I do not own this image. If you do, and would like me to remove it, please let me know.
Some people like how working out and eating right makes their body look. However, some folks may feel shy about making that goal public, because such a goal is not always met with understanding. Some make a goal such as this out to be shallow and conceited. A “all you care about is how you look?!” kind of attitude.
Allow me to share an opinion on the matter, and some of the issues surrounding such a discussion.
I think there is nothing wrong with liking the positive aesthetic changes that a good diet full of nutritious, real foods, and a well put together fitness plan, can do to how our body looks. It’s okay to want to look good. It’s okay to have a goal of hitting the beach and pool in the summer, sporting a more fit body than you have had in months (or years!). That is a choice you make, and don’t let anyone rain on your parade. If you want to build some muscle because you like how it looks like in the mirror, then get those GAINNNNS!! If you would like to cut back on some weight that gradually and in a (seemingly) ninja-like fashion jumped on your body, then it’s all good. Lean it up!!! You get to choose what your motivation is, no one else does.
Now, as in life, things are rarely that simple. Even with such goals, one needs to keep balance in mind. We don’t want to go TOO crazy, or expect results TOO quickly, otherwise we risk non healthy effects on our body. We wouldn’t want to become so obsessed in how our bodies look, that we begin to attach our value as a person to our amount of body fat percentage or amount of muscle we see in the mirror. Learning how certain foods affect our bodies, and learning to plan our eating in a safe way to reach our goals with good food, is awesome. Obsessing over a goal, to the point where we stop taking care of our bodies and start to not feel good, is something we want to be careful with. As with anything in life, balance is key.
Don’t let others’ progress and/or goals allow you to make excuses for your own situation. I don’t pretend to know when it does happen, as only those who this applies to, would know. Therefore, this isn’t me explaining specific situations that I have seen happen. This is a general idea that we may consider in a self reflective manner. I can see how one can feel threatened by others pursing their aesthetic goals. The idea that because someone has goals for what they want their body to look like, somehow supports the idea that only what we look like is what matters, or that our self worth is dictated by our body fat percentage, is unfair. It is manipulative to assume that a specific personal goal, means someone thinks less of others who do not have that same goal. Understandably, it wouldn’t feel good to be made to feel less of a person because of what one may or may not look like. Our culture/society, in many aspects, does seem to be driven by unrealistic aesthetic expectations. I am not arguing that this is not the case. We should fight back to the idea that we all are supposed to look a certain way. However, the goals we choose to have, we make on our own. The reasons why we have these goals, are internal. Just because I have a graduate degree, does not mean I value folks who do not, any less. I pursued my education because of personal goals.
I do not own this image. If you do, and would like it to be removed, please let me know.
When someone posts a fitness “selfie,” does it mean they value people any more or any less if they share their fitness/aesthetic goals? No. It means they are proud of the hard work they have put in, and they are proud of the ground they have covered to reach their goal. This doesn’t mean I think we need to post half naked selfies all day every day. That is a different discussion all together. This isn’t even meant to support or not support the selfie times we seem to be living in. This is simply an example of a situation that may make some folks jump to conclusions about the person in a picture they saw.
If we value watching what kinds of food we eat, and how we choose to prioritize physical activity differently than someone else, that’s okay. If we value how “fit” we look differently than someone else, that’s okay too. Assuming how someone applies worth to another person because they have goals different from us? Slow down, detective.
This is understandably a complicated topic. What it comes down to, is that we make our own goals, and we should try to keep from making assumptions of others’ values, based on goals they chose.
Unless someone says “I’m better than you because I have such and such goal.” In that case, all bets are off.