I stumbled upon this post by Mike Israetel, a head consultant at one of the top diet and training companies, RP Strength. It sparked something within me and I was forced question my own motivation behind what I dedicate myself to day in and day out. Am I doing all of this for the wrong reasons? Am I hoping that the results of dieting or lifting will make me happier?
His words bring up a very common occurrence in fitness. Many think that by putting in the work, eating well and exercising, they will ultimately look better and thus feel better about everything. I mean that’s what gets most people into the gym to begin with, right? People want to lose their love handles or put on pounds of muscle. They tie their confidence and happiness to the possibility that their appearance may improve.
The way you look is not the problem. The way you THINK about how you look is. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, be it newcomer or veteran, you must be willing to ask yourself:
Could I be happy if you never looked any better than I look now?
There is a difference between seeking growth and believing that fixing your appearance is the solution. The difference is whether you are improving your health to increase the joy and confidence you already have or do not have. No diet or exercise regimen can magically fix everything.
Be eager to improve but continuously re-evaluate what is fueling you. If you will never be satisfied with yourself until you have a six-pack or muscles pretty enough to wear a bro tank with, then your foundation will most likely fail you. Be open to fostering a relationship with your happiness independent from the way your body looks. Only then will you be able to more fully reap the benefits of eating well and training hard.