The Body Beautiful

by Joseph B. St. John

We have discussed body types and diet before at 40 Plus and Fit and this article is a continuation of that concept. But, instead of focusing on the hard science of fitness, I want to focus on the most important topic – the topic of you. It is not selfish to worry about yourself. You cannot take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Period.

The first thing I tell a client when I start working with them is that they must be honest with themselves. There is never a good reason to lie to yourself. You should be your own best friend and because of that you should be honest with yourself. That is the good, the bad and the ugly of the matter. However, being honest is not easy, especially with things we are not happy about.

By the time most people look for a fitness outlet, they are unhappy with their diet, their lack of physicality, and most of all, their body. Their health is becoming problematic, and they feel sluggish, tired, and beat down. What is interesting is often the client is quick to point out their health concerns and that is legitimate. No one wants to be sickly and unhealthy.

However, many times it is a mental fatigue that negatively impacts their lifestyle and they just become depressed and let down by the way they look and feel. There are a million articles written about health, and they are important, but this is not one of them, in the science sense. This is an article that is going to say it is okay to worry about the way you look. There, I said it!  It is okay to worry about the way you look! Why this is a strange concept is beyond me, but there you go.

As many of my readers know, about 15 years ago I weighed almost 300 lbs. It was not pretty. I was worried about my fitness, but anyone who knows me also knows I am a vain person. No apologies.

I am not saying I was heavy, but my hair did not fit. Let’s be honest. Facts are facts.

The first part of any fitness journey is looking in the mirror admitting that you’re not happy with your appearance or fitness. So, how do we start our journey to wellness? You start with a harsh assessment of your life and goals. You start with being honest with yourself.

The first thing you need to do is stand in front of a full-length mirror, preferably alone and preferably nude, and consider the following: what parts of my body do I like and what things would I change? Regardless of what most people start with and critique, it will come down to some type of weight loss. And a diet, depending on which one you choose, can be good or bad.

One of the first things I do with my clients is give them a simple assignment. Write down everything you eat and drink and I mean everything. No cheating and no forgetting. Be real and be honest.

Every client I work with gets a three-day meal sheet from the ISSA. (For more information, contact me on this here.)  I tell every client to fill it out and then we will move on from there. Most people are surprised how much they are eating and how many liquid calories they consume. That is to be expected. I was also shocked when I noted everything I ate and drank. It was a stunner. However, the truth was the truth and I had to deal with it.

Do not, however, get discouraged. You will soon realize that you’re not eating because you’re hungry, but because you are bored, nervous, or worried. Once you start paying attention to what you are doing, you may still be bored, nervous, or worried, but you will not be shoving food into your mouth. You will understand that you were doing things because of bad habits, not hunger. And THAT is the beginning of good health.

I have written before about weight loss and diet and it is important. But the first step is paying attention to your eating and drinking habits. It is a life changer. Losing weight made my life richer and more enjoyable. It gave me a new attitude and it will help you, too. It is never easy to accomplish your goal, but this is a great place to start.

I can give you a million reasons to lose weight, but only you can choose the reason that is best for you. Only you can choose to be the person you want to be. I encourage everyone reading this article to be the best you can be. Push yourself to achieve health and fitness. Look like the person you want to look like.

Do it with no apologies. Wear that dress you want to wear. Buy that suit you always wanted. Wear the bathing suit, swimwear, or bikini you always wanted. Hell, wear even less, if appropriate. (We don’t need our readers in the pokey)

But ALWAYS be the best you can be. You owe it to yourself. You will love yourself for it and that is always a good thing.

Joseph B. St. John