By Karen Pearson
In the fitness world it has become apparent to me that most individuals on a quest for fitness have an idea in their mind of who they want to look like. I’ve seen people hang pictures on refrigerators or paste pictures in journals and notebooks of the “ideal” self. They find workout routines, diets, shape wear, makeup, etc. all in the quest of looking like someone in a picture. And sadly it never happens. They become frustrated and get down on themselves for not having what it takes to make it happen. There is one reason and one reason only why you are unable to achieve the look you see in the picture…it’s not you!
There is only one unique you. Your body can only look like yours. Your mind is like no one else’s. No one thinks just like you. Your body and mind is as individual as your fingerprint. When you begin your fitness journey do it with an idea in your mind of what you want to see, not who. Make your experience just for you. Look in the mirror a lot. The number one thing most of my training clients hate is looking at themselves in a mirror. How can you expect changes in your body if don’t know what you look like. You will never know how far you have come if you can’t see where you started. As your body begins to shift and change you will notice things you had never seen before. Some of the changes will be fun and exciting. There is a real thrill in being able to do a push up or a plank when you previously could not. Seeing muscles start to take form is a real motivator. Some changes will be a surprise. Bigger muscles sometimes require bigger clothes even though your weight goes down. Strength comes in many different ways. Your body becomes stronger as you exercise which will then challenge you to work a little harder. Once you start working harder it requires your mind to become stronger and believe that you can do more. Your ability is limitless in what you can achieve.
For the last year I have watched many individuals, including myself, of varying ages embark on the quest of competing in body building competitions. The experience alone of doing the prep teaches you so much about yourself as an individual. It is a personal journey that no one can do for you and when you step on that stage with the other competitors, no one’s body looks just like anyone else’s.
So the next time you are in a store or at the gym and you see someone you want to look like…step back. Think about what their journey was to get to where they are.
The greatest fitness success stories happen when you let go of wanting to be like someone else and focus on being your best you. One of my all time favorite stories is about a man named Arthur. He was a paratrooper in the Gulf war and all the jumps destroyed his body. He shot up to almost 300 pounds. One day he decided to change. At no point in this story did he want to look like someone else. He just wanted to be a healthier version of himself. He believed. Here is the link to his story. It is appropriately titled “Never, ever give up.”