Everybody wants six pack abs and arms as strong as Linda Hamilton’s from the Terminators 1 & 2. Is this ok? Or, can we consider this another body image disorder alongside anorexia and other image issues that both men and women face?
Jenn Zerling, MS, CPT (JZ), the author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools Jenn Zerling has compiled the top 5 tips to avoid overabundance of unrealistic expectations of yourself so that you can truly be happy in your own skin.
Strong Should NOT BE the New Skinny
1) Be Realistic for YOU: Not everyone can be shredded forever! The reason; Shredded bodies don’t fit everyone’s way of life. You have to ban all alcohol, hit the gym strong 5-6 days a week, and exercise for more than an hour, with heavy weights. So, while it is possible, it isn’t an everlasting possibility unless you live this life forever! Why get there temporarily, only to find out that it is too restrictive of a life and can lead to serious depression issues? Ever meet someone who is legitimately shredded and they claim that they’re “not there” yet!? Are they nuts, you might ask yourself? Do you want to be that person too?
2) Some People are Just Born With “IT”. Some individuals are born skinny and then stay active for their entire lives. These people maximize their amazing genes. Should we be jealous of them? I say no, because what a waste of energy. Getting rid of jealousy (as I state in tool #23 in Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools) automatically stops the competition with others and allows you to be with yourself. What is the best you? Find an old picture to start. Were you happy then? How far are you from your happiest time? Don’t have a clue? Perhaps it is time to hire a coach. The coach can help you set realistic and dynamic goals. This will make your journey so much more exciting.
3) Evolution Baby! Some individuals who aren’t born with it, but have been fit their whole lives and truly live an optimal life with balance in it, might have a body that you once admired. But, realize that these people are the ones who get to the gym regularly, maybe practice yoga, do high intensity interval training and simply evolved over the course of time. Why? Consistency is where it’s at. Start today and in 5 years from now, you’ll look back and thank me later! (wink!)
4) Set Dynamic Goals: New goals each year keep you focused on the end goal which can be: winning a race, getting a black-belt, practicing yoga consistently and truly finding yourself, running a marathon, you name it. It is through the doing of something that gets your body more fit and aesthetically appealing. However, it’s time to focus on performance in these goals vs. how your arms and abs look. If you look at the following top notch athletes (Michael Phelps, David Beckham, Tim Tebow, Serena Williams, to name a few), they are shredded, but are only shredded because of their commitment to true performance excellence in their sports. Nowhere in their training programs do they focus on their abs. You can rest assure that if they did, their performance wouldn’t be what it is. So, do you want to be the person with shred who sucks at sports and just looks good, or do you want people saying, “Wow-They rock!” about you? Remember, some of these athletes eat over 10,000 calories a day during season. So if abs were their focus, they would eat less and stink at their sports to a point where you wouldn’t even know who they are!
5) Focus on Stress Management! If you are stress machine, you will always have that layer of fat around your waist. Why? Think back to the good ‘ole days when we were hunters and gatherers. When we were scared for our lives ‘cause our predators were hunting us down, we ran for our lives, which shunted the utilization of fats out of the cells and promoted the release of sugars into the body for take-off. You need sugar to fly away from threat so if you are constantly putting your body into fight of flight through a stress oriented mindset, then your body’s physiology is in the garbage. Your insulin is up, your glucose is depleted…Your fat is high and getting higher. So, manage your stress right and hydrate your body every day. Better yet, get Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools and learn how the heck to improve your stress outlet options so that you can become stronger not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. That is what strength really is, not the size of your biceps. Rather, the mental and emotional endurance you possess from amazing stress management outlets is what creates a fabulous person whose body exudes excellence that people wish to surround themselves by. Once you incorporate some of these tools, you will notice that your muscles and definition start to surface without even focusing on it. Be patient though. Everything in life takes time. But, consistency will earn you sustainability.