Fit Image or Fit Health
By: Hope Osborn
Vacation is coming, drifting you more and more to daydreams of foamy, white crests rolling from crystalline, turquoise water onto a soft, sandy beach where you lie, warmly caressed by the sun and self-assured in your form-flattering swimsuit … Oh no! You snap to, remembering the last time you looked in the mirror and your definitely unflattering thoughts. Then you think, I really need to get to the gym …
Men, don’t deny having similar thoughts at times. We all think about our appearance and not just during swimsuit season. A 2014 Today/AOL survey reported that, between the ages of 25 and 50, 53-73% of us regularly worry about our appearance (Ideal to Real).
Most of us should not particularly worry that we sometimes worry about how we look. Most of us, however, should be troubled if, as the same survey showed, we worry more about our appearance, at 60% of the time, than we do about our health, at 50% of the time (Ideal to Real).
Recently while looking to subscribe to some magazines, I looked at what was out there under the category “fitness & health,” and I am not surprised by our priorities. Most magazines on that subject had full cover images of men and women in swimsuits or tight clothing showing what I am evidently led believe is the healthy body. Women were all slender and firm and busty and men were all broad-shouldered and muscled and slim. If media dedicated to being fit, let alone other dedications, is full of images of a particular look, it is perfectly natural that we focus so much on our appearance.
Two problems arise—
Most of us are not cut from the same shape mold.
Consciously or not, we tend to adopt as standard what gets the most attention. Mostly models with specific dimensions get the most attention, but that really isn’t standard or even possible for most people. What is standard are the people we see on a daily basis. People are a variety of heights and weights and shapes and colors and so forth. The standard is that there really isn’t a perfect body. The perfect body for you is not like anybody else’s, and your looking great is going to come from you feeling great.
Most of us are more worried about a fit image than fit heath.
Participants of the Today/AOL survey worry, and, if we are honest, mostly we are too. Why worry at all when we can have both a fit image and fit health? If we eat informatively, exercise appropriately, get check-ups regularly, and consider life serenely, we do more towards looking great than if we went straight to just trying to get a few pounds off to be beach-ready. A fit image is the bonus of fit health. (In other words, you will look great and others will say as much!)
For fit health and a fit image, use the respected and knowledgeable sources right at your fingertips—good websites and even better trainers at your gym. Both your health and image will benefit when your trainer praises you on your visible improvement and when your health club software record proves it.
Today.com, AOL.com. “Today/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey.” Bellomy Research Feb 2014. Web. 16 June 2014.