The most common worry I hear from women, when starting a new regimen of physical fitness, goes something like:
“I have gained weight over the last couple years. I am afraid that building muscle under my fat will look bulky.”
As a woman, the statement resonates. What she means is that she doesn’t see her own beauty, and lacks confidence. Her thoughts follow these lines:
Body image is everything. Mine already affects me in my interactions with others, and I am afraid of what more change will look like. I just want to look slimmer so that I will be accepted and feel better about myself. If I lose weight I will have more friends; people will pay attention to me; my life will be easier; I will be happier.
Her focus is on looks and social value. Strength, endurance, and health are missing from her thinking, as she perceives the workout payoff to be two numbers: her pounds on the scale and a clothing size. The numbers translate into her total worth as a person. The lower the numbers, the higher the worth. That’s the prize.
What a misconception! Her toxic train of thought is that of a person with a fundamental body image problem, which manifests in general disfunction. Whether it be poor eating habits, social anxiety, low motivation in our careers or relationships, or direct self-destruction, low self-worth finds a way of coming out. What is inward becomes external.
The problem begins with our value system, when looks are placed above everything else.
Consider a young model:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.