One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

JOURNAL

Aesthetic vs. Intrinsic Goals When it Comes to Weight Loss and Fitness: A Conversation

41 Comments 4376 views

I had a great conversation this morning in a private Facebook group. Before I post it, I just need to say I love a really good back and forth where no one flings insults or tries to troll. Just like the question I posted earlier this week, it’s so refreshing to have good old-fashioned dialogue.

Anyway, Workout Nirvana (aka Suzanne) and I (well, mostly I) hijacked a post in a Facebook group where someone mentioned their trainer described their goal as “Michelle Obama arms.”

As soon as I read it I sighed and then replied…

I’m going to be the bummer comment… how about you work on awesome Brooke Arms and stop the comparisons? Sorry, that’s just a pet peeve of mine. That being said… this is my fav site… http://exrx.net/Exercise.html read some of their articles on toning and fat loss. Great tips and will help you build a program.

Suzanne responded…

On the other hand, having an audacious goal can be wicked fun. No shame in having role models!

Now, I could have let it go but you know when you are super passionate about something and there’s that burning desire to make people see something in a different way based on your experience or opinion? That force was just too strong and I replied again.

Hear you Suzanne.. and I know others are motivated by it but having a trainer make comparison goals on physical traits is a slippery slope. Some things are just not possible… I will never get twiggy arms, ever and it’s what I always wanted. Once I accepted my “Roni arms” and stopped worrying about what I look like things clicked for me. Again, not for everyone, sure but… Role models don’t always need to be based on physical traits. I think it’s a huge part of the problem with people’s goals and subsequent failures resulting in a lack of motivation.

Suzanne, who feels just as passionate, couldn’t help but respond either…

Twiggy arms or defined? Big difference in my opinion. This is such an interesting topic and of course, there is no right or wrong answer. Aesthetic goals are a huge motivator for many and trainers accept this as valid. I love it that M Obama has inspired many women to lift weights. (“Perfect” looking models are often very demotivating, with that I agree.)

And then I knew we had a good conversation going because unlike Suzanne, I don’t see there being a big difference in skinny or defined arms when it comes to a goal.

Nope twiggy arms.. love them, the way they look… always did… still would love to have them.. It doesn’t matter though (skinny or defined) my point is that by using physical traits as motivation we set some people (I’d argue most people) up to fail. Would you not agree that some women are simply not built to get Michelle O arms? So yes, I see her as a role model but it’s not because of her arms — it’s because of her attitude, her strength, her resilience, and her mission. 

I know I’m not going to change a culture of physical beauty as a main motivator but I can at least try. 

Now I need to take a sidebar here to say the reason I am very passionate about this is because I truly believe the problems I’ve had in the past with yo-yo dieting and binging, and even my initial weight gain as a child were because I had a physical goal that was not realistic for my body type. It’s why I started dieting at 12. It’s why I hid my body in baggy clothes. It’s why I felt I wasn’t attractive or worthy of love. It’s the basis for my entire disfunction with food. I know this is my personal experience but I also I know I’m not alone.

Suzanne’s response…

As a trainer I believe that if the desire is there, anyone can have beautifully defined arms (and that’s what Michelle has). She’s a curvy woman and that she’s been able to get that definition is a testimonial to what can be achieved if the desire is there. The key word? Desire. And I assure you, working towards physical traits is highly motivating. I saw this discussed elsewhere recently too, but there is training-for-aesthetics shaming just like there is fat shaming. Food for thought! 

Not going to lie, I rolled my eyes at “training-for-aesthetics shaming” (Sorry Suzanne)

I’m sorry. Not even close. There is no shaming here. That’s a cop out. If say, Twiggy came to you as a potential client and said ‘I want to look like Michelle Obama’ you would tell her that’s possible? You would look her straight in the face and say ‘YES let’s do this!’ And while she’s working out, and trying to bulk up, and stressing over how much she needs to eat to attempt to change her physical appearance into something that is unnatural for her body type you would be supporting her the whole way. And when months or even years go by and she looks like Twiggy with a little more muscle. And she’s staring in the mirror wondering whats wrong with her, why can’t she be curvier and have more of an ass or bigger biceps or more of an hourglass figure you wouldn’t wonder where you went wrong?

Yes, aesthetics plays a HUGE part in people’s motivation but again, slippery slope. There are some people who simply cannot be curvy and muscular just like there are some people who cannot thin out to the point of waif.

My point is by nudging people to have goals beyond physical traits we better serve everyone. We build a culture that supports people to be the best they can be regardless of what their body shape is.

Going from skinny to muscular as the goal isn’t the answer. We swapped one idea of the ideal female form for another. That’s all.

I’m tired of women having a moving target. It’s apparently not working for us… last I checked people are still struggling to lose weight, get fit and be healthier all while trying (hoping, dreaming) of looking like someone else.

I’m sorry I hijacked this post. I’m just really super passionate about this.

That’s when we agreed that we are both equally passionate and there was no way we would change each other’s minds.

Maybe my personal history and experience are clouding my thoughts here. I know lots of people who are inspired by physical appearance goals and it does serve them BUT (and that “but” is BIG on purpose) I think it’s because they are the lucky ones whose goals happen to match their natural body type and potential. For the rest of us, I stand by my opinion that intrinsic trumps aesthetic every time when it comes to weight loss and fitness goals.

 Thoughts?



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 41 comments so far.

    Mehgann

    February 4, 2015

    Hmmm…you know, I get (and agree) with your point to an extent, but what about physique role models to which one could aspire given their body type? One of the biggest problems I have always had is that I straight up cannot envision my body as small. One of the things that drew me to your site in the first place is that you and I are of a similar height and build. It’s not that I was comparing myself to you, but it gave me an idea of what IS actually possible for someone of my physique. I was skinny until mid-college, although I never saw myself that way because I was tall and hippy and just a bit muscular. When I gained the weight, I didn’t even really notice because I had always thought of myself as big to begin with. It’s a crazy mentality, this focus on weight that we have in our society. Anyway, I find it helpful to find weight and fitness role models, although I grant you I try to choose realistic ones and have never personally fallen into the “twiggy arms trap”.

      roni

      February 4, 2015

      Good point! I do think it’s possible to be realistic and I do always notice when someone is my similar build in movies and such but I find it off putting when a trainer or an article uses the comparison and makes, basically, a promise that if you do X you will look like Y. Suzanne actually says it above:

      “As a trainer I believe that if the desire is there, anyone can have beautifully defined arms (and that’s what Michelle has).”

      I just don’t think that’s true. I know a woman who is naturally skinny, carries barely any extra fat and she’s trying so hard to build muscle, it’s just not happening for her the way she’s envisioning and I can see it weighing on her. And here she has a body I (and many) would kill to have. It’s so sad.

    Lola

    February 4, 2015

    Well, without hijacking this and taking it a completely different direction…I think the problem is that the result is the goal. The result shouldn’t be the goal….the routine should be the goal. If you get that part down, I believe results will follow….to an extent. I agree with both of you. It’s good to have a visual goal, but it needs to be realistic to your body type. It’s easier to prove your point with boobs. :). I have a pretty big chest size 36dd. If I lose weight, I might get down to a 34D, but it’s not ever going to be a 34A. Ever, unless I make that surgically happen. If Twiggy wanted to have a pear shape desperately, no matter how she ate, she couldn’t get there…it’s not her body type.

      roni

      February 4, 2015

      Mary Nell

      February 4, 2015

      LOVE the boob comparison! Lol. And Roni, I agree–comparing yourself or attempting to be like someone else, gets you no where. You have to be the best you that you can be. I have a physical goal, but it is to challenge my body to the next limit (without putting myself through too much pain b/c I’m just not like that!). I ran my first mile and my first 5K last fall. Can I run it faster? Can I run a longer distance? I’m training for a mud run. Do I have the arm strength? For right now, that is my motivating factor and keeping me getting off the couch. Everyone is motivated by something different but when it is a specific person you want to look like, I don’t think you’ll ever be really happy–like if you get a great haircut, but you don’t like it because it was supposed to look just like Reese Witherspoon’s.

    emily

    February 4, 2015

    so many thouhts. so, so, so many thoughts.

    1. To agree with Meghann: MY personal “realm of possibility” would include people like Mia Hamm, Misty May Treanor, and Gina Carano but NOT Twiggy or Kerri Walsh Jennings. And truly absorbing that has been a blessing and relief.

    2. It’s weird that body parts can almost take on the role of Role Model, and do so separate from the rest of the body they are attached to. As if so-and-so’s arms or what’s-her-face’s abs make decisions for themselves. So reductive.

    3. This post made me think of something you posted a little while ago about how the ideal body shape has changed over the years. Oddly enough, Michelle Obama’s arms were mentioned there, too! I’m sure there were Waifs living in the age of the Gibson Girl, and vice versa. I think I was in an art class when I heard someone say something like how various art “movements” and “periods” arose partly as a reaction to whatever movement/period would eventually become its predecessor. So it’s …funny… to me to see how the ideals in that article seems to alternate (curvy/straight/curvy-ish). Like, the new body ideals came from reactions to whatever ideal happened to be the current one at the time – which then became the old ideal, but then came back around. Everything old is new again, no? When will be realize it’s all a waste of time? What are we even reacting to anymore?

    #3 was a super babble so I’m just going to stop now. Thanks for posting that discussion. It’s an important one.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      Actually I think your #3 is spot on! That’s really why there’s the whole strong is the new skinny movement happening. Don’t you think? I agree with your #2 too… it’s creepy that we direct the female body like that. It also got me thinking about a really old post I have when a young woman asked me why her motivation wasn’t enough for some reason. Like why isn’t the fact you just want Michelle O’s arms enough to get you the gym every day? KWIM?

      emily

      February 5, 2015

      Yes! I know exactly those feelings. I read through the post you linked to and I have been in that head/heart space more than once, oh my… And I think the next big movement should be “Healthy is the new Healthy”. :p

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      I LOVE Healthy is the new Healthy!

    Erin

    February 5, 2015

    I always thought if I just lost weight I would look a certain skinny way. Guess what? NO. I have broad shoulders. That’s not gonna change. I could wear a size 6 pants and still had to by a 10-12-14 dress and jacket because of my shoulders.

    It was hard for me to face that I could be 6 months dead and still not slight of frame.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      OMG ME TOO! When I was at my absolute lowest weight, almost too skinny, I was like.. wait.. my ass is still going to jiggle? I still have cellulite? My hips are still wide, my arms still thick?

      WHY??

      That’s when I realized it was all BS! The just eat less, diet, stay motivated and you too can look like “Whoever you want to looks like.”

      Another reason I’m so passionate about helping people move past aesthetic goals.

    Eileen

    February 5, 2015

    I think everything is food for thought, but you can’t project your own experience onto other people. Contribute your experience, but saying that it generally not the right way to look at it is projecting. I had no issues with food as a young person or young adult and gained weight after marriage (some) and children (most). I don’t recall ever having unrealistic body image goals, I just didn’t/don’t want to be fat.

    I also identify with women I see that are my body type and have a certain level of fitness and think “I can do that”.

    If comparisons make you feel bad, clearly they aren’t healthy. We see that in all walks of life “keeping up with the Joneses”, but if you are motivated or inspired, I don’t see the harm.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      That is a good point. I may be projecting but (and I realize I sound like a lunatic so bear with me) you don’t think the culture surrounding women and the female body, and our inability to maintain weight losses and all the struggles with body image issues in society aren’t slightly related to this type of goal setting and focus? All the magazines that say “do this and look like her!” all the media who analyze and focus on individual body parts, all that stuff is doing more harm than good? I think that’s what I’m trying to get at.

      Eileen

      February 5, 2015

      I agree that there are poor/unhealthy body images, but that doesn’t mean that all visual goals are bad. I think there’s a distinction between “thigh gap” and someone with strong arms. One is an unrealistic unhealthy fad and the other is healthy and strong.

      A teacher (of my kids) once told me about how she was welcoming the challenge of having sight impaired students in her class part time. She said it would help her develop the non-visual parts of teaching that would help even some of the sighted kids because not everyone learns or responds to visual vs verbal vs manipulatives, etc.

      I guess it’s a “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” kind of thing. People can be inspired by Olympic Athletes or Crossfit Athletes even though they will never be standing next to them in competition.

      It’s a worthwhile conversation!

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      “One is an unrealistic unhealthy fad and the other is healthy and strong.” I totally agree! BUT I’ll play devils advocate once again.. don’t you think one persons healthy and strong can look completely different than another persons healthy and strong, especially based on their body types and the activities they do and enjoy. Just look at a gymnast vs a weight lifter. You can’t argue both are “healthy and strong” but in totally different ways. Not to mention some body types are just different. So by shifting the culture and goal focus from “I want Michelle O’s arms” to “I want to be stronger today than yesterday” (cheesy I know) we can create a better, more realistic, and motivating culture? Again… I’m just thinking aloud. I do know people who body build and that’s what keeps them going and I’m awed by it. I guess I’m just trying to put a little focus on the other end to show people there is another way if that’s not working for you.

    Monica H.

    February 5, 2015

    I agree with Eileen. I think each person draws inspiration in her own way and there is no right or wrong way. As long as no harm is being done, I’ve always been in the live and let live camp. If someone is inspired by a well-known person and that gets them to get out and work hard at something, I don’t see how there is harm in that. Sure, the results may not end up being the same, but surely they will be in a better place for having worked hard and put in an effort.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      I totally agree… to each their own is one of my favorite saying but I want to play devils advocate here and truly ask if this type of goal setting and culture is “healthy” for us. This is what I asked Eileen… don’t you think the culture surrounding women and the female body, and our inability to maintain weight losses and all the struggles with body image issues in society aren’t slightly related to this type of goal setting and focus? All the magazines that say “do this and look like her!” all the media who analyze and focus on individual body parts, all that stuff is doing more harm than good?

      Eileen

      February 5, 2015

      Jumping in here — to answer your question, all I can say is that it never affected me at all. I gained weight because I started taking food shortcuts and could afford to dine out and felt the pressure of working a fulltime+ job and having kids.

      Because I can’t relate to the body image thing, doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s an important topic, I do. But it’s a great development that women have strong healthy examples (including yourself) to counter the airbrushed/photoshopped images.

      I definitely see your point, understand, and appreciate it. I like hearing all sorts of things to store in my head and reflect back on. I like holding both viewpoints in my arsenal. :-)

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      I’m the same way.. I try really hard to see both sides.. and I do.. I’m just hoping to help those that are struggling to see the other way in hopes it inspires them if they can’t move passed it. I do think for some people it’s what causes the yo-yo dieting cycle.

      You are like my husband… he gained weight only because he ate too much… he has no emotional baggage when it comes to it and I find it fascinating!

    LG

    February 5, 2015

    Great topic!!

    I liked Lola’s comment about the “routine” being the goal, vs a certain look.

    Someone whose body I think looks amazing is Heidi Powell’s. I totally get that I’ll never have the frame as small as hers, but I think what inspires me the most about her is that it sounds like she struggled with disordered eating and has overcome this to find a day-to-day eating style that works for her. (Including treats.) She also “goes for it” and lifts heavy, which is inspiring (as is the lifting that you do, Roni!) So for me, what I really “desire” is to continue along the path of planning my meals and dialing in nutrition as well as I can. Including treats! (Daily!) Being gentle with myself and building a supportive friendship with myself. Doing regular workouts that I enjoy. Dialing this in and getting on with “real” life outside of eating/exercising. Letting the body composition chips fall where they may…I can’t control the outcome, but I can plan my daily meals and workouts and do my best that way. Even if the plan on vacation is to not plan at all, lol. So far this has been working very well – I’m happy with my results and experiencing a lot of peace. I follow Heidi Powell’s blog and Instagram, both for advice and “fitspiration”. If I never end up looking like her, that’s cool with me, but I would consider that seeing what has been possible for her, (both in the way she looks and in glimpsing her day-to-day) contributes to me reaching to be the best I can be.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      This is a great comment and I think you hit the nail on the head. Being inspired by someone is completely different than trying to look like them and I think that’s where the rub is for me. The way I articulate this for myself (and it helps me immensely) is that…. my body will be the result of my lifestyle. Once that clicked for me.. once I really stopped trying to hit a number or fit a size or mold a body part I saw the light. It’s why I know I will never return to the scale. It’s why I feel no pressure to go to the gym or eat a certain way.. I do those things now because I love the way I feel, I love the stress release at the gym and the social aspect, I love getting lost in a run, I love the energy I have, I love trying new foods, and so on and so forth. I can’t and maybe more so don’t want to mold a body, I want to mold a life and that’s what you hit on… we can’t control the outcome as much as we can control the process.

    Alison C.

    February 5, 2015

    Interesting topic! I’ll just speak from my experience, since that’s really all I have. My fitness goals have changed from being focused on how I look to how I feel. In the past, I’d focus on how my body looked, and the focus of my eating and exercising was to get my body to look a certain way. I agree, to a point, that I could have Michelle Obama arms if I work hard enough and in the right way. And that was my goal. But my problem was – what if I didn’t work hard enough and didn’t achieve that physical look? And therein was the problem. First, my eyes deceive me, and while my arms may have looked toned to you, they never looked toned enough to me. Second, what if I failed? What if I didn’t work hard enough to get those toned arms? Here comes self-hatred, whether the reason for failure was within my control or not. Third, if I fail at my goal, then why continue to eat well and exercise? Why not just throw in the towel, since I only had one reason to be doing those things and I failed?

    So now I focus on how eating and exercising makes me feel. I love the way I feel in yoga class when we finish the flow (asanas, I think!) and I lay down on the mat and I am sweating and so thankful for the towel to dry off my face! I love the way I feel in Zumba when we are doing an awesome song and I just want to dance harder and jump higher and I have all this crazy energy! I love the way I feel when I eat an orange instead of a candy bar, and I actually get energized instead of a crazy sugar high and subsequent drop.

    That’s been my experience, and I find it’s better for me not to even focus on the physical – not to compare myself or even have any expectations of how my body should look. I’ll leave that up to God. I have much more consistent success at caring for my body (which includes diet and exercise) when I focus on how I feel.

      roni

      February 5, 2015

      AMEN!!

    Sherra

    February 5, 2015

    I find this topic extremely interesting however I would like to point out an angle that no one is talking about. I have twin 5 year old identical girls, who have generated a lot of stares and comments their entire life as they are cute and well, identical. But in our house we don’t talk about body shape or size. We don’t talk about big or small, fat or skinny, we just don’t talk about it. We talk about health, eating in moderation, exercise to make us feel good and where beauty comes from…this inside. There is zero conversation about what our bodies look like. For a women who has grown up where Mom is always on a diet, this is extremely hard for me. I don’t talk about how I want my arms to look or the size of my thighs or what “diet” plan I am following. My girls see me heading out for a run or getting up early to hit the gym…that is it! Is this mentality fruitless as the media is going to mold and shape my girls outlook and thus self-confidence? Maybe, but I am determined to try and raise two women who are confident and healthy….no matter what size their thighs are!

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      This is exactly what I’m talking about! They do it because they do it… because it’s good for them… because it’s fun…. because the like the way it makes them feel… NOT so they can look a certain way!

    Eileen

    February 5, 2015

    After reading Roni and Alison’s comment, I thought I’d add, that we are all somewhere on a continuum and that also shades how we view things. I lost nearly 50 pounds in over about 7-8 months a few years ago. I needed to lose that weight (maybe a little more actually), it was not healthy for me to be that weight, and it was impacting my ability to do certain things. In order to do that, I joined WW and food tracked and weighed in. It worked. When I tried to give myself a little more leeway and less tracking/weighing, I began to gain weight. I did continue the physical exercise that I’d added over that time, which is good, but I gained, which was not. I floated around for awhile, not doing too much damage, but now I’ve gone back to tracking because it works for me and I *know* I felt better 10-15 lbs lighter than I do now. Of course, I believe I look better too, and that’s okay, because it’s true, lol.

    For people on the early part of the lose weight/get & stay healthy continuum, a scale and other tools/motivations can be vital. Perhaps I’ll get to a different spot on the continuum where I continue to learn/evolve and don’t need those tools or inspirations. But we can’t get there until, well, we get there. :-)

    Paula

    February 5, 2015

    Amen. We need to each be the best we can be, not try to be like someone else. We are all worthy.

    Imacrazymomof4

    February 5, 2015

    This is really bizarre to me…I find motivation in things I think look healthy and toned. Is that wrong? I don’t think someone commenting that they want arms like the First Lady is a negative or bad thing. Her arms or ones that look toned motivated me to start toning. If we don’t have goals that motivate us why do anything? I guess I’m confused…are you upset that people try to be something that they can’t ever attain exactly? I can be motivated by someone’s toned body and know that I will never have that persons body and that’s okay…but it motivates me to work toward a goal of being more toned. I think I’ve missed the message here and I’ve read it twice. Who cares if we never have those arms? We could be motivated and actually get nicer arms in the process. I strive to be the best I can be and have a sexy bod as a result…i really don’t get what all the hoopla is about. Maybe I’m just really dense.

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      Ok, let me ask you a question… If you have a daughter… would you rather her come to you and say things like… MOM! I want to be the best volleyball player in the word. How can I get faster at running? Is this a healthy food that helps me get stronger? Wouldn’t it be fun to climb Mount Everest? OR would you rather her come to you and say… MOM! I really want Kim Kardadians ass. How do I get Michelle O’s arms? If I eat this will it make me fat? Why aren’t I as skinny as Taylor Swift? Just food for thought. I think if we build a culture that doesn’t focus so much on the aesthetics more people would be motivated to be active, healthy and simply see the inherent value in it. Of course I’m just throwing it out there… be motivated by whatever you want. I just hope my boys do what they do because they see the value in it not because they want to look a certain way.

    Imacrazymomof4

    February 6, 2015

    Isn’t there value in doing something to look good? I do have two daughters who I strive to be a positive role model for in the way I live. I think having a positive body image is their best defense in life. Hopefully they will grow up knowing they are awesome and feel as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. At 15 and 11, I am amazed with the choices they make and confidence they possess. I doubt they would ever want Kim kardashians butt, but if they found motivation to have or not have it atleast they are doing something. I guess I don’t see being motivated by someone’s arms as a negative I’m less than them thing.

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      People are motivated my different things, sure. Frankly, I don’t care if it’s working for some, I’m talking to the people who it’s not working for. If you are killing it, working out, eating good and aren’t stuck in a “I want to lose weight” rut like so many. AWESOME. Keep doing what you’re doing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to look good… I just think for some people with body image baggage, who are stuck in yo-yo dieting cycles, who are never happy with their body ever OR are driven to some obsessive behaviors just to try to sculpt an ass or their arms, it helps to shift the goal focus. That’s all. Again… to each their own.

    Kristen

    February 6, 2015

    I have aesthetic workout goals, and I don’t really see why that is a problem. I may never reach those goals, but I don’t see anything wrong with aspiring to look like an Athleta model, for example. I don’t really see any difference between aspiring to that an aspiring to, for example, run a 5 minute mile. Neither are likely to happen…

    I am a runner (I run an average of 40-45 miles a week), but I may never run another race. It used to be that I cared about my PRs, but honestly, I hate the hassle of registering for a race, trying to figure out what I am going to eat that morning, and more than anything, getting to the race and dealing with the crowds. Plus, I am getting older and my times are unlikely to increase much. I would much rather put on my running shoes, leave the house, and enjoy a sweaty 10 mile run along the water. I still enjoy a sweaty, hard workout, but whether I run an average pace of 8:30 or 8:35 doesn’t impact me.

    Aesthetic goals aren’t the only reason I work out. I like that running allows me to eat more guilt free, and the health benefits are very important, too (though quite a few studies have shown that maximal health benefits often occur with much lower volume workouts than what I am currently doing). Plus, I like the stress relief and it is fun.

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      Thanks for your perspective Kristen! I really think is aesthetic goals work for you that’s great! Like I said to “crazyMom”… I’m really thinking and talking to the people who it’s not working for. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having the aesthetic per se but I do think for some people with body image baggage, who are stuck in yo-yo dieting cycles, who are never happy with their body ever OR are driven to some obsessive behaviors just to try to sculpt an ass or their arms, it helps to shift the goal focus. For those that go after looking a certain way and are happy… more power to them. Those goals always held me back and I’m hoping by sharing my perspective I can inspire others who may be stuck like I used to be.

    Emily

    February 6, 2015

    I admit to an aesthetic motivation, but my aesthetic goal is a mental image (and some photographic evidence) of my own body when I was at my most active and healthy. Right now my biggest motivator is that my clothes are too tight (even after buying some a size up from my typical) and I’m tired of not feeling physically well in my clothes (& I refuse to go up yet another size). But right there with it is that I liked my figure when I was at a healthier weight and I would like to look like that again. So, is it an aesthetic motivation that bothers you, or just one that is external to our own aesthetic (and thereby unattainable- unless the external person is your identical twin)?

      roni

      February 6, 2015

      External.. you are trying to do you! Isn’t that goal? I can’t stress enough that I’m not against people wanting to look good.. I’m just trying to bring attention to the culture surrounding the moving target of the female form, how having external aesthetic goals seem motivating for some but actually end up backfiring, and that possible shifting the goal intrinsically can help.

    Michele

    February 7, 2015

    I guess what I don’t understand is why you had to comment on someone’s goal to begin with. I mean, it may have turned into what you thought was a good discussion, but really, aren’t people allowed to have goals without someone “sighing” and commenting on it and starting a debate? Why would you sigh after reading that? Why does it bug you so much? I guess I just don’t see the big deal. I mean, after all, we are all on our own journey and isn’t that how it should be?

      roni

      February 7, 2015

      Totally valid point. I totally could have minded my own business and maybe I should have.

    Mitch

    February 9, 2015

    Aiming towards great physical role models is very inspiring. Its still good to have them even if we sometimes fall short and never achieve that perfect physique. It is still good to dream even if not achieved. For some people it is possible. For some people it is not not. There is nothing wrong to really aim high.

    Christina Cornelius

    March 3, 2015

    Seems like you’ve done a lot research. Keep writing. Looking forward to more posts. :)

    Camila Rogel

    March 17, 2015

    I believe the fact with Eileen. I think each individual attracts motivation in her own way and there is no right or incorrect way. Provided that no damage is being done, I’ve always been in the stay and let stay camping. If someone is motivated by a well-known individual and that gets them to get out and do their best at something, I don’t see how there is damage in that.

    Hi Roni, Wow… This is a good and informative post about weight loss and also healthy living. These are a very good argument :) Keep it up.