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.