Posted By ProjectAD on September 23, 2019
I will be the first to admit it: I don’t have competition experience. I won’t be the one to tell people how
to prep for a show or how to stay in shape and be ready for the stage. That isn’t where I have a lot of
experience. What I do have plenty of experience in, however (unfortunately), is severe body image
issues. Issues stemming from where I started in my fitness & bodybuilding journey.
I was a skinny kid. Stood about 6’2 and weighed 140lbs soaking wet. Like, blow away in a stiff breeze
skinny. Bad. When I started training, the goal was to work my ass off to look like Arnold. I went along
and started to see my body change and my strength increase; a truly intoxicating feeling. Something I
didn’t anticipate was the constant nagging feeling that I just wasn’t quite good enough. Not big enough.
Not ripped enough. Not strong enough. My arms were (are) long and skinny which didn’t match the
rest of my body. My calves were (are) constantly too small to be in proportion to my thighs. My right,
upper-inner pectoral muscle was (is) not as filled in as the left side.
Sound familiar? I’ll bet it does to a great deal of you reading (more than anyone would like to admit).
The unfortunate truth, I’ve found, is that this form of self-critique runs rampant throughout the
bodybuilding industry, at both a professional and personal level. I have used this critical eye to work
and work, get myself bigger and stronger than I ever thought I could. But it was never good enough, and
probably will not be as long as I keep training.
Why am I saying all this? Surprisingly, the point of this article is not to be negative. In fact, it’s quite the
opposite. The point here is to remember where you came from and how you started. Take a look back
at the first pictures you ever took of yourself before you began your journey and see exactly the person
you were back then. Then, look at a more recent photo of yourself (because I know we all take them).
Taking your personal view out of the equation, just look at the physiques. There IS progress there and
you have come a LONG WAY. You put in the work at the gym and in the kitchen, and it is 100% paying
off. When we get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of how we look, sometimes we can lose sight of
the bigger-picture progress that has been made. Progress that is definitely noticeable, and should be
commended. If you’re down on yourself about how you’ve been looking (like I am this morning),
remember to take that trip back to the beginning and see where you came from. You put in the work to
change yourself, and it shows.
No one can take that away from you, especially not yourself. You earned it.