It is no secret that social media today has changed the way we view ourselves and our bodies. Websites such as Twitter and Instagram are plastered with photos of six pack abs and firmly built glutes. Even the cover models on some of the most popular magazines are sporting the flawless fitness model look, with next to no body fat and well-defined muscles. As a fitness professional, I have seen first-hand what this shift in “beauty” has done to the self-esteem of both men and women alike. Negative self-criticism runs rampant through society today, with unrealistic expectations of how the everyday person should look. However, most people are unaware of the time, dedication and unwavering patience it takes to look like the cover model that so people many admire, with a body most people dream of building. Comparing yourself to someone who has spent a great deal of time preparing for a photo shoot is a battle you may never win. Countless hours in the gym, weighing food, and counting calories are just a few of the elements that go into building an incredible physique. Most of the population does not have the time, nor the desire to dedicate themselves to such an endeavor; and yet, they still wish and hope to “look like her someday.”
It’s important that people start to see the truth behind unrealistic physiques, and begin to understand how to appreciate their own body type. Instead of admiring the physique of another, why not begin to pinpoint the beauty in your own body. Accepting your body type is not like a light switch that can just be turned on. It takes practice and dedication to grow to love yourself. Begin with cutting out the negative self-talk. Many individuals criticize themselves in a way they would never judge another person. Our bodies do not respond to this type of stress. Instead, begin your days with a positive thought, and compliment yourself. You can begin setting smaller fitness and health goals, and rewarding yourself in a positive, common-sense way when you reach them. Daily, weekly, and monthly goals can help you feel accomplishment and stay on track. Whenever the self-doubt or criticism tries to overtake your thoughts, remind yourself why you deserve to be happy, and what you can do to eliminate the negative. While you can appreciate the hard work and dedication of another, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your own self-esteem. Positive thoughts and complimenting yourself can go a long way in the realm of achievable emotional and physical results, and in turn, can bring about incredible happiness in your everyday life. While doing this, it’s also important to accept your body type. Some people walk around with six pack abs, while some have wider hips. Some people gain muscle with ease, while others have a hard time with fat loss. This is something you cannot change. The sooner you accept yourself for both your strengths and weaknesses, the sooner you can begin to work on it in a positive light.
You can read more of this article in our September 2014 issue of ModelsMania