The longest day of the year has come and gone. Summer has started, sure, but you’re in the second half of the year and it’s all kind of downhill to Christmas now. That doesn’t stop the endless stream of feel good, beach body fitness dreams from swamping your social media feeds, and advertising banners.
This is the time when people are faced with images of frolicking 5% body-fatters having the best time of their lives, shaming all those people with normal body fat percentages for not being ripped enough to own a viral Instagram post. Those ads for short-term workout fixes to your summer body woes actually work. Even for people who are pretty fit and healthy, shredded bodies on a beach take over the common sense parts of the brain and make people feel inadequate.
Too late. Even if there was a really good training program that you could jump on right now, and a diet that you commit to this very second, you’d be looking at a minimum of an 8-week training cycle to get real results. Sure, you could just starve yourself and do amazing things in 4-weeks but, really? Is this what you’ve become? The person who has so little belief in sense of self-worth that a fitness model who gets paid to look a certain way is going to dictate your misery for the next month? For what? A beer commercial ideal.
Commitment, Delusion, and Deflection – Beach Body Dreams
The beach body workout mania that hits the fitness world at this time of the year is a sign that we have a lot to learn and that all the advances that we have seen in the last two decades don’t mean much. The vast majority of people can’t commit to long-term fitness goals, they are delusional about the value of short-term results, and they deflect from their real fitness needs by focusing on the superficial and unrealistic.
Maybe a better example of the superficiality of expectations in fitness is the overreliance of the mainstream fitness press and social media on celebrities and their workouts, their results, and philosophies. To be fair, just because you are a celebrity doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard at attaining a certain type of physique. But, you are paid to look a certain way, paid really well.
The average person has no way of accessing the levels of training required to attain a celebrity physique. Meals prepared for you, training highly personalized to your every need, and a team of people who have no other job but to get you in the right shape at just the right time.
All we see is the part of the success berg that’s above water and we think that’s it. The biggest demands that are made for you to attain a certain fitness goal are enormous levels of commitment, consistency, and personalization, the stuff below the water line.
The celebrity has a commitment that could mean the difference between having and not having a job, the consistency is dictated by a team of people who have a vested interest in the results and the personalization is the same team optimizing every aspect of a celebrity’s lifestyle towards a single point of success.
You, probably no different to everyone else around you, have none of the resources of a celebrity. And neither do you have the resources or the demands made on a professional or competitive athlete. Admiring their achievements is one thing, thinking you can get there in a short space of time is another.
No One Is Paying You to Be Fit Except You
Okay, you get it, unless you have the money, it’s not feasible to compete with the trained celebrity body transformation business. However, consider this, you’re paying big for not having that sense of commitment and consistency.
You pay big when you pursue unrealistic beach body workout plans in the middle of summer. You pay big when you’re lack of commitment sends you to the doctor because your lifestyle is impacting your mortality. You pay big when a lack of consistency in your training results in injury because you yo-yo between activity and inactivity, suddenly trying to regain hero status your first day back with weights.
If you want a beach body then plan to have the one you want next summer. That’s a good timeframe, depending on your present state and ambitions, and it’s a good way to become committed, consistent and find the best training path forward for your exceptional individuality.
Yes, you are exceptionally individual. So is every single person on the planet. To try and build yourself in the image of someone else, particularly someone who is, in their own way, an unrealistic version of themselves, celebrity or athletes in their prime, it’s just unrealistic. It’s unhealthy, too.
We get it: visualization, vision boards, and motivational posters can drive you to better results. They’re great but be careful what you wish for, too. Your desires for the superficial over the substantive will have long-term effects on your ability to maintain a long, healthy, strong life.
You’re in a 60-year fitness challenge. Don’t lose sight of that and plan accordingly. The next time you see the beach body ads hit you up for the summer remember that they’re not designed to help you but to shame you.
Your best measure of success is going to be how you feel, and how your body reacts to the challenges of your life, not someone else’s, but yours. You have to be ready for everything, a call from your agent or being discovered by a modeling agency may not be any of those things.