In today’s world, the idea of “fit” and beauty is jammed down our throats wherever we look. Whether it’s on TV, a magazine cover, billboards, anywhere really…we see the same basic image over and over again. Size 0, 24 inch waist, 34 bust. Of course different hair color/styles, ethnicities, makeup, etc. are used to make things look different, but the physique is almost always the same. This is what advertisers, designers, and others in the media world will push upon us. Naturally, this is what people come to associate with “fit” and what is considered beautiful.
The physiques featured in media ads are near perfect proportions and reinforce the idea that to be truly beautiful, one must maintain a very similar physique. Let me first say, the majority of these “perfect” physiques you see, are computer-enhanced. Take a look at this Victoria’s Secret model here for an idea of what she looked like before photoshopping. You can plainly see she lost about 6 inches on her waist. Additionally, take a look at this candid photo of three Victoria’s Secret models on a photo shoot. This story is repeated time and time again. Even some of the best looking women on the planet (in my own humble opinion) are quite “average” looking in real life. The human body was not designed to look the way some of these models do in ads and on TV. Bodies with such an absence of fat, while maintaining the muscle mass some of them feature, is near impossible to maintain. Just because 1 out of a million are able to maintain that, doesn’t mean you will, or should be able to. As a quick aside; I consider myself a good athlete. I grew up playing sports, I work out hard, I was successful at what I did….just because I could never, and will never, be able to do this, doesn’t mean I’m a failure or not a good athlete. Same goes for you.
Now, this isn’t to say with a healthy dose of hard work and healthy eating you can’t achieve a near perfect body. There are in fact people out there who don’t require photoshop to look the way they do. I am a full believer that giving your 100% best effort, sticking to a plan, and developing a strong sense of will-power will get you where you want to be. I’ve seen the result of hard work in myself, clients, and family/friends. That said, I’ve also seen people, mainly women, put in work that would put some pro athletes to shame, eat right, do everything they are supposed to do, and STILL not lose all the body fat they wanted. You see, there is something called exercise resistant body fat. Genetically, we are all different. Some of us keep body fat in certain areas of our body, and no matter what, we cannot lose it. All the dieting and exercise in the world isn’t going to change those little pockets of fat that don’t seem to want to disappear.
The point of this is, those little pockets of fat do not define who you are, or how beautiful you may be. As you saw in the candid modeling pictures above, the majority of those models do not have six-pack abs, they are not love handle-less, (gasp!) their thighs even touch! There is absolutely nothing wrong with aiming for perfection, but to be unsatisfied with anything but, is only going to lead to burn out and discouragement. Of course, you’re going to see girls and guys out there who have those near-perfect bodies, but they are NOT the norm, nor are their bodies the result of doing a specific workout or diet. They’ve got a healthy dose of great genetics that help them look the way they do. Just think back to the Victoria Secret models the next time you are unhappy with your body. They are supposed to be the epitome of beauty, and they probably look more like you, than they do that super fit chick in the gym who’s always wearing full make up and spending more time looking at herself in the mirror than actually working out.
Moral of the story, keep working out. Keep pushing yourself. Keep making progress. You will build muscle, you will tighten up, your abs will become more defined. They may never look the way you want, or your version of “perfect”, but they will improve. Progress and making improvement is far more important than perfection. Don’t get discouraged and don’t allow mostly FAKE and airbrushed photos to influence what you think they should be looking like.