Making the most of what you've got (and want)
Some are born into this world with a silver spoon in their mouth, others arrive into abject poverty. Opportunity is an unequal thing from day one. Just the facts of life, folks. Even the most basic human condition of bodily health is not a given and I never fail to be amazed by the willpower of people that treat disability merely as a challenge to personal physical achievement. They are all heroes.
They put the rest of us to shame as we fret and fuss about the shapes of our perfectly able bodies. It's not often you hear anyone claim to be genuinely happy with their body. Today's social media-led society gives us constant and instant access to images of poster boys and girls that set an impossible (and probably enhanced) standard of beauty and tone. Driven by comparison and fuelled by jealousy, the sad truth is that most are worryingly dissatisfied with the way they look.
So what do we do about it? Drown our sorrows with a beer or eat away the frustration with an éclair? Sound familiar? We've got to wise up and take responsibility, right? A lack of motivation or drive to do anything about the bits of us we get hung up about is not an engaging trait, is it? We complain until we are blue in the face about the 'media' setting the bar dangerously high with images of people to aspire to be and yet tomorrow comes and we have made no effort whatsoever to change course and make a start of giving ourselves a health makeover. It can't be all the models' fault.
Our bodies are truly incredible mechanisms with the ability to achieve almost anything if given the correct care, fuel and training. I'm not preaching to anybody that each and every individual should strive for '6 pack' abs and bulging biceps but if there is something about your body that is making you unhappy, talk to it. Then look in the mirror, talk to yourself, find your challenge and begin the journey. In my humble opinion, health is happiness and those of us with the gift of being able to control our health should not disregard our good fortune and waste our luck through sheer laziness. There, you've been told!
As I've mentioned in previous posts I was pretty happy with the way I looked before beginning the challenge. I would not have said 'no' to a bit of tightening up, but I liked my lifestyle too much to go the extra yard. I don't pretend to be 'yer typical gal when it comes to body awareness. Health and fitness is my passion so it's to be hoped I have more drive than most to achieve a certain physique. I know that not everyone sees their body as a hobby and if you are truly content with the way you are, then I'll back off. If you've found your happy shape then I'm not about to lecture. I fully support each individual's choice. This is my personal journey and my chosen transformation and my gripe is only with those that want to follow suit without doing a damned thing about it.
The prospect of change genuinely excited me...at first! The initial weeks saw me shed a few pounds and the steady decrease in my scales weight has continued throughout. My mini muscles began to become more apparent and my round face turned oval. I even uncovered a previously undiscovered ab or two along the way! Bonus prizes, right? Well, sort of!
Naturally, I was happy with the results I was achieving but come Week 9 I was ready to bank my gains and retire happy! I'd tightened and toned up and I had reached a point where losing any more weight was not quite so appealing. Of course, I understood that the challenge required me to push on and achieve my goals but part of my head was shouting 'enough!' The driving motivation and starting mind set were slowly sinking under the contentment with the shape I had already achieved. I had found 'my' health.
But the challenge I had taken on was not complete and so I dutifully continued with the regime I had signed up to. Tasting from Tupperware and weighing it all up in the weights section was all I knew by now. I continued to enjoy most of the challenges I was presented with but I'd lost a bit of the will to drive and push my body any further. I was happy. I'm not one to make excuses for my sinning but this lull in determination led to the consumption of a treat (or 3) and the luxury of a lie-in (or 5). I still exercised each and every day but the added cardio didn't get done some days and the cut in carbs got compromised in the form of a flex bowl. I don't like cheats but I'd started cheating!
Now, I'm writing this blog to help fellow 'challenges' if I can, understood? So despite straying slightly off my 'Train Fitness Challenge' track, I refer you to an earlier sentence...
'It's not often you hear anyone claim to be genuinely happy with their body.'
Well, meet her!! Somehow, among making these changes under a little bit of sufferance, I have found a genuine happiness with the 'new' skin I am in. The challenge has stretched me to a new definition of 'body happiness'. If an element of success is to be found in these 12 weeks of self-denial and bloody hard graft, I'd say this is it.
I'm not promising to hold onto my current shape forever. I'm absolutely certain that the first weeks of freedom following the challenge will see me indulge in foods I've missed madly. I'll be making up for lost peanut butter for starters, and Christmas isn't too far away. But I have achieved a physique I am not only proud of but one that I like and feel happy with. It is one I know that, with a little extra push, I can and will achieve again. We owe it to our bodies to place a happy and healthy soul inside them if we have been given the opportunity to. My soul is smiling, and not just because it's nearly over!