Body Image: The Psychological Impact of the Body Image Issue

Overcoming the Body Image Insecurities and Potential Anxieties

These days we seem to hear a lot about body image. Everybody from former UFC champion Rhonda Rousey, to models, to doctors, NFL players, and on down the line have been outspoken on the subject. As an Austin personal trainer for over 20 years, I can assure you that nobody is immune to the insecurities and potential anxieties that coincide with the feeling that you just plain don’t look good enough. It could be that you feel fat, too thin, weak looking, etc. No matter the reality, or the amount of progress you have made individually with your physique, these insecurities, be they ever so slight, or crippling, will follow you.

Though I’ve never belonged to any of the aforementioned groups of athletes, or models, and I’m sitting squarely in the dis/comforts of middle age, at 47, I can remember all too well the psychological impact of the body image issue. The plight of trying to fit in with the folks we deem superior, to simply wondering just what we had to do to be even close to on par with these seemingly higher beings that seem to be Greek statues.

The funny thing I’ve found within the realm of the fitness world, as it pertains to the body image, is that very often times, those who possess what most others see, or have been lead to believe is the ideal, see an enormous deficiency in the mirror themselves, and no matter how many times the mortals heap praise upon them, it doesn’t soften the blow. Sadly, the gods are mortal too.

Unfortunately, for all of humanity, the mirror is fickle and often times moody, as is the scale. Our clothes, in turn, can be very uncooperative as well. We may catch a glimpse of ourselves in the right lighting, with the right shirt on, for example, and find a fleeting moment of satisfaction. It never lasts long, however, as the moment you turn to the side, or open your other eye, the monumental gains you strove for, worked so hard for, and sweated for days, weeks, and months to achieve, have all been lost. Seemingly, anyway.

Was it the wrong colored, ill fitting shirt that betrayed us, making us look and feel insufficient? Was it the abundance of light in the room the shone “the truth”? Perhaps it was that not enough people complimented us that week, orally or perceptively, and thus we feel inadequate?

The answer, lies within each and every one of us and the truth of the matter is that once you start a fitness regimen, you’re looking to make changes in your appearance. Once changes start happening, they are seemingly never enough. If you cast a glance at the mirror and happen to like what you see, and feel good about the work you’ve done, enjoy it, because it’s likely to be fleeting. The next time you catch a glimpse of yourself from that angle, you may find yourself less than impressed because the ideal that you have set forth in your mind, is seemingly a long ways away. All it takes is one bad meal or a missed workout or 2, and it can easily feel as though your struggle is for naught. In reality, that’s far from being true, but psychology, it certainly can seem that way.

No matter if we’re talking about pursuing an education, mastering a craft or an instrument, or making changes to our bodies through diet and exercise, consistency is the key to success in virtually any endeavor we undertake. The more work you put in, generally speaking, the more results will materialize, and of course, the opposite holds true, as well. If you don’t make a sincere, wholehearted effort at something, it’s not likely you will find great success with it.

The trick to overcoming the body image issue, is to remind yourself of a couple of things. Firstly, we truly don’t have the slightest idea of how other people perceive us, no matter how hard we try to influence their opinions. Secondly, the opinions of others as to how we look, especially, is of little to no consequence anyway. The sooner you can realize and truly accept that, the sooner your body image problem will disappear. Thirdly, is that just because you think someone looks better than you, or has your ideal physique, doesn’t mean that person sees that Adonis like creature staring back at them in the mirror.The last thing to remember, is that you don’t owe anyone an apology nor an explanation for your appearance.

Everybody, no matter how well built, how lean, how powerful, how graceful, beautiful, they are, will still find flaws when they look at themselves. If they don’t, they’re not being realistic. Nobody and no body is perfect. That’s why fitness, for everybody, is always a work in progress. If you keep the focus on bettering yourself and having fun with it as opposed to redirecting your focus and wasting energy trying to speculate how others perceive you, you’ll not only make better progress, but you’ll enjoy a better quality of life as well.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Body Image Woes: The Psychological Impact of the Body Image Issue
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Body Image Woes: The Psychological Impact of the Body Image Issue
Body image woes plague virtually everyone. Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey writes of how you can not fall victim to body shaming as well as a negative self image.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270