3 Reasons Why Chasing An Admirable Physique Can Damage Your Health
- Something has to give- Lately I have been feeling more run down than ever, why? I am competing in October as a professional level fitness model competitor, this requires me to train hard 6 times per week. I have spent the whole year trying to add more muscle mass to my body in order to give me a better chance of winning come October. As a result of having to eat so many calories, I have been eating less vegetables and more meat, white rice, and fatty foods to get the calories in. I am definitely on track with my physique but I have had to make building my body a priority over everything else, including my health. I am always making my health a priority nowadays, so as a result of pushing myself so hard in the gym, not getting enough sleep, (due to staying up late with admin/online work and training some clients from 5am) and training when I should be resting, my body is now screaming at me because my gut health is bad, I have had coldsores for the first time in ages, my energy levels are not as good, but it is essential for me be consistent with my training and nutrition so I can bring my best physique to the stage. This process is only short term, I could not sustain this long term and neither can you if you are focusing too much on how your body looks instead of focusing on important health markers such as your sleep quality, gut health, performance in the gym, your libido your relationships, etc which will get you in better shape physically as a bi-product of you taking care of yourself. Something has to give, and this will be your health if you keep going against your bodies signals like I have been lately.
- Extrinsic motivation can make you miserable- Being extrinsically motivated ie seeking extrinsic rewards such as money, fame, and six pack abs, will not make you feel fulfilled and content, instead if you keep chasing these things, you will end up miserable. True fulfilment or happiness, (or whatever you want to call it) comes from within, so if you think building an admirable physique is going to make you feel content and happy, you are going to be extremely disappointed when you get there. A lean, admirable physique will be a side effect of you being consistent, disciplined and patient along your fitness journey, so learn to fall in love with the process instead of the progress and I guarantee you, you will be much healthier, and your body will progress much faster. I know this because I have experienced negative body image issues myself, when I am in tune with my health, progress happens much faster.
- Start with why- Right now I am preparing for this competition for a few reasons- I want to learn more about myself as a person and my body, I am using my journey to the stage as a marketing tool to boost my online fitness coaching business, I love the experience, amongst other reasons. Now these reasons are somewhat healthy reasons as why you should compete. I mentioned in the first point that my health has taken a hit, I have already learnt a lot over the last few weeks because if you go against your bodies signals, your progress will slow down which is why now I will be prioritising eating more vegetables and getting more sleep. So my point is, ask yourself why you want to get in better shape, because if is for extrinsic reasons ie I want more likes on my instagram posts, I want to make my ex boyfriend/girlfriend jealous, etc this will not get you anywhere long term and you will end up back to square 1 and possibly worse because your why was not valid, learn to train because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself or certain parts of your body, as cheesy as this sounds, it will pay dividends with both your aesthetics and your health.