Fitspo – Fitness Inspiration. Typically found in motivational quips, pics, or tips on how to look like a fitness model that are often found on the internet, magazines, books, DVD covers, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Many of us are holding ourselves, and our physiques, to completely unrealistic expectations. The obvious “self-love” response is that we honestly shouldn’t be comparing in the first place, because everyone’s situation is unique to them, and we should be happy with what WE have. However, for reasons beyond simply coveting, we often feel the need to visualize what is actually possible for us before striving for it. It’s only human nature to want to have a vision of the “end product.” While it’s often really hard to even know what our body is capable of (and it’s typically so much more than we could ever imagine), it’s also important to keep ourselves grounded in the search of our “goal body.”
In yesterday’s live broadcast we discussed 6 tips for deciphering fitspo, and finding a physique “goal” that is actually attainable for you. These tips will help you to wade through the various well-meaning motivational quips, and workout plans and actually get REAL results that you can maintain.
Obvious, but let’s keep it real. When looking at an image, or person that you “want to look like” consider their genetics. When looking at your own physique and comparing it, consistently ask yourself: what are your genetics capable (or not) of? What can/can’t be changed about your physique? Although some things can be changed through lifting and proper eating, some things are non negotiable (bone structure, height, torso length, etc). While I don’t subscribe to using genetics as a cop out, I do believe in keeping it real and moving on vs pining for what you can’t have, while disregarding all else.
How many times did they diet before achieving the results that you see? Are they in an over dieted/overtrained state (common in fitness DVDs/photo shoots)? How long did the current results take? How long have they maintained their results? How do they look on NON photoshoot days? Could it possibly be newbie gains? Are you comparing your 12th diet to their first diet (it’s like crack…never as good as the first time)? Have they ever been big?
Understand that the physique that you see before you was not the result of just one 4, 8, or 12 week cycle. How long have they actually been working out? How long have their results been compounding compared to yours? How long should you expect to work before achieving similar results? This is especially crucial to understand when looking at the current workout that a person is doing, and assuming that it gave them the current results. Bodybuilders and other elite athletes tend to move into “maintenance” style workouts after decades of working out a certain way. You may suddenly see this person doing more circuit style workouts, or CrossFit, or bodyweight stuff. If you’ve done your “background” homework on the person, you should be able to easily understand that they did NOT get the body they have from doing the program that they are promoting. If a person looked a certain way before creating the program, do not be disappointed with yourself that you don’t look like them after just 90 days. Keep putting in your time, and allow your own results to compound.
Are they married? Divorced? Did they get the body they have after the divorce? Do they have kids? Are their kids young, older? Have they ever been pregnant? Had a c-section? Do they eat foods that you actually relate to and could see eating for.like.ever? If you’re going to find a “physique mentor” they’d have better have something in common with you, or else you’r setting yourself up for failure by trying to literally be someone that neither you nor your family will recognize. If you have a family, husband, job, etc., don’t get caught up trying to live the life of someone who is single, with no kids…or gets PAID to deprive themselves of life as we know it. #fail
Have they had any lifts/nip/tucks? Liposuction? Implants? Skin removal surgery? When it comes to the fitness industry, and especially the fitness model industry, there’s is a certain level of understanding. Often in order to have the lowered level of body fat that is required, yet still maintain “symmetry” of the physique some type of enhancement is needed. If a person in the spotlight loses a drastic amount of weight, it’s quite possible that they also had to get some skin removal surgery to stay within industry standards/expectations. There is also a whole host of other fixes that obviously go into prepping the model for the shoot, or the star of the DVD, but keep those thoughts at the forefront of your mind when getting “inspired” by them.
This goes without saying that a 55 year old woman who compares her body to that of a 25 year old is bound to feel depressed at the reality of gravity ;). But as we mature, we must also take time to remember that certain styles of eating and workouts are MUCH more forgiving in our youth. We could ignore the basics guidelines of lifting, eating enough protein and fiber, and despite the odds look pretty dang (deceivingly) good. But not so once we creep into our late 20s, 30s and beyond. So getting uber inspired by the 23 year old who eats whatever the heck she wants, doing tons of circuits, and seemingly loving life…is a huge mistake for mature, over-dieted population.
We simply do not know what really went into getting (or at least portraying) the images that you see strewn before you on every magazine, billboard, Pinterest, or Instagram post. One commenter mentioned regarding finding the ideal fitspo, “Sooo don’t compare yourself to others. Too hard to find one.”
Hope you enjoy this replay, fam!
PS. I’d love to chat with you!! Wanna catch me LIVE next time to ask your questions? Make sure you’re following @EM2WL on Periscope and Facebook to get notifications the second I start the next broadcast!