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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The myth - of physical perfection

Here is a great myth to debunk straight up. I'm going to say it loud and clear for you so that you don't need to waist any more of your precious life chasing after this complete myth.



It's great to go to the gym to get fit, strong, improve your self image, drop a clothes size, look a little better at the beach. Please don't misunderstand me. I would encourage anyone to embark on a fitness and/or strength training regimen. It is actually the correct thing to do.

What I am saying is that a lot of people waist enormous amounts of time, energy and money chasing after the myth of physical perfection when in fact it is really just a myth after all. It is a little bit like the end of the rainbow thing. You chase around hunting for the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only to find "no joy" when you arrive at the spot where you think it should be.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret here. I have been a bodybuilder and strength trainer all my life. For an "old" guy of 57, I really don't look too bad - if I do (proudly) say so myself. But the truth is it's a little like smoke and mirrors. I have always had a gym setup at home - pretty basic - but all you need and I have always been very regular with my workouts - pretty conscientious really. So it has paid off over time. I sometimes even get the odd complement which I lap up like a thirsty cat.

But here's the little secret. I have arthritis in both my knees. Nothing too serious. Always have had "dicky" knees. I also suffer from ulcerative colitis. Have had it since I was 25 years old. I manage this disease very well with only the occasional medicinal help. I am a lousy sleeper. It's very rare that I would ever sleep a whole night through, in fact, can't remember when it happened last - so I'm often tired during the day. I have tinnitus (constant ringing in my ears). There doesn't seem to be as much hair on my head as there used to be - or so the mirror is intent on telling me. I can guarantee that my dear wife has a magnificently long list of other associated faults that I have but, of course, I would deny them outright!

The point of this exercise is to say to you - don't waist too much time anguishing over the fact that you may not have "the perfect body", or you may not look like a movie star, or an Olympian. The fact is that if you could climb inside all those "perfect bodies" I know definitely that you would find them to be not so perfect after all. They would most likely have a cache of physical (and other) problems just like me - you just can't spot'em straight away. As with a lot of things in life - they look good from a distance, and that's exactly where they should stay.

You are beautiful, just as you are. You are loved, just as you are. You are needed, just as you are. You are that little part that the great mechanism that is the universe needs, so it is able to run as it should.

Be happy.

A couple of quotes:

"Perfection itself is imperfection" - Vladimir Horowitz

"Actually, I can't imagine anything more tedious than a perfect person, especially if it was someone who also demanded perfection from me." - Hugh Mackay

A book mostly for the ladies:

"Be Happy Without Being Perfect: How to Break Free from the Perefction Deception" by Alice Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly.

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