I was flicking through one of my wife’s old Women’s Health magazines the other day and came across a hugely inspiring article. The issue in question was the Caroline Flack edition from June 2016 and article was Katie Mulloy’s Editors letter. The letter explained the idea behind the Women’s Health #inshapemyshape campaign and how it was all about celebrating the fact that health comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Now as a man in his thirties I am not the target demographic for the magazine (I will admit to reading the odd issue to check out the recipe ideas and celebrity interviews) however the #inshapemyshape campaign really struck a chord with me. For years I have compared myself to any number of movie and sport stars and felt despondent when I looked in the mirror and didn’t see the chiselled abs of Ryan Reynolds or the superhero arms of Chris Evans (Captain America not the ginger one).
Reading the letter I thought about the need to be positive in how you look at your body and what it is capable of. I constantly undermine myself by looking at my body and being overly critical. I think I could be leaner or have bigger arms. It is the same when I go to the gym, I always walkaway saying ‘I’m capable of more’ rather than ‘Wow I smashed that!’. I am constantly competing against myself and never let myself have a fair chance of winning! I do almost daily and it is counter productive.
So what am I going to do about it? Well firstly I’m not going to kid myself and say that aesthetics aren’t important to me. Of course they are but they will take care of themselves if I concentrate on building a body that is ‘golf ready’. I want to play golf well into my sixties so building a body that is flexible as well as strong is key. After all if I want to play golf for the next 30 years of my life being ‘golf fit’ is far more important than looking like Captain America.
Secondly I am going to stop being so hard on myself. I set myself such impossibly high standards that I am always going to fall short. Don’t get me wrong I am not going to take the easy route from now on but I am going to be a little more realistic. That way I can celebrate the small wins I achieve with my body, like when I set a deadlift personal best or shooting a good round of golf.
As always thanks for reading
P.S. I am not going to lie I still want the chiselled abs of Ryan Reynolds!