T Nation

Does Anyone Truly Love Their Bodies?

It seems pretty natural that in the aesthetic endeavor of building our physiques we’d have a negativity bias–zeroing in on our proportionately smaller arms or calves or that extra bit of fat we are prone to carry in our thighs or lower back. Even those among us that seem to outshine us in every way are their own worst critics when they look in the mirror. You can even convince yourself that if you looked as good as them, you’d be ecstatic. But really, would you? Or would you be dwelling on the next thing you want to improve?

My question is if any of you have actually come to love how you look, as you are, right now…?

For the 12+ years I’ve been hitting weights, I was always somehow convinced that if I ever reached that point, I’d grow content and stop working so hard in the gym. Staying constantly vigilante of my flaws and continually self-critical was the thing that kept me motivated. But somewhere in the last several months (kind of as an unexpected perk of beginning mindfulness and self-compassion training) I just sort of made a choice to be fully happy with my body. It was a pretty cool transition and the opposite of my expectations actually came true. I was no longer extrinsically motivated to keep smashing the weights, but more intrinsically. Surprisingly, I’ve never been more motivated.

I get that there’s huge difference between a healthy awareness of your weaknesses and obsessing over them to the detriment of your everyday life. But honestly, I just stopped caring about the weaknesses at all. I was curious if anyone else has ever had a similar revelation and is truly happy every time they look in the mirror.

I have never been content with how my body looks. I got pretty lean last summer and got a lot of compliments, but the whole time i felt small. Now I put 10 pounds back on and my lifts go up and I feel pudgy. Lol. Maybe it’s a mental disorder, but keeps me motivated and hungry.

It’s been a long time coming, but I think I’ve finally reached a state of satisfaction. It goes against the way most people think around here - satisfaction is akin to quitting. But I’m not unhappy when I see myself in the mirror. I’m proud of what I’ve built, but that doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I feel like I can keep progressing albeit very slowly. That’s why I keep lifting for hypertrophy. I’m not expecting drastic gains at my age, but it’d be cool to add a few ounces of muscle per year and then see myself with bigger delts when in the future. I’m also trying to get all my lifts back to my old PRs.


I am a huge fan of how I look.

Do I also want more? Absolutely, but I can appreciate what I am now and also want more.


We know. :rofl:


Life is too short for humility.


For me it comes and goes. I can look back at how I’ve looked previously and very much like how i look. When I’m in good shape, for myself, I get the same effect live. I do set the bar high though so that’s probably less than 50% of the time.

The ladies love it, and that’s enough for me.


Within six months after I started lifting weights I loved my body. I loved how it responded to training and a good nutrition. (I am referring to the late 1960’s, so there weren’t any people around that had much of a great physique. It was only in the muscle magazines that I saw great physiques, so I didn’t experience any body envy with my peers.)

I was a pioneer of sorts in any gym I joined. One of the firsts to use AAS’s. One of the firsts to compete in contests. I was never satisfied with my physique. I strived to improve it every day. I never achieved my great dream physique, but I loved the journey.

I don’t know of many that do -

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I have come to accept my body. There have been times when I ballooned up to a chunky 315 (while going to grad school after full time work and eating wendy’s like 3 times a week) and times where I have been pretty lean.
Feel pretty good where I am at with muscle and okay leanness at 285 right now. Looking to build quite a bit more muscle over the summer to mostly improve my insulin resistance. I don’t pay to much attention to weight, even at my leanest I was still pushing 260.

This is how I’ve felt for awhile. It’s a little tougher for me right now because I took a huge step back in the last year, but it’s coming back to me fast. But even being not at my best, I feel decent about myself. I can tell you I really, really didn’t just a couple months ago, before I got my ass back to regular training.

I think it helps that I compete in strongman, not bodybuilding/physique. With appearance being a secondary concern, I think it’s probably easier to feel more satisfied and content with how I look, at any point.

It’s the perfect sport.

Get fat: “Dude, I’m getting jacked like Big Z”

Get lean: “Dude, I’m like Mariusz”

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I think I’ll always want more and always strive for bigger and better. I do hope one day to get to a point where I’m comfortable in my own skin.

I was happy with how I looked once, back in aboot 2011 or so, I was training with some local powerlifters while on the Anabolic Diet - was aboot 240 and heyooge - could even see some upper abs poking out.

That was good for aboot a year or so - then injuries, moving, life changes…

but alas, life marches on…

I’ve always had really high expectations of performance from my body, often unrealistic.

This has led to a lot of frustration and disappointment.

I can respect it now, but not exactly lovin’ it.

Ya know, this is a fair point. I speak to appreciating what I’ve accomplished with/to my body, but that also comes from a lot of negativity directed AT my body.

Like, I like how my body looks and what I can do with it, but I’ve legit told my body “f**k you body” after a heavy set of something that I had NO business doing. Things like wrapping my hamstring after tearing in on deadlifts so I could get through my squat workout.

This sorta love ain’t healthy…


The day I started lifting was the day I’ve stayed tiny forever.

Jokes, I’m not particularly unhappy with the way I look; though I’ll (probably) always want to be a little bit bigger than I am at any given moment.

My son asked me once why I worked out so hard, I was at a loss at exactly what was driving me until we were watching scrubs, and Dr Cox explained it so eloquently…


I will never be satisfied. I think that is what keeps me motivated to go to the gym. Once a goal is met most quit. I don’t want to quit. I luv my gym experience I luv my gym friends and I never want it to end. It is the journey not the destination.

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