Let’s talk about happiness, shall we? Or better yet, let’s look at a picture. I like pictures.
The happiness flowchart above is a brilliant representation of a simple bit of wisdom that we all can benefit from reviewing now and again. I really think happiness in life is this simple.
Now if I were to add one more element to the flowchart, I think we should consider that sometimes we come across an element in life that makes us unhappy that we CAN’T change, whether it be our height, our bone structure, or our inability to be invisible on command. And in those situations, the only rational option is to learn to tolerate it.
When applying this to our health and hotness goals, it becomes clear that it doesn’t really make sense to fret over our physique. Ever. If you don’t like the way your body looks when you get out of the shower, change it. And if you refuse to change it because you’re unwilling to change the elements of your life that contribute to the state of your physique, then you should accept it and stop torturing yourself.
I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here. Now if the current state of your body is causing health problems (blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain, etc.), it’s probably unwise to not address it. But if you just have a few pounds to lose to get to a physique you’re happy with, I still love you if you find your morning donut more important. Every person has the right to decide their own MALH (Minimum Acceptable Level of Hotness). But if you’re consistently unhappy with your body and it’s causing you actual emotional anxiety, don’t you think it’d be better to just do what you need to do to take care of the situation?
Certainly being realistic is important. If you’re naturally bigger boned and have a slower metabolism, it may not be doable to walk around with 6% body fat and a 12 pack all year round. But in my experience, most people aren’t trying to look like a photo-shoot ready fitness model. They just want to feel confident at the beach. Or at the least not embarrassed. And I strongly feel it’s doable for most folks to find a way to balance having dietary fun with keeping their body at their personal MALH.
So if you are not happy with your physique, I would encourage you to funnel your frustration in a productive manner and start eating and training your way towards your MALH. While getting there is usually pretty simple, it’s not necessarily easy. Whether you do an all-out-war approach (alaSnatched) or whether you slowly layer in better training and nutrition strategies one at a time, the journey to where you want to be often requires some discipline. But because it’s easier to maintain a strength or fitness quality than to get there in the first place, it seems to me that this is a small price to pay to not feel like you have to wear a t-shirt while at the pool.
Your tough love takeaway is this: there’s no use bitching about something that’s in your control to change. Love it or change it. And if you can’t change it, accept it. Simple!