I was flicking through a magazine and I saw a picture of a woman who looked absolutely stunning. She had the perfect lips, perfect waist, flawless skin, thick luscious, wavy hair and just the right amount of tone…
Guess what? The image I saw was just that… an image. It was not a relevant picture of the actual model, but the image that the advertisers wanted to portray.
The model had been photoshopped and airbrush to appear ‘desirable’.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with images of ‘flawless’ beauty. Models work hard to show their best on shoot day. But one must be aware of the image that women/men now think they are striving for, social idealism’s that define beauty.
Perfection is a funny word as many artists argue if it really exists. So here in lies the health and vanity dichotomy, do we search for the “look of perfection” or do we search for “health”. One should note, looking ‘flawless’ isn’t synonymous with health, but health just might be synonymous with looking beautiful. Notice I used the word beautiful and not flawless?
‘Flawless’ beauty is a myth. No body has ‘flawless beauty’ as beauty is subjective; what one finds beautiful others can find ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Simple experiment; count the women on your hand who consider themselves to have ‘flawless beauty’. Nope didn’t think so, women have the natural inclination to highlight what they perceive as their flaws. It’s completely normal. It the thermostat of the ego. Imagine if people didn’t have this function inside their psyche?
They would become narcissistic fools. The human psyche is not one-sided.
When people believe they have ‘absolute flawlessly perfect beauty’, that can’t help but to attract negativity to bring them back down to earth.
So herein lies the problem. If we aim and obsess about physical perfection, we alienate ourselves and attract negativity towards our vanity. In our blind search for the perfect body, we can become unhealthy obsessed with things like bodyfat, weight on the scales and our mental, emotional is disregarded. Health is in every area of life not just physical.
If we focus our attention on health a number of nice side effects happen…
1. You become healthy
Let’s not bother with “did the weight on the scales go down” but rather; is my fasted blood sugar and insulin within normal ranges?
- Is my vitamin D level optimal?
- Am I deficient in any vitamins and minerals?
From this place we now have something of value to work on and maintain.
To go one step further from health, I encourage my clients to become ‘super able’. What does that mean? It could mean a number of things, 1.5 times bodyweight deadlift for females, 2.5-3 times for males, perfect weighted chin ups and dips with ease. Its the girl or guy everyone looks at in the weight room because there’s more to their physique than just vanity.
2. Healthy people look good
You can quote me for saying this;
Looking good is a side affect of health, but health is not a side effect of looking good.
3. You influence your friends to be healthy
Instead of your friends saying to you “why aren’t you eating deep fried donuts with us, is it because you don’t want to get fat?”
You can say to them, “actually, I did my fasted glucose and insulin blood test along with my HB1AC and it indicated that I eat too much refined foods. I scored a 6 on the HB1AC. I am looking to get that down to an optimal range with six months so no donuts for me…. Have you had your HB1AC tested recently?”
Now it stops becoming about vanity and about health. Socially, it’s correct to accept health limitation. Imagine if your out to dinner and someone makes fun of your sister’s diabetes. Awkward…
4. You don’t obsess about food
I have shared this affirmation with thousands of people across the world;
I am a healthy person, who eats healthy foods that build and nourish my body.
What this is really about is a placing of ‘being’, not ‘doing’. When you step into the shoes of a healthy person, is it what they do that makes them different? No, its how they think and communicate with food and themselves that makes what they put into their bodies different.
Next time you find yourself going for thirds at the dessert table ask, “would the healthiest version of me eat this today?”
The answer might be, ‘well I did have some cheese-cake yesterday, so no, I should give the donuts a miss today’.
OR it could be;
“Yes, I am with my friends who I haven’t seen in five years, we are all having a good time, I haven’t had any sweets in five weeks, I can absolute eat this and enjoy it without it hurting my health or any guilt’.
5. You MAINTAIN the body you have always wanted
As you come from a place of “being” not “doing” you mentality and attitude towards your body has changed. You don’t consider things like “dieting” or “new fads”. You have no need for them, you are a healthy person, who eats healthy foods that builds and nourishes your body.
Owner and Director of Enterprise Fitness
Mark Ottobre is more than a just a fitness professional. Taking a results-focused approach to fitness and nutrition, his clients achieve optimal health, naturally. Mark is a coach, mentor and inspiration to those seeking excellence in every facet of life. Want 3 days of intense learning with Mark? Click here