time with family and friends. This sport is hard enough without the added weight of isolation.
One of the many things my coach stresses is making sure I have a full lab workup at least once a year. You can look good on the outside and have an internal system that is shot to hell. Let’s be real about it.
Food is also a big component of my life. I am eating all the time. I mean all the time…six times a day on most days. There are times when it’s just fish and vegetables, but there are times that I get a burger and sweet potato fries. Heck, every now and again I am told to have a bowl of pasta with meat sauce and a bread stick. I bow down when the bread stick gets added in because as much as I love sweets I love bread. Fresh, warm bread right out the oven is my favorite.
I am grateful that I do not take a lot of supplements. Most of the year I take multivitamins, magnesium, fish oil and potassium with the addition of protein powder. As competition season progresses along, I will add a fat burner and at the end we use a diuretic of some kind. And while I do take supplements, I am cycled off of them for a while too.
I am working on what I see when I look at myself. One of my many goals is not to be so critical. It’s important when I am prepping for shows, but it’s also important to note that a healthy balanced life is needed.
Do you struggle to see all the good you possess?