Almost everyone has seen a picture of someone and immediately used it as inspiration for what their ideal body type is. While seemingly innocent, this common way of setting physique goals is borderline dangerous and sets us up for disappointment and failure. This blog will list reasons why it may not be the best idea to use other people as inspiration for your body goals.
#1 No Two Bodies React Identically
Even when following the exact same nutrition and exercise plan, no two bodies will “react” (metabolize body fat and/or build/metabolize muscle tissue) identically (unless identical twins). This is where genetics plays a somewhat limiting or enhancing factor on your ability to lose fat and build muscle. You won’t know how your body reacts to a stimulus until it is implemented, however, don’t fall for the mainstream media trap of doing ‘_’ exercise for ‘_’ body part. Or following ‘_’ exercise for [insert celebrity who’s had ample amounts of plastic surgery]’s body part. Chances are your body won’t morph into the same shape as your favorite celebrity or influencer and it will leave you feeling wildly discouraged after accepting that false promise. It’s a much healthier and wiser pursuit to use your own body as body goals. Keep in mind, however, that bodies are meant to change as we age. You will not look the same in your 20’s as you did in your teens, and that’s a good thing! Don’t get too caught up in comparing yourself to a very outdated version of you.
#2 Helps to Set Realistic Expectations
Following point one above, using yourself as your own body goals sets realistic expectations. Everyone has genetic limits and even lifestyle limits that limit the amount of commitment and results one can expect with their fitness routine. Viewing what you looked like in the past or how strong you were in the past gives you a more realistic preview of how your own body will react to your training and nutrition efforts. Having more realistic goals in mind will ultimately help you stick to your goals long term and see the results you’re after. Don’t let extreme claims from outside sources deter you from committing to a more balanced and reasonable fitness routine. If sustained results are what you’re after, stick to the basic principles of good nutrition, movement, and sleep to achieve your own body goals.
#3 Comparison is a Joy-kill
Comparing your body to another persons body, especially in the context of fitness and health is not only a joy-kill but is also not healthy. Think of all the ways we compare ourselves to other people online and in everyday life… The outcome is never joyous. It is always filled with jealousy, hate, and bitterness which are no traits anyone seeks to possess. In an effort to stay committed to your fitness goals while staying sane in the membrane, avoid the act of comparing yourself to anyone but you. You deal with the consequences of your choices, not the celebrities that influence you.
Sidenote: If you’ve never seen your body in a positive light and cannot relate to using your own body as “body goals” then maybe another method of seeking motivation may work for you. One way to stay motivated throughout your fitness journey without focusing on aesthetics is to instead focus on performance goals. Set the goal of achieving one pull up, push up, or dip. Barbell back squat 1x your body weight or bench press ½ of your body weight. These goals can be achieved much faster (sometimes) and with a little less mental effort than physique goals.
Remember to treat yourself with kindness while in pursuit of your own body goals. It can be incredibly difficult to stick to your goals of losing fat and/or gaining muscle. It takes concerted effort and consistency over a long period of time to see sustainable results in fitness. Never let the act of comparison rob you of the joys of getting stronger and seeing your body change over time. Above all else, keep your own health and sanity in mind while on this journey.