Sunday, November 14, 2010


When I was out last night I was talking to a friend who often does boot camps in the mornings. When I asked her how it was going, she said she'd stopped going because the instructor put too much emphasis on food, always talking about 'good' and 'naughty' foods, and saying that they should only eat one 'treat' meal a week. She said that she didn't want to live that way, and besides, she got enough pressure from her partner to look a certain way.

My question is, WHY do you want to look the way you do?
- Is it because someone places pressure on you to look a certain way?
- Is it because of the images you see in magazines, on TV etc?
- Is it for health reasons?

I said to my friend that no-one has ever put pressure on me to look a certain way - I do it to myself.

I don't have the goal that many do to be 'skinny'. My goal has always been to be lean. And yes, there is a difference. To me, being skinny means you are thin, but have no visible muscle (the way most models look), whereas being lean means you are muscular with low enough body fat to see those muscles.

Several things inspired me. When I was young one of my friend's mothers did bodybuilding (there was no 'figure' class then) - she was fit and strong (she later became a cop).

I saw Terminator II in my first year at university and wanted Linda Hamilton's shoulders and arms.

During university I spent a lot of time at the gym around bodybuilders, and went to watch a lot of bodybuilding competitions. I wanted to compete in one myself one day.

When we moved to Australia I started working in hospitality and my training became sporadic. I put on a bit of weight, but once I got out of that industry I began eating better and exercising regularly again. A couple of years later I started working for myself and had the flexibility to put more time into my training. I still wanted to do a figure competition but at that stage I was way too small - you could see my abs but I had no other muscle to speak of

I did my first competition 12 months later (and in retrospect that was way too soon) and have since done four more. My last competition was in 2008 and my life since has been a rollercoaster of weight on, weight off. Sometimes I think about doing another competition, but there's no sense in doing that when I'm not stable enough in my day-to-day life. So at the moment I just need to train consistently and eat well. To slowly increase my exercise until I'm lean again. Why? Because it's what I've always wanted.

WHY do you want to look the way you do?


lastchancetraining said...

I want to look like the best "me" possible. I know where that is physically and mentally - I'm not there yet - but slowly moving to that point! I think the rollercoaster weight thing also has a lot to do with what is going on in your life concurrently - no problems post comp for the 3 I did but I've really struggled after my business bust up and plagiarism probs.

Charlotte Orr said...

Thanks for sharing Liz. Interesting perspective on stress causing the roller coaster weight thing.

Magda said...

I want to be leaner so that I can run longer with less stress on my body. Plus the lighter I am, the better I run and the happier that makes me. Ultimately I want lean runner's legs and a toned upper body with nice arms. I dont seek bulky muscles or "size" anymore.

I have a way to go before I'm there but will soon be announcing my next major goal (and its NOT to do another comp as emotionally I'm not ready for that stress).

Love your post :-)

Sue said...

I want to have abs and lean muscled arms at least once in my life and this is my chance...

Charlotte Orr said...

Hi Magda, they sound like great reasons. I agree that comp prep (or even the thought of it) can be stressful. Glad you enjoyed the post - and look forward to hearing about your new goal.

Charlotte Orr said...

Hi Sue, thanks for your comment. The trick (for me) is learning how to keep those arms and abs (sanely). Cheers, Charlotte

Kathleen said...

I am so lucky and blessed to not have a partner who pressures me in regards to my looks and weight. Also, I hope I would leave someone who felt like it was okay to pressure me. I know it’s not easy. But I agree with you – I put the pressure on myself. And it is for health reasons. All around me, literally everyday, I see or hear someone who suffers because of obesity. As someone who used to be obese, I am terrified of going back to obesity and suffering because of it. Bad knees, heart surgery, loss of limbs, diabetes, heart attack and sleep apnea are just a VERY FEW examples of stuff that my friends and family – people who I love and are very close to me. I knew that was my future if I didn’t get in shape. So I did what I had to. No matter how difficult it is to get out of bed in the morning and work out…no matter how difficult it is to resist ordering pizza after a long day at work, it suddenly becomes easy after seeing my aunt struggle to fall asleep sitting up on oxygen, or seeing my cousin sticking himself to test his sugars, or getting that call from my friend saying his dad has had another heart attack.

Charlotte Orr said...

Hi Kathleen, great comment, thanks for sharing - I think health reasons are a great motivating factor.