You read too many fashion magazines. You have seen the perfect body. And you have measured exactly how many inches you are away from that figure. Without understanding the concept of your very own best body version, you start to build your expectations incorrectly. The tape measure goes around your waist and thighs. And you pull contorted poses that would not seem out of place in a variety show. Every stretch reveals to you more lines, more loose hanging skin, and more fat in all the wrong places. The tape measure sits on your couch, as you look at the magazine, again and again. Probably feeling guiltier for the chocolate chip cookie you are eating as you read it.
Unreal body expectations
The people in the magazine are aliens. They are so far removed from your reality that all the good intentions go to waste. All the intentions that you have been building up since your youngest son left for college. All the plans to get fitter and the track clothes that you bought in two sizes larger than you have ever bought a t-shirt, lie in your closet.
And you just think about these plans everyday, but never put any in to action. Why? Simply because the goal you have is not to become a fitter version of yourself, but an airbrushed, heavily edited photograph of someone who has dedicated their life to looking a certain way. You have been a mother, a wife, picker-up of legs, and now, when you finally have the time to work on yourself, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to have become invisible.
Get inspired not pressured towards your best body version
We all like looking at pretty people. We all want to look like the most untouchably beautiful person on earth. Some of us even manage it during our twenties. But then life takes over. And after forty, you want the look back. The perfect abs, the clear skin, and the yoga poses that you managed effortlessly. And then you switch on the TV or pick up a magazine. And there is a forty-five year old woman, flawlessly beautiful, with skin that is practically glowing, and a figure that you would kill for.
Putting pressure on yourself
And you go ahead and do exactly that. You kill yourself, in so many ways. In fact, you kill yourself when you take the first steps into the gym and hand the trainer a photograph of a body type that he knows is not yours, and he does not have the heart to tell you that. Again you continue to kill yourself with a month of exhaustion and body pain does not take you closer to that ideal. And you definitely kill yourself when your resolve to pursue that unattainable perfection breaks down, and you open a bag of chips and a bottle of soda, and never head back to the gym.
Adjusting what you want form your body- realistically!
Instead of looking at a body that will never be yours, of skin that has been edited to be smooth and wrinkle-free, you should look at yourself. And you should perhaps do it without tape measures that compare your size to that of a supermodel, perhaps even at the doctor’s office, where you figure out a plan to fix some of the vigor that years of a sedentary lifestyle have taken from you.
Simpler goals for faster action
You could start out with a short walk a day, or a couple of sets of tennis, something that you enjoy, not something that is killing you. Maybe you replace the chocolate chip cookies, with carrot sticks, and even though you will hate carrots for weeks, one day, the carrots will taste all right. You can give yourself a cheat meal once in a while, and work out hard and with discipline.
Small results driving your motivation
And even if there might be no results for a while, since you aren’t destroying yourself, you will be motivated to continue. Even if you lose a kilogram, just a single one, it will motivate you. Not to look like perfectly molded plastic, but to be a better version of yourself. And little by little, you will become healthier and happier, and fall in love with exercise and good, wholesome food for the sake of itself, and your goals go from perfect to a continuous betterment of yourself.
Realizing your true self for the best body version
And that is how you are more than a magazine cover. How your self-esteem is derived from more than a magazine. How you are your own master, and are not slaves to an unsustainable program that does not suit you and that you will quit in a matter of days. Do not starve yourself, do not quit the food you love, instead, just practice some portion control.
So, put away those magazines and head out for a walk. Stretch and jump, start off slow, and then grow eventually to become a master of your body. And before long, I promise, you will notice a positive change, a glow on your skin that perhaps doesn’t mirror the supermodel’s on TV. However, it is beautiful in its own specific way, just as you, a forty-year-old, or a mother, or a sister, or a wife are the best body version in yours.