What do I want more than being ripped, jacked or muscular? I want a good sense of self-respect and worth.
I know all too well that if I pour my efforts into creating the ‘perfect’ physique (as if it was even possible for such a thing to exist from an objective perspective), I only make ‘perfection’ harder to attain.
The opposite is, of course, true: happiness lies within. We all know it.
If you truly accept and learn to love yourself as you would love another, it frees you to pursue what’s truly good for you, and it frees you from the shame and insecurity that makes us pander to other people’s demands.
All too often I hear of someone who said they thought they were happy until so-and-so called them fat, and then they realised that they needed to lose weight if they were to be truly happy. As if happiness and thinness were static states that one could achieve and never deviate from again.
The only thing that means is you’re vulnerable to criticism from assholes. Being thin won’t make you impervious to insults. The way to deal with bullies is not to capitulate to their demands.
What is it they say? I'm sorry, we don’t negotiate with terrorists. We don’t do what they tell us.
Buddhists say you cannot carpet the world, but you can wear carpet slippers. You cannot eradicate all hatred in the world, but you can eradicate hatred in yourself.
You cannot eliminate all the fat in your body, but you can eliminate the hatred of fat.
Why not pour your efforts into something that will actually make you happy, satisfied, and respectful of yourself, rather than what you think will make you happy – at the expense of your autonomy? At the expense of your health, perhaps? You know, that thing that is supposed to be the ‘real’ reason to exercise.
Sacrificing your own good opinion and way of life in the name of popularity does not a happy individual make. A life spent hating fat is not a life spent with joy and freedom.
Training because you hate fat is incompatible with training for joy and the physical expression of emotion. Something has to be your ‘prime motivator’ - what’s it going to be?
Calorie counting always interferes with strength gains. Have you ever tried to restrict your food intake, and dedicate yourself to a vigorous training regime at the same time? I have. How did that work out? Trying to be thin gets in the way of getting strong every damn time. What do you think’s better for your health? Being thin, or developing your mobility, strength, endurance and athleticism? What’s better – looking like an athlete and being depleted all the time, or actually being athletic?
But can’t I look athletic and be athletic too? Maybe. See how you go, trying to do two contradictory things at once.
Too often, people try to eat less and exercise more, and that works for a little while... sometimes... before they grind to an exhausted halt, wondering why they feel so bad when they’re ‘being so good’.
And how good is that supposed to be - for your health?
Don’t do what you’re told.
Or maybe do? Hope springs eternal.