#Bodygoals: Image Vs. Reality

If you’re like most people, you watched plenty of coverage from the Rio Olympic Games, or you watched the Video Music Awards on MTV last weekend. One thing that’s for sure is there have been so many examples of great looking bodies on display this summer and you’re probably wondering why yours looks nothing like that.

Before you go creating a photo album on your phone full of #bodygoals examples, it’s important to have some perspective on the images you see versus reality.

The Athlete Body

The swimmers, volleyball players, track stars and gymnasts all have super defined, ripped bodies. Before you start comparing your body to theirs, think about all of the training they do in order to make it to the Olympics. If you’re not ready, willing or able to put in hours in the gym, or to up the ante on the intensity of your workouts, your body won’t look like that. That’s right, no washboard abs or chiseled quads. In order to look like an elite athlete, you have to train like one.

The Model Body

You see them all over magazines and the Internet with their long, lean bodies. The difference between you and the models you see on your favorite shopping sites is genetics. I know we’re all looking at Teyana Taylor in the new Kanye West “Fade” video wondering why that can’t be us. It’s simple. Her body is naturally lean and slim. As a woman who’s only five feet tall and fuller overall, I can’t compare my body to Teyana’s because our bodies, due to genetics, are just created differently. We carry weight differently, our metabolisms are different, even at my slimmest, my legs will still be fuller than hers (yep no thigh gap for me), my torso is shorter, the list goes on. And that’s OK. The best thing you can do is find someone who has a similar body composition as yours to be your #bodygoals inspiration to keep things attainable and realistic.

The Instagram Model Body

Speaking of realistic, ladies, I’m sure we’re all privy to the models on Instagram and Snapchat with abnormally voluptuous backsides and bosoms. And at the same time they’re legs are pencil thin and waists as narrow as can be. Now how can that be when you can’t spot reduce areas of your body through exercise? Does that waist trainer she’s always posting about really work? I’m sure you don’t need help with the answer to this, but to be clear it does not. Please save yourself the heartache and avoid making one of these models your version of #bodygoals. You will never be able to achieve this look without some surgical assistance.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be fit, muscular, and slimmer than you currently are. It’s perfectly OK to have an image of what you’d like to attain. But please do yourself a favor and pick someone that has a body similar to yours. For me, being short and fuller, my #bodygoals inspiration would be someone like Simone Biles or Serena Williams. Even then you should aim to simply be a better version of yourself. Stay motivated but focus on making your own progress, not becoming someone’s clone. Keep this in mind and you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier version of you.

Reneé DuBose is a Chicago media professional who was bitten by the health and fitness bug a few years ago. On her journey to get and stay fit, she started a health and wellness blog to share her tips with friends, family and anyone needing help. Visit The Fit Print and keep up with her on Instagram @theFitPrint.