6 Reasons Why You Don’t Have the Body You’ve Always Wanted
You’ve tried it all from crash diets to sweating in the gym for hours and nothing seemed to work? Here are a few tips to consider, if you want to have a perfect body.
You Were Not Anatomically Designed to Have the Body You Wanted
You see a photo of a top model in a glossy magazine and start wanting to look like that. Before you knock on the plastic surgeon’s door and/or start any drop-dead fitness program, you need to remember that no one individual is identical with another in the natural world, and human bodies are no exception. The uniqueness of bodies is that they come in different sizes and shapes. However, this also has certain limitations. Anatomical factors, such as limb length and bone density influence the way your muscles will develop. The shape of your midsection is determined by the circumference of your rib cage and pelvis. We all dread subcutaneous fat stores (or cellulite), but did you ever think it may have anatomical implications? Well, it does and the elasticity of your connective tissue is responsible for that to a greater extent than physical exercise (or the lack of). Leaving anatomy aside, age is a determining biological factor that accounts for hormonal levels and collagen production, which impact our metabolism and the body’s ability to repair tissue. We may add to our list multiple physical factors that are likely to limit your goals. You will not believe the amazing changes your own body is capable of, but those changes need to be realistic.
There is no preset formula. The caloric content of your food (input or calories in) can be derived from your own estimate or the label by up to 25 percent, depending on the way in which the food was prepared and the capacity of your body to absorb it. Calculating the output (or calories out) is even more difficult if not impossible. Digestion consumes energy, but the amount varies greatly from individual to individual. This holds true for your body at rest, which expends most of your energy daily (a lot more than your workout). How? Your body torches calories to stay alive, but how many depends on numerous factors you have hardly any control over.
Here’s the takeaway: Instead of counting the calories in every bite you take or weighing yourself, look at the qualitative progress you’ve made. Hat off if: your clothes fit better, you feel healthier and more energized, walk up a flight of stairs with ease. Motivation starts in your head – shift your mindset and you’ll see it works miracles!
Nature is Your Worst Enemy
Long gone are the days when we had to outrun ferocious predators in our hunt for food, but genetically, our bodies have not changed much since. In order to survive, the human species developed to consume the maximum possible amount of calories, while expending the least amount of energy. Although we don’t need to compete with predatory animals for hunting grounds, our bodies worked in the same way. Whenever you feel like giving up or lacking motivation to eat healthier and adopt a healthier lifestyle, it may be all in your mind.
More often than not when our limbic system doesn’t interfere with our plans, our endocrine system takes control and signals the body to release stress hormones (i.e.: cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone or ACTH) . This happens whenever we sense danger. Excessive production of stress hormones leads to fat retention translating into weight gain. Extreme dieting may influence the production of these hormones, because the body feels it is being deprived of food.
Do not be alarmed! There is a way to ‘trick’ your brain. Don’t consider dieting and exercise your punishment, think of them as a reward, especially if you find workout and diet options that you love. This way, you will no longer feel the ‘sacrifices’ you’re making.
To find the right workout, you need to look inside yourself and ask your physician and your trainer what is the best protocol for you. For instance, if you hate running or jogging, stop doing it. Open your mind to and embrace other options to achieve your fitness goals. If you like competition, take up a team sport. If you need social motivation, then group classes are the way to go. If you are not sure what kind of movement you like, try multiple exercise styles until you find one you can’t get enough of.
Being true to yourself is essential! Knowing your goals is not enough, you need to know why you want to achieve those things. You need to establish from the very beginning if: you wish to impress someone, are taking part in a competition, want to look as you used to 15-20 years ago, feel guilty about what you eat, people tell you that you are or look in a certain way, are afraid of aging or you think that a better-shaped body will help you find a partner.
If fear or guilt is what drives you into this, your efforts are in vain. This is the most difficult step towards a better-looking and healthier you. Working with ourselves is never easy, which is why we often tend to avoid it because it is not immediately gratifying. Exploring why you feel guilt, fear or envy about your body is crucial. It is normal to feel happy and proud of yourself and your achievements. These psychological tricks will boost your efforts more than green smoothies and jumping jacks.
You Aren’t Happy With Your Body Because You Are Unhappy With Yourself
It is generally believed that once you achieve your beauty goals, you will feel confident, happier and will increase your chances of finding your perfect partner. This is unfortunately nothing more than a myth. Take a close look at yourself in the mirror and ask the inner you the following question: “How many times did you achieve this ‘perfect body’ goal and failed because you found it too hard to maintain it?” Way too many times probably… Now let’s jump up a notch and answer the question “Why did I fail?” The answer comes easy: You failed because you refused to accept who you are. The trick behind the big balloon called happiness is accepting yourself and feeling comfortable with the real you. If you achieve this, you will be more likely to celebrate every positive change and find foods and movement combinations that you love more easily, not to mention that it will be a lot easier if not effortless for you to stick to your goals and keep in good shape in the long term.
Knowing now that the name of the game is positivity and acceptance, it is up to you to find the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change those you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It all starts from within. Tune in for more positive and healthy lifestyle tips!