T Nation

Does Anyone Truly Love Their Bodies?

I did. Now I do not.

@T3hPwnisher and I had a great discussion along with @dagill2 and a couple other people (forget who) about self-loathing. Dr. Cox explains the efficacy of self-loathing here perfectly (albleit in an exaggerated, comical fashion, obviously). I haven’t watched all of Scrubs, but I’ve watched a good deal of it, and he’s also pretty big into self-pity at times, but the self-loathing is what makes him great.

3 Likes

Good afternoon jskrabac. Great post and interesting subject! I have had a similar “awakening” if you will. I no longer seek external validation but validate myself internally. Do I like it when I receive a complement? Of course I do. I just isn’t what I’m chasing. I continue to focus on improving my body to the best of my ability but I’m looking to do so in the most efficient way possible.

Compared to what style of training I’ve done in the past, I’m only doing about 50% of that now. The funny thing is, I still probably kept about 80% of the results. 50% of the effort for 80% of the results is a good return on my investment.

I too have been practicing “mindfulness and self-compassion training”. It has helped me not dwell on the external so much and be happy with myself. Being thankful that I have enough food and the time to train is something I’ve thought about as I’ve been through this journey. I try not to be so hard on myself if I don’t reach a new record on an exercise and will pat myself on the back in trying. There’s always next training session to try again.

I don’t know if I’m making sense as my thoughts may be all over the place. But I would say that I love my body for what it can do but I still try to push it to what it still cannot.

Good Lord.

Well…uhmm…idk this topic is a really loaded one for me personally. The people I speak to frequently on here know what I mean by that.

I struggle with an eating disorder, and struggled a lot with self harm. That alone makes how I view my body extremely skewed. At one in time I hated my very existence. Let alone hated my body or how I looked.

Some days I intentionally avoid looking at myself in the mirror. Other days I’ll spend a good chunk of time staring at myself naked, fully clothed, somewhat clothed,etc., in the mirror and trying to rationalize whatever issues I have with myself. Most times I make it a point to not be hypercritical. Things like saying “Okay so I don’t really like how this looks, that’s okay. What ways could I work on that physically and mentally?”

I find that I’ll one day love my body for how it just…is. Right now I don’t, because I’m chasing after something I’ve fabricated in my mind. It’s skewed, it’s not realistic, and it’s constantly changing.

I’ve never really been satisfied with how I look. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been on the heavier side, maybe it was all the cartoons I watched as a kid, or maybe it’s just seeing Pwn or Flipcollar blowing everyone out of the water on this website (I’m just kidding…mostly).

Now I just see it as I am more muscular than most people, but I am not quite where I want to be. There always is room to improve in any endeavor, and I can keep working at it. It’s good to have body composition goals, but you have to be wary of thoughts that can turn harmful.

That’s…more or less what the bulk of (the latter half) my log is about. I don’t go into full depth a lot outside of my log, because I tend to feel a lot more comfortable doing so within my log. First reason being that it’s a space I’ve made for myself, and second being that most people who attempt to understand the more vague/general stuff I post outside of my log, will venture off into my log to kind of…grasp what I’m saying, or they’re just curious. Outside of my log, I realize the general population on here don’t fully grasp whatever issues I face, or they just ignore it. I’m okay with either though. People aren’t obligated to interact with me.

The last handful of years have mostly been me employing many varied ways of overcoming irrational behavior in the form of the way I view my body and by proxy, the way I view food. It’s something that’s…more than just being wary of harmful thoughts though? I surpassed that many…many years ago. If that makes any sense.

On that note, you’re always welcome to come to my log though.

I definitely don’t, but I care about improvement/not getting worse more than anything. For example, I’d be much happier if I were obese and got down to a healthy body fat level than if I were lean and gained fat to reach the same bodyfat level (without a corresponding improvement in performance).

With that said, even if I were to love my body, I don’t think I’d be happy with myself. I’d just find something else.

I HATE going backwards. I honestly wish there was such thing as maintainence, where when you “reach a level” you can just stay there or progress to the next one

1 Like

There is, it’s just at a slightly higher bodyfat than you are willing to hold. The can’t force disequilibrium to be equilibrium

2 Likes

This is probably true for me also -

1 Like

Through high school and college I was certainly the perma bulk always too small guy. As you get older that becomes less and less important. Your maximum barbell strength matters so little in actual life. Stay healthy, stay away from injury, move well, work hard. Do that for a long time and the other stuff will show up eventually (looking good and being strong). I’m very proud of where I am and what I can do and have done with my body. I love the way I look, feel, and move. While I always want to improve, eventually you have to live life now and stop training for some unrealistic goal. I train and eat to fuel my present life, not for some future goal. I will never be the 220 stage weight bodybuilder I wanted to be when I was growing up, and I’m not going to sacrifice looking and feeling good for 2 decades to chase my tail.

6 Likes

In a bit of cosmic humor, what goes along with this is that your peers will all collectively “give up” along the way while you keep plugging along, which will widen the gap even further. In your teens and 20s, things were “competitive” and certain dudes just seemed to unfairly have an advantage, but you get into your 30s and beyond and suddenly simply putting in SOME work is enough to massively stratify you among your peers. Just being in shape these days is enough to be a neighborhood rockstar, to say nothing of if you have any appreciable musculature.

5 Likes

I find it depends on the situation. I think a lot of guys will relate to this. When I lean down, I like how I look with my shirt off, but feel small with one on. When I’m bigger, it’s the opposite, I like how I look with a shirt, but would rather not take it off.

For me, the sweet spot would be where I’m big enough to look big in a shirt, but would be ready for the beach at the same time.

I also try to keep two separate feelings about it. On one hand, I look around at the general public and I can say to myself that I love my body. At the same time, though, from a personal goal/drive perspective, I’m always trying to get better.

Love is a complex term. If you compare it to relationships - you can love your family without necessarily liking every part. Looking through this lens, my answer to the question would be yes.

1 Like

This phenomenon makes me upset in a weird way. It feels like a false sense of “winning”. Personally, I want to know that I’m doing well because I’m improving, not because the standards drop or that others are doing poorly.
I’ve actually been thinking about this in other contexts too. For example, my math prof started the answers to the HW during office hours (and recently even started recording them LOL). Although my grade has gone up significantly, I’m quite disappointed
Is this thinking weird? (not directed at you pwn, just using your quote as a discussion point)

Yup. They either drop out or just never get around to actually dropping those “15” (45) pounds and getting lean.

2 Likes

It’s some of both. People get old and fat on one side, but also staying consistent and just putting in some work ads up big over decades.

2 Likes

I think with this, one needs to define what the standards are they are using for comparison. For me, I can compare my self to the average general population 40 year old male and also the average gym-going 40 year old male. I look at that as an acceptable comparison. If I compared myself to the average general population 60 year old, then yeah, that would be a false sense of winning because of a comparison to lower standards (no offence to 60 year olds). On the other side, if I was to compare myself to a 25 year old elite athlete, that wouldn’t be a fair comparison for me.

@T3hPwnisher referred to one’s peers. In that, I can accept your statement about standards dropping and the argument that the general state of the average person has decreased over the decades. That said, seeing as gym culture didn’t really take off until the 80’s, and even then the average person still has never really trained hard or consistently over a long period of time, muscular is muscular no matter what decade you look at. Thinking about when I grew up in the 80s/90s, maybe the average waist circumference was lower, but there still wasn’t a ton of jacked dudes walking around.

At a certain point in aging, staying the same is progress.

4 Likes

Yep, I do. My priorities change over time and I love the process of working towards those goals/priorities and seeing and feeling those changes happen. It’s “easy” to keep looking good aesthetically if you prioritize athleticism actively pursue athletic hobbies.

I am loving most of the bodies I have, although some do seem to be getting some frost bite from the freezer…

7 Likes

Yep, I do.

I’ve wanted what I have now for years, not gonna bitch about tiny imperfections anymore. There ain’t no point in that .

Just gonna enjoy it till things get saggy :relaxed:

9 Likes