Overcoming Body Image Issues
Thank god most of us don’t look like fitness models!
I’ve been training in commercial gyms for close to 30 years.
I also estimate that I’ve written 1,000+ pages, created a quite few courses, and read countless magazines and books…all about getting lean, gaining muscle, increasing strength and tone, etc.
I’ve seen the exact same body type displayed over and over.
…it becomes dull after a while.
I’m sick of seeing typical “fitness” images.
I think fitness models begin to look a little generic and plastic.
“Her green plastic watering can, for her fake Chinese rubber plant.
In the fake plastic earth. That she bought from a rubber man, in a town full of rubber plans.” – Thom Yorke
Here’s a funny thing I’ve noticed on Youtube & fitness forums.
Guys in “bulking mode” pointing out flaws of a person who is in crazy-good shape.
Here is an example of this from a bodybuilding forum.
Subject: Does Hugh Jackman even train legs?
Here are the exact comments with misspellings.
“Holy sheeeiiit. Use to mire his physique before this thread. Wow…Already knew he was kind of a curlbrah but that is pretty bad.”
“LOL why do people never train there legs?”
“I guess some brahs only lift upper, and think that if you run, you’re training legs. Especially older men, and celebs with trainers. Legs…not even once.”
“Wolverine is a small ass mo’f*cka.”
“If they’re trying to make him look jacked like Wolverine, they need to have the legs too. I know DOMS from leg day blows, but BE A MAN!”
↑ Click Me for the Best Scene in the X-Men Series
Hugh Jackman regularly deadlifts 400+ pounds for 5 reps.
- Could he go heavier?
- Could he do high rep squats?
- Could he double the focus he puts on legs?
Maybe…but my guess is that this would still be a body part that lags a bit behind his upper body.
This is a better problem than having legs that grow too easily in comparison to the upper body.
When legs get too big, finding pants that fit becomes an issue.
A common problem for women in particular is that their legs, butt and hips grow a bit too easily when lifting.
This is what I address in my Women’s course.
In the example above, I’d bet money that Hugh Jackman is probably in much better condition than every single commenter on that thread.
Getting in peak condition isn’t like ordering a drink.
You can’t expect to hit the exact look you are after.
…especially if your genetics are vastly different from a specific person you want to use as a fitness role model.
Here’s a common process young men in particular go through.
- They find an image of an extremely genetically blessed (or drug enhanced) actor or male fitness model.
- They contact me or another fitness author/coach, and say: “My goal is to look like this. You think I could reach this level in the next year or two?”.
- They get in fantastic shape, but it takes them longer than anticipated.
- They feel like they are doing something wrong, or are disappointed when they don’t wind up looking like that actor/fitness model.
Women, in many ways, have it worse than men.
Men can alter their body to a greater degree with diet and exercise compared to women.
Women can do a lot with proper diet and exercise, just not as much as men…women are more limited by their genes.
Women also have WAY more pressure to look attractive.
So they have less control over their appearance, but are heavily judged by this thing they don’t have full control over.
I’ve heard a lot of guys say something along these lines…
“All women have to do is diet and stay lean. We have to workout to build muscle AND diet hard to get lean.”
That is simply a guy who doesn’t see the full picture.
When it comes to appearance, women have much more pressure than men.
…and it’s not even a close contest.
In part 2: I will discuss specific issues that women deal with (ladies first)…issues I’ve seen over the past 8 years helping women look their best.