Torres column: All bodies are unique and should be appreciated
Before I started weight lifting, I weighed 130 to 135 pounds. I loved my body back then. I did not compare my body with someone else. I didn’t even know there was a difference between my body and others’. It could be because the society where I grew up did not give attention to insignificant details.
One day I was working with a body builder. I noticed his body was different than mine. We worked together doing an extremely physical job. I remember asking him how he got his body. I asked if he did it by doing the physical work of our job. He answered, “No, I wish. I exercise.”
I remember being in harmony with my body. I didn’t dislike my body. I never thought about my long neck, skinny legs, skinny arms, small belly and flat chest. I only set up a goal, and I worked towards it. Setting my goals was important, but it was not enough. It was my actions — what I was doing to increase my muscle mass. I started going to the gym every day. I stopped drinking. I was tired from work, but I still went to the gym and gave my best. I started eating differently than I was before.
Finally, I started to see results after three months. I was not, however, where I wanted to be. So I continued. Three years later, I reached my first plateau. Still, I saw other guys more muscular than me. They were in the gym, magazines, movies, music videos. … I wanted to be like them. I tried harder, but my body was not built to be bigger. Sometimes, “friends” would come and ask me if I stopped lifting weights because I was smaller. They knew that phrase would bother me.
After taking my time meditating and studying my past, I understood that I was happy with my body, no matter what others said. And one of the reasons why I didn’t care was because the environment never put ideas about a perfect body in me. I started caring when others contributed to my thoughts.
I kept studying my journey. I noticed that I replaced many bad habits by good habits. As an example, I replaced drinking with exercising. My body shape changed; I’m stronger; I have more energy; my clothing fits me better; and I hardly get sick. My happiness was not the “new body” but the good habits I acquired. So I continue practicing all the new habits.
Later, I understood that many guys in magazines take drugs and other guys have a different type of body than I do. Drugs or supplements? No, I care too much about my health to take a risk. There are three types of bodies for men and women: endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. I’m classified as an ectomorph. The mesomorph tends to be more muscular than my body build. It is impossible for me to be as muscular as the weight-lifting mesomorph. This did not mean that I can’t work around my body type and make it healthy and attractive.
I noticed that it doesn’t matter what type of frame some people have, they usually are not happy with it. They want to have someone else’s frame. Skinny girls want bigger hips and many girls who have bigger hips want to be like the skinny girls.
I started to accept my body again. And the perception of the “perfect body” went away. I achieved a perfect body. It was healthy, stronger, more energetic and had good posture and more muscle development.
The reality is that we can have an attractive body, be physical and mentally healthy no matter the type of frame we have.
To clarify, accept yourself, love your body the way it is, care for it, exercise it and nourish it with healthy food. Don’t get persuaded by others. See your clear, realistic goal and start working toward it. What’s most important? What are you going to do every day to get there? Stop drinking? Eat organic? Get rid of junk food? Exercise? Make your new lifestyle a habit.
Find your body type, work it, and, please, for the love of God, don’t compare yourself with someone else. You are unique the way you are. You are beautiful. You may improve your physical appearance by losing weight, toning your body and improving your posture, but only compare yourself with your old you. … That is when you start seeing results. Everything begins with the mind and becomes physical when you work for it.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Basalt and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column usually appears on the third Wednesday of the month.
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