How many times have you heard someone say, "I want to look just like that?"
In the fitness industry this is one of many common statements said. The look is often correlated to someone else in the fitness industry, or an extremely fit gym goer.
Don't fit into someone else's mold
The real question is who do want to look like? Hopefully, your answer is a healthier version of you.
I often hear the words, "I can't look like that...I'll never look like that...There's no way I will ever look like that," when meeting someone for the first time during a consultation. If it’s been said, I've heard it, but this is where I beg to differ.
Though this may not be completely true, somewhere along the way this person stopped believing in themselves. The reasons for this are innumerous and can begin anywhere from childhood bullying to abuse that causes a spiraling effect of low self-esteem. Add low self esteem to our society's elevated value and emulation of superficial beauty, and it's easy to see how someone can feel like they "can't look" a certain way.
I will be absolutely honest, not everyone can look like a bodybuilder, but not everyone wants to look that way either. When it comes to your body your genetics play a big role, but adapting a healthier vision also creates a healthier you.
If you set goals for a healthier you the changes will not only happen, but will be easier than fitting into someone else's mold.
Don't forget about genetics
For example, when I meet new figure athletes, I am often told "I want your shoulders."
Though very flattering, let me share the truth with you. My shoulders, and structure, are a genetic gift; a present from my biological father and my mom. I met my father when I was much older, and learned that my father is Russian, Irish and Italian. He is 5'10", and is very broad shouldered, barrel chested and owns a set of legs made for powerlifting, and his weight easily fluctuates between 195 lb. and 225 lb. On the other hand, my mother is Korean. She is 4'11 and weighs 110 lb. on her heaviest day. She's very petite, but has boxy shoulders and shapely legs.
Then take into account my work ethic, sleep, nutrition and c'est voila; here I stand.
Now going back to the shoulder statement: See how that poses a problem if our genetics are completely different? There is nothing wrong with setting a goal to look a specific way, but don't forget that your genetics will dictate much of what you have to work with. That's why it's so important to build a healthier you from the inside out. Setting your goal to look like someone else is very dangerous. Why? Because you’re no longer envisioning a healthier you, but creating something based on someone else’s genetics, diet, work ethic and who-knows-what-else.
If your goal is to change your physique try to develop your least favorite areas, also; not just your strong points. For example, if your shoulder structure is naturally round then there’s no way for them to be square. HOWEVER, you can enhance the deltoids to give your shoulders a fuller, sculpted look. You can change your posture, as well. When you stand with good posture your shoulders naturally look broader and fuller in comparison, and you look more confident.
Here's something else to think about.
You can enhance your genetics with drugs or surgery, and manipulating what you were born with, but you certainly can't change someone else’s genetics. A healthier version of you does not have to look like a fitness model, a celebrity, or a bodybuilding athlete. Unless that is your ultimate goal, it’s not necessary. You can exercise, eat and sleep well [among some other things] to attain a healthy mind and body.
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.