“I am fat”. “I am unfit”. “I am unhealthy”….. or am I?
The age old question of “to be or not to be…”
Working through my self image issues as I progressed with my fitness and health quest, has been no simple task. No matter how successful you end up being, since self image driven results are so subjective, there will always be that niggling disbelief in the result.
Even when you reach your weight loss goals, it is easy to still look in the mirror and be unsatisfied with your appearance. You still have that skin or this shadow in the wrong place.
This inevitably becomes a significant source of stress and agitation leading to other issues, including eating disorders and psychological conditions including depression and anxiety or just a simple lack of self confidence.
Despite the fact that I have successfully lost 80 pounds, and by any definition would be considered a very fit individual, I still look in the mirror and remain unsatisfied. I am still uncomfortable to take my shirt off in public. My focus tend to significantly be on my areas of failure, rather than my extraordinary success.
For me the solution to dealing with this insanity at least somewhat, proved to be clearly defined and measurable goals. Weight loss is simple to measure. Just get on a scale. Once the goal was reached I also had a marker of weight that I could hold to.
A generally accepted measure for fitness is heart rate. Beats per minute. I am currently at a waking pulse below 50 beats per minute. I am fit and I can measure that.
Health. Probably a little more difficult, but a regular checkup with your doctor should do the trick. Take advantage of regular blood tests to help you figure out your best life strategy for change or maintenance.
What’s left. Waistline skin and muffin tops. I found this a particularly tough one, because it is so hard to measure. The best you can hope for is to measure progress. Let that be your goal. A photo works well for comparison every month or two.
The point is this.
Whatever goal you seek to achieve, make sure that it is clear, and definitively measurable. Do not get caught in the subjectivity trap that is self image. Sure, you may find that you are still not satisfied when you have reached your goal. It is fine to reassess and set a new goal, but make sure that it is measurable and safe. That’s it…