Accept your Body and learn to have a positive self
Because thin females and muscular males are seen as the
ideal in our society and because we have come to believe that
body size and shape are totally under a person's control, most
people enter diet and exercise programs with unrealistic goals
If you continually strive to achieve a socially imposed
ideal, you will never be free of your insecurities or your
You must truly realize and then learn to accept that we are
not all meant to be fashion-model size.
Our body size and structure reflects not only our eating and
exercise habits but also our genetics.
The role this latter factor plays in determining weight
seems to vary greatly between individuals. We are all born with
a certain body type inherited from our parents.
Although hardly anyone is a pure body type, there are three
different applicable categories: ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and
Characteristically, ectomorphs have a light build with slight
muscular development. They are usually tall and thin with small
frames and narrow hips and shoulders.
Mesomorphs have a husky, muscular build. They often have
broad shoulders, and their weight is concentrated in the upper
body, making them look compact or stocky.
Endomorphs are characterized by a heavy, rounded build with
shoulders usually narrower than their hips. They have a round,
soft appearance and are more often overweight or obese.
When we understand and appreciate our bodies, we are able to
work with them, not against them. Although many of us are a
combination of two body types, we cannot become what we are
However, everyone can improve their appearance and their
health and performance levels by implementing the principles of
a safe and effective eating and exercise program.
Even if you have a genetic predisposition to being
overweight, the way you live is what ultimately determines
whether you become fat. Genes clearly play a role, but they
certainly don't determine what you're going to have for dinner
or how often you exercise. Chances are if you're living an
unhealthy lifestyle, you'll become fat and unhealthy.
All of us can't be thin. But every single one of us can be
healthy. By focusing on what you're eating and how much you're
exercising, you'll be able to achieve optimum health and
fitness, even though you may not achieve society's ideal of
Accepting yourself does not mean that you're hopeless and
that it's okay to do nothing. It means that you feel good and
care about yourself, and that you want to be the very best you
can be, regardless of your genetics, regardless of society's
To achieve this level of optimum wellness, you must have a
positive self image. This means that your feelings about your
body are not influenced by events in your daily life. For many
people, life's problems are projected onto their body. "If only
I were thinner--or more muscular, I would have made the team,
gotten the job, been chosen. . . . If only I were thinner--or
more muscular, I could meet more people, find the right
guy/girl, be happy." This self-defeating habit is reinforced by
the images we see in advertising; your body becomes an easy
target for everything wrong in your life.
When you have a positive self-image, you value and respect
your body; you are also more likely to feel good about living a
No matter how much genetics predetermines how you store and
lose fat, the body you've been given will still respond
positively to being appreciated and treated well. Focusing on
fun physical activity and eating healthy foods will help you
feel good whatever your size.
Developing a healthy, positive image of yourself is the
first critical factor in your fitness success. Having a strong
sense of self-worth provides the basis for making rational and
affirming decisions about your health.
Good luck, stay positive, and enjoy all the wonderful
benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle!
Chad Tackett is President of Global Health & Fitness. Learn how you
can have your own personal online trainer, dietician and
motivator at global-fitness