Summer is almost upon us, and with it, the slew of magazines chock full of pre-summer workouts and diets promising the “perfect beach body in 6 weeks or less” are everywhere I look. Per usual the models used to tout these diets etc. are ALREADY perfectly lean, tanned and muscled.
I don’t know about you but in the past, images like these haven’t exactly inspired me to up my game in the gym after a long winter. In fact, they’ve done the opposite and put me in a pre-summer funk. Why? Because in all honesty, it was hard for me not to compare myself to the glossy images of the dude with the perfect pecs who didn’t need to cut his fat or shoulder press anything, to begin with. What was worse, even if I did buy one of those magazines and follow the beach-bod workouts and diet plans, they simply didn’t work. The diet was too restrictive and made me miserable, and the exercises didn’t work for my body or lifestyle. No matter how hard I tried I never ended up looking like the guy on the cover, which made me cranky about one of the best seasons of the year. PS, I’m from Margate NJ so the beach is in my blood…
Why am I relaying this? Because it’s a reminder to myself that in health, as in life, there are things you can control and things that are beyond your control. More importantly, comparing yourself to others will do little, if any, good.
Of course, there are exceptions. Perhaps you’re a competitor in a bodybuilding show, physique competition, or training to run a marathon and a little comparison to another athlete may provide the extra bit of motivation you need. But even then, you’re probably better off focusing on yourself.
So, what do I do now? If I’m trying to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger, or improve my nutrition creating specific goals that incorporate my OWN strengths, as well as limitations, serve me best in the long run. Recognizing what makes me tick helps keep self-sabotaging thoughts like, “Why do I have to work so hard to be lean when that man/woman can eat whatever he/she wants and looks great?” at bay. Fact is we’re all human. Some humans can run a 5K like it’s nothing. Not this human. Other humans can simply see food as fuel or eat with wild abandon and not gain weight. Not this human either.
I also focus on what I can control- my work ethic. I may never be as strong (or as tall, lol) as the guy in the gym who lifts next to me, or as lean or muscled as someone sitting near me on the beach. However, I can work harder and smarter to achieve MY personal and attainable best. Knowing exactly what I need to do for my body with nutrition and exercise to reach my goals – not what a magazine says I need to do – has been a game changer.
So instead of buying the beach body magazine at check-out like I used to, I get a couple of packs of jelly beans or sour patch kids because I love them, they make me happy, and most importantly I know how to make them fit into my weight loss plan. Same with my workout. I tailor them so I can achieve optimal health and performance whatever the season.
Need some help figuring out what it takes to get YOUR best beach body, not someone else’s version? Reach out to me or my staff, we are here to help.
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