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oh how things change | what’s your ideal body type?

Wow, have I changed.  Isn’t it amazing to look back sometimes and see how far you’ve come and how much better you are today than you used to be?  I look back over my life and remember all of the years wasted wishing I looked a different way. I obsessed over looking like someone else and most of those years I was trying to look unhealthy!!! I used to want to look like Kate Moss.  Skinny. No muscle. Frail. Soft. High cheekbones. Flat belly. Skinny thighs.

Now, I look at that photo like I would look at a photo of someone unhealthy in the opposite direction. I don’t want anything to do with that body type. I don’t want to be weak, frail and skinny. I want to be strong.

LET THE PENDULUM SWING!!!

Cut to the years before my contest prep.  The years before contest prep I would open the pages of Oxygen Magazine and Muscle and Fitness HERS [read: Monica Brant] and would want to look like those girls!  I decided that I wanted to look strong and maybe even a little intimidating. It was my way of standing out and being tough.  I decided that it was a really tough goal to achieve and that I would achieve that goal one day. One day I would be that muscular and that lean and I’d look like that.

What was I thinking?! Well, I was dilutional to think that anyone really looks like that without:

  • devoting their entire life and all of their being to eating, sleeping, breathing “clean” foods and the gym…i.e. eating every 3 hours, never eating out, never socializing over food, 2+ hours of cardio a day, plus lifting, minimal diet and feeling hungry all the time….[ok, I’ll stop.]
  • working in the industry and giving up everything in order to “look” good [read: shallow?]
  • taking “performance enhancing drugs”

Now, don’t get me wrong!  There are MANY, MANY competitors who are completely natural and look amazing! They have busted their butts to look that good….naturally! It can be done, BUT it takes years.  It takes discipline and it takes sacrifices! And for many women they love that lifestyle. I am not one of them. I need more balance and more focus on health and less focus on body image to be happy.

It took me actually doing what it takes to try and look like that to realize WHAT I am happy with as an ideal physique for myself AND what i am NOT willing to sacrifice to look good!

My new ideal body type is in between the two extremes that I once envied. I now want to be muscular and strong but still a little soft. I want to feel good, look good and still be able to function well. I want to feel as strong as I look. I want to be as tough as I look.  A great balance of this physique, for me, is Jessica Biel. And, I think we all need something to work toward to keep us physically active.  I look at her and compare her to the time that I was happiest with my body and realize I’d like to gain more muscle.  That’s a great and healthy goal!

What is your next challenge?

  • Fitness competition?
  • Marathon or race?
  • Labor? 🙂
  • Losing the baby weight?

Sometimes a physical goal is ok…if it’s kept in perspective!  I will never be obsessed with my body again…I hope. I hated waking up every morning and the first thing I wanted to do was check my abs….or checking my abs every time I went into the bathroom during the day!  YUCK!  I never want to live like that again!

But, even at my leanest, I’d still like to add some muscle to my upper body.  [My lower body is plenty muscular for now!]  I’d love to add some shoulders, back, bis…but I don’t want to be as lean as a Figure Competitor….EVER!  I may change my mind, but I doubt it.  Things do change. I never thought I’d change my opinion from wanting to look like Kate Moss or Monica Brant…but I did!  Life happens. We change. We grow. And, THANK GOD FOR THAT!

This is me at 145 pounds [pic at the right].  I am 154 now…just FYI.   I like this level of body fat for me [at 145]. And, hopefully, after children I will look something like this again, but there will be a new me I am sure and I am excited for that!

There will be new goals and things change!!!

[click on photos for their sources]

What does your ideal body type look like?

Have you evolved what you want to look like?

How have your physical goals changed?

What’s your next physical goal?

Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana - I appreciate your honest post. I love a woman who accepts her body the way it is, and truthfully many female bodybuilders don’t look healthy. Even fitness competitors/models, the less stringent category, are way too thin in my opinion. Hurray for balance!

tori - LOVE THAT!!! RIGHT ON SISTER!!!

KatieM - Great Post! I am completely with you on the happy medium between the two extremes, Jessica Biel is a great example. I posted Daisy Duke Jessica Simpson as my goal/inspiration because she at that time she was thin but also had a nice amount of muscle/definition. What I’m really focusing on right now is getting a faster 5k time and eventually competing in a sprint triathlon (Aug. ’11). Hopefully the body will come with training 🙂

Amy Lauren - Honestly, I probably look most like the first picture, but I am lifting and trying to add some muscle to my upper body. I run a lot and I’m naturally pretty thin, but the ideal body for *anyone* is a healthy one, not necessarily a certain weight or measurement. I know some thin people who, at a young age, have had health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. There’s definitely a lot more to being healthy than what you look like.

BTW, that picture is a great picture of you! You look really healthy, happy, and strong :).

shawna [of styleberryBLOG] - 🙂 Mommyhood changed me. I weigh less than I ever have in my life, but I feel stronger because I busted my butt through pregnancy & birth & came out an even better me after! It was an amazing, transformative experience. & I own my little belly pooch. I love it. My baby came from there.

Courtney F - My goal now is losing the last few pregnancy lbs. My goal image has definitely changed from skinny minny to figure athlete to now, strong in shape mama! I think it also depends on the stage of life you are in as well.

sandi - my goal is to lose the baby weight. i still weigh the same now that i did when i went to the hospital to have my daughter! of course i’ve lost a size or two and gained a lot of muscle but i’m still not where i want to be. my end goal is to try out for chief’s cheerleader and feel confident that i gave it my all and did my best (even if i fall on my face and don’t make it past the first round). i always wanted to be that first picture (and have been a few times in my life) but mostly from learning from you i’m not going there again and i’m going for that super hot pic of you!

Stacey - LOVE Jessica Biel. She is definitely my ideal body right now. I had to laugh when you wrote about waking up and checking your abs, or going to the bathroom and checking your abs…been there done that and now see the ridiculousness of it…to each their own but it’s definitely not for me anymore. 🙂

tori - You girls are GREAT!!!
@Katie – sometimes I think the greatest thing is to focus on what your body can DO vs what it looks like! Good luck!!!
@Amy – I hope I didn’t offend you!! You’ll have tons of fun adding muscle now! You are SO right about being skinny and still not being “healthy” – I see it all the time !
@Shawna – that’s inspring for my future motherhood [hopefully] and I can thank you for my positive attitude toward the changes that will come!!
@Courtney F – that is so true!!
@sandi – Love you girl! You are the sweetest!! You’re right that lbs on the scale don’t matter. It’s what you look like. Let me know if you need/want my help to get you to that chief’s cheerleader try out! I can’t wait for you!! What a great goal! And what guts you have for setting the goal and saying it out loud! THAT’s the first step! I want to feature you on the blog when you make it there – full with your story of what you’ve learned!!
@Stacey – girl…we can relate on so many levels. I know you are w/ me on this one! 😉

Toronto Girl West - My ideal body type has changed over time.

When I was younger I wanted to be really skinny with thin legs. Overtime I’ve come to appreciate that’s not me. Now I think I want to be strong but curvy. I would say Brooke Burke represents my ideal!

Liz - Great post. The thing that I have come to realize is that I am extremely happy with my body when I have balance in the other areas of my life, but not happy with anything when I don’t have that balance. I have been “eating clean” for almost 2 years now. I have my cheat day on the weekend, and it’s been a great system for me. The past 2 weeks, I have fallen way off the nutrition wagon (i.e. carb and sugar overload … stupid Halloween candy). Of course, I’m seeing the extra 5 pounds, but more importantly, I feel the difference. I am more tired, more hungry (even though I’ve been eating a ton), more irritable, unmotivated, etc. Our bodies crave healthy foods, and they perform so much better in every area with the right fuel. 🙂

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