Comment & Analysis
Jan 17, 2017

You Can be Body Confident Without Being Fitness Obsessed

With many people embarking on new fitness regimes this month, Louise Lawless warns of some of the potential negative effects of being a fitness fanatic.

Louise LawlessContributing Writer

A cognitive dissonance is where you hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time, causing you unconscious psychological distress. January, the month of remorse, regret and resolutions, seems to emphasise two particular conflicting beliefs: that body confidence is for everyone and, on the flip side, that only a specific body image warrants body confidence. With the ascension of #Fitspo and #IrishFitFam into many Instagram feeds, this distress has increasingly become more clear, conscious and alive. Sometimes it feels like a constant struggle between trying to achieve the perfect body image and being body confident despite or because of the body you have. So many find themselves searching ‘plastic surgeons austin tx‘ in the hope of getting a quick fix to end the internal dilemma, but even then they’re faced with the opposing opinion that they should lose weight naturally. It is widely believed that you should build and be proud of the body you have sculpted in the gym out of a desire to get fitter and stronger. If you are struggling to see the results you desire then it might be wise to use a supplement like Trentostan-m. However, please don’t focus on your flaws. Instead, big up the improvements you have strived for. There are a variety of ways to have the body you want, from small amounts of exercise to a heavyweight regime. If you are interested in bodybuilding, you may be interested in finding out about how to build up to that fantastic body – learn more about SARMs stacks and gain body confidence.

Body image is the perception a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings that result from that perception. Body confidence is seeing yourself accurately, feeling comfortable and feeling good in the way you look, no matter how you look. This is the hymn sheet prevalent Instagrammers, vloggers and bloggers are singing from. Even bodybuilders have a great deal of body confidence, shaping themselves in a way that proudly shows how they look and how they feel, you can click here to learn more about what does into bodybuilding. However, body confidence seems to be something that can be bought, not learned, and can fit into a certain sized pair of jeans.

Sometimes it feels like a constant struggle between trying to achieve the perfect body image and being body confident despite or because of the body you have


Transformation Tuesdays and flashback Fridays often show a “then” and “now” comparison. Pictures of a smiling overweight person, transformed to a smiling, toned person accompanied with an inspirational quote about how the person on the left ate and drank too much, went out too often and had shatteringly low self-esteem, while the person on the right is apparently entirely different, having shed the persona of their fat self and having gained confidence, passion, and a newfound motivation to live life to the fullest.

The picture that draws you in, the one that garners the most likes on social media, the attention-grabbing ones are the transformations. Pontificating about the positive impact that a healthy diet and workout has had on their life, as if they alone have discovered that eating well and moving more leads to mental and physical health.

Apprehensively stepping onto the treadmill is the final step of the implicit contract, accepting the steep gradient of an uphill battle. Currently at a low speed, you’re not moving anywhere, but your eyes fixed on the slowly rising number of calories burnt. With that, a new phase of your life begins, your social media is inundated with more fitness accounts, you know what #iifym (If It Fits Your Macros) stands for, and how to do it. MyFitnessPal is an essential app on your phone and your runners have been taken out of the depths of your wardrobe, ready and willing to be used.

Initially, it’s great. A bit of conscious control makes it easy to adapt to a healthy way of life. Sure, as they all preach, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet. Rice cakes instead of chocolate bars, more natural, less of the artificial. You find out your optimum caloric intake for the day, weigh yourself – muscle is heavier than fat you know! – take the stairs rather than the lift, work your schedule around it, coordinate your weekly grocery shop, control, control, control. There is little to no interest for an occasional glass of wine or slice of birthday cake. Life’s little pleasures have become only to be seen as excess calories.

Members of the #IrishFitFam tell their audience that they were lucky enough to discover their “passion” in healthy eating and exercise as they hit their teens or early 20s, after seeing a photo of themselves that shocked and upset them. Revealing that they have no interest in sports, or competing in bodybuilding events, hardly ever exercised growing up, struggle to climb stairs without feeling breathless, but that they are living their best lives now that health and fitness is at the forefront. Turning the search for the ideal body image and body confidence into a full-time job.

The tacit hint of insecurity lingers in the cold winter months: “bulking season”, eating more so they can lift heavier to build more muscle, to grow, letting their body image transmute into someone physically bigger. Some confess their doubts about it, having an issue with the months-long bulking process because it means that they’ll be putting on weight, which will invariably change their body image and with that their confidence. The realisation that the changing of their body image is directly linked to body confidence seems to go against the hymn sheet about confidence they’d been singing from.

Body confidence is at the root of how we feel about ourselves, and this shouldn’t be intrinsically linked to meals or workouts

Somewhere along the never-ending treadmill track, without you even noticing, the speed and gradient have been increased to a virtually impossible height. Now having to work harder to keep up. The fastidious transformers who have been pontificating about body confidence are now obsessing unhealthily over body confidence. Evidently being toned, fit and healthy isn’t enough. Confidence doesn’t come hand in hand with improved health. You should be constantly (fake) tanned, sporting (fake) nails, with (fake) teeth, thanks to clear braces or veneers and of course, (fake)boobs.

Eating yourself fit and beautiful, courtesy of Ireland’s only Miss World winner, is all well and good but not when eating that way is the bedrock of your confidence. When all of a sudden body confidence looks more like a smug pride at fitting into a very specific image, promoted by society, then it’s time to re-evaluate. Body confidence is at the root of how we feel about ourselves, and this shouldn’t be intrinsically linked to meals or workouts (or lack thereof). Is a few kilograms really enough to warrant you feeling hatred or disgust about your body? Ashley Graham’s confidence wouldn’t falter if she either lost or gained a few pounds, could the Victoria’s Secret angels say the same?

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