I wake up, all veggies no eggs,
I hit the gym all chest, no legs…
If you wish, you can grab the N.W.A. Newsletter Playlist on Spotify here, all of the songs that have been featured in the newsletter are on the playlist.
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Today, instead of the normal Nutrition, Weightlifting, and Attitude advice, I’d like to discuss something different.
I’d like to discuss how to handle body image issues when it comes to your fitness.
Looking at yourself naked in the mirror and liking what you see is a basic desire all humans share.
Some of us might not admit it, but we all want to look healthy and attractive to others.
Perhaps your fitness goals include a flat stomach, thick pecs, and broad shoulders.
Or a slim waist, thin thighs, and shapely glutes.
No matter what your specific goals are, it’s okay to admit we sometimes look in the mirror and want to change what we see.
While there are some things about our bodies we can’t change, it’s important to know it’s possible for you to improve yourself physically.
We can’t change our heights, our bone structure, or our eye colors.
But we can change our physical proportions with the right approach.
If your goal is to have broader shoulders, you can accomplish that goal.
If your goal is to have a shapely backside, again, you can accomplish that goal.
Some may scream “vanity” if someone admits to wanting to improve their physical bodies.
But that doesn’t change the fact that most of us would like to see some improvements in that area.
But what do you do if you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see?
How should you mentally approach this?
Last week, a 1:1 client of mine confessed to being in a gym while traveling in California, and having a moment of insecurity.
*Brad (name changed) is a 44 year old male, who’s been working with us for a month or so.
Brad is doing his best to shred some weight and look great this summer.
He’s a dedicated and hard working dude, and when he was on a vacation, he hit up a local gym to get in his workout.
In Brad’s words, this is what happened that day at the gym:
So, I’m at the hotel gym at 6 am, feeling pretty good about myself, and sure enough, this morning, one by one these 4 late 20s, early 30s lean, shredded dudes start rolling in.
I’m just under 6’2” …their smallest guy was my height, other three were between me and you.They also had some kind of a coach with them as well.Based on their conversation they’re either some type of athletes, navy seals (both?) or actors playing athletes or navy seals.I heard one of them ask the others if they were mic’ed — and then another dude came in and had an ear piece.Talking about the schedule for the day and how they all had to get poked/tested.
Anyhow, long story short, these four guys proceed to destroy everything in that hotel gym.No joke, two of them whip their shirts off, and they just …crush everything.They all look like you in your most shredded fitness photos, LOL.And I’m looking at my pudgy f*ckin’ dad bod situation just pissed off as all hell — at myself.I don’t need to be 5% body fat athlete.But I sure as f*ck am tired of average.I stayed in that gym for another 45 minutes and took my punishment their alongside them.I’m so sick of feeling like a fat f*ck in my clothes.Apparently I’m vain enough to care what I look like in a t-shirt, but not vain enough to put the work in to look good in clothes.
After that brutally honest and transparent confession, I let Brad’s words sink in for a few minutes before responding.
I understood exactly what was going through Brad’s mind.
Maybe even some self-loathing.
But this isn’t far from the norm for a lot of us.
We all have those moments where we’re filled with those feelings of envy and disgust.
The real question is, what do we do with them?
How do we channel feelings like this into something positive?
And most importantly, how do we get to the point where we’re proud of our bodies, instead of being ashamed by them?
First, I thanked Brad for his transparency.
Being this honest is exactly what I want from a client.
If we can’t get real, and drop the fake bullshit and facades, then what are we really doing, you know?
And I could relate to what he was thinking, and how he was feeling.
I remember back when I first started hitting the gym in 2005 – I weighed nearly 300 pounds at the age of 24.
I distinctly remember doing a set of incline dumbbell bench presses and feeling my enormous gut spilling out from under my t-shirt, visible for all to see.
I remember being upset by that, hoping nobody saw my huge gut.
It made me want to keep my head down, and stare at the floor from embarrassment.
I kind of “waffled” with my fitness from 2005 – 2011. I call those years “The Lost Years” when it comes to my fitness.
I was “better” than I was back in 2004-5, but I wasn’t exactly “fit”.
I was the guy who went to the gym 2-3 times per week or so, did some arms, and then ran on the treadmill.
And then I went home, ate a bunch of garbage (and not nearly enough protein), and basically made zero progress.
During that entire time, from 2005-2011, I wished my body looked differently.
It wasn’t until I went “all in” on fitness in 2011, that everything started to change.
By 2013, I was proud of my body for the first time in my life.
But here’s the thing… it had nothing to do with how it looked.
It had everything to do with how I mentally approached things.
Here’s what I told Brad…
“First off, thanks so much for your transparency – it’s much appreciated.
We all have those moments where we aren’t happy with what we see in the mirror.
I’ve had them as well…
I can remember for years being upset with my physical body.
But here’s the thing… it was never because of how I looked in the mirror.
Sure, that’s what I told myself, but that wasn’t the truth, if I dug just a little bit deeper, beyond the surface…
The real underlying issue I had was with myself, and how seriously I was taking things.
Deep down inside of me, I wasn’t mad a my body… I was mad at myself…
I was mad I was wasting time, and I wasn’t working as hard as I could at the gym.
I was mad I wasn’t eating properly, or getting enough sleep.
I was mad because I was drinking too much alcohol, but I wouldn’t get disciplined enough to knock it off.
I was mad because I was “skipping leg day” because it was hard work.
But that first one in the last paragraph, that was the real issue.
I was wasting time, and I knew it.
I was wasting gym sessions by skipping the “hard lifts” and only doing the stuff I thought was “fun”.
I was wasting effort, because while I was “there” at the gym, I wasn’t putting in the intensity that I knew I should be putting it in.
And it took me awhile to realize you’re never going to be proud of your body if you’re not doing everything you can to improve it.
Once I finally got onto a REAL, full body strength training program…
And I stopped skipping training sessions…
And I started hitting my protein number every day without fail…
And I started zoning in on my diet, and the fat started melting off of me…
And I stopped making bullshit excuses, and cut back on the booze…
And I really started taking things seriously… I started to feel much better about myself.
Because I realized I couldn’t do any better than what I was currently doing.
After about 2 years of going “all in”, I looked much better.
I lost 85 pounds of fat and was in great shape.
But I still wanted to change things… my arms were too skinny… my chest wasn’t big enough… my shoulders were too small…
I soon realized there will always be things you want to improve physically, and that’s okay.
That’s a big part of self improvement, and we want to embrace this fact.
But you can simultaneously want to improve things, and yet still be proud of what you’ve done.
Those 2 things are not mutually exclusive.
But in order to be proud of what you’ve done, you need to stop wasting time, and do the best you can.
Once you realize that you ARE doing the best you can, you’re going to feel much better about yourself mentally.
Because you can’t do any better than your “best”.
But when you’re shoddy with your consistency, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough in the gym, you’re not really sticking to your diet… THAT’S when you feel like crap about yourself physically.
So let’s zone it in, and get to work.
And don’t worry about those shredded dudes, they probably have body issues just like the rest of us – after all, they’re from California, where everyone looks like that! :)”
If you’ve ever felt like Brad was feeling, unhappy with your body, and wishing it to look like something else, trust me, you’re not alone.
We all have those thoughts from time to time.
But it’s hard to “think” your way into loving your body.
That’s an “action based” wish, and it requires hard work to get rid of those thoughts.
You need to go “all in”.
You need to get your training sessions in each week.
You need to clean up your diet and do better on that side of things.
You (might) need to reduce your alcohol consumption, and prioritize staying hydrated and getting enough sleep.
Because once you start doing everything you can do to improve yourself physically, you’ll start to look at your body as something you’re proud of, instead of something you’re embarrassed by.
If you’re ready to go “all in” and start working on a body you can be proud of, consider joining our coaching program.
You can check out our testimonials page here to see what kind of results you can expect from our program.
And you can get your 1st month of Full Access: Anyman Fitness for just 20 bucks at this link.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
I’m 42 years old.
I have friends who take fitness seriously, and friends who don’t.
The friends who don’t are going downhill rapidly, and it’s f*cking sad.
The divide gets wider and wider every year.
Take fitness seriously now before it’s too late.
(This week’s Favorite Social Media post comes from Coach Patrick O’Connor, one of Anyman Fitness’s assistant coaches – great post, Patrick!
Please check out his Tweet at the link below – and toss him a follow while you’re at it!)
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Wake up, all veggies no eggs, I hit the gym all chest no legs… man, I love this track… (NSFW – language)