Comparison – continuation

After my last post on comparison and how it can be both negative and positive, I kept thinking about it and decided I wasn’t done with the topic. And, this is my blog, so I’m allowed to revisit it! LOL. Here are some more points I’d like to make about comparisons, lessons I’ve learned (or am trying to learn), hopefully they help you too!

1. This first lesson is one I’m still working through, because it’s a tough pill to swallow: you shouldn’t work towards shaping your body to look like someone else’s.  Just don’t do it. Not only is it hard on your self-esteem to want to look like someone else, but genetics and your physical build likely won’t allow it.

To be totally transparent – I think it’s totally fine to have “role models” who embody aspects you respect and want to work towards. Just remember that it’s highly unlikely that you can shape your body to replicate. I love Dana Linn Bailey’s physique, especially her arms and shoulders. I admire her work ethic and respect the effort she’s put into building her body – these are elements I take from her. But, will my arms and shoulders ever look like hers? Nope. First, I’m about 6 inches taller than her, with much longer limbs. This alone makes my muscle shape totally different. And that’s ok, it’s who I am and I (obviously) can’t fight this fact. So, I’ll continue to work my ass off to build the best shoulders I can FOR MY BODY.

2. Don’t strive to recreate someone else’s body. I’ve had other people ask me for help / advice by saying they want to look like me. While it’s flattering, it also makes me cringe – especially when I’m in full prep mode (hell, I’d love to have my stage-ready body all year long… sadly it’s not healthy). If you want to make changes to your body, be ready to clearly say what you want – a more muscular shape, leaner look with a little muscle definition, decreased body fat, a stronger core / back for function, etc. Rather than just saying “I want to look like her”.

3. Keep in mind that everyone has strong body parts, and weaker / stubborn body parts – you just have to accept it. I know, easier said than done (I’m not fully accepting of this yet…). I look at changing my weaker body parts as the best challenge because it’s such a huge achievement. For example, my legs have always been strong from years of training with skating and running, while my upper body was incredibly weak and had little shape to it. While I’m proud of the changes I’ve made to my legs, I’m a million times more proud of how my upper body has changed in strength AND appearance.

Winter 2012 - no arm definition. Just none.

Winter 2012 – no arm definition. Just none.

Upper body changes have never come easy for me.

Upper body changes have never come easy for me.

4. My final thought on comparisons: genetics will help you, and they’ll fight you – pick your battles. Your calves are shaped a certain way and either insert high or low on your leg – something you can’t change. Your abs are individual too – they may line up perfectly, they may be off-set, they might not really split down the middle… these are things you can’t change no matter how hard you work and watch what you eat. Avoid the mental anguish of striving for something that’s not physically possible, and focus on the great attributes you DO have!

I think that wraps up my thoughts on comparisons…. for now. 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week! XO

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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