Women, insecurity and sage bodybuilders

October 6, 2015

insecurityMore than a population-proportionate number of Boomers were in the gym at 7:45am, working to stave off the effects of aging with their younger, fitter, and far more muscular trainers. It was the day after Phil Heath won the title of Mr. Olympia 2015 and the bodybuilder-trainers were talking.

“It’s genetics,” Ray, who owns the gym said, himself an Olympia finisher not too many years ago. “Phil’s body is symmetrical and you’re born with that.”

My 6’4″ Hot Trainer nodded. He’s always told me that his narrow waist and build are genetic and he worked from there.

Ray, who’s not anywhere near as tall as Hot Trainer but has one of the most aesthetically beautiful bodies I’ve ever seen, went on:  “I’d like to be as tall as you, Robin, but I’m not. So I make the best of what I’ve got.”

Profound words for an early-morning gym session, but they stuck with me for days, because of the many times I’ve heard women on social media say that seeing so many posts about the accomplishments of others makes them “feel badly” about themselves.

I don’t get it, I really don’t. Oh, sure, we all have those Facebook friends who constantly post their latest of many achievements, sometimes clearly for the kudos. But what would that have to do with any other person? Why would someone feel so much insecurity over the accomplishments of others?

As the Desiderata so sagely advises: If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself .

Ray would agree. He’s not 6’4″ but he’s wasting any time wishing he were taller. He’s busy making the most of what the Creator gave him.

Oh, did you want to see Ray? He works out starting at 1:08 on the video. It’s a thing of beauty to watch. But he also has interesting things to say after that about health and working out.


And this is what “genetically gifted” looks like: (Hot Trainer)


15 comments on “Women, insecurity and sage bodybuilders
  1. hillsmom says:

    Wow! That is something. So if I should try body building workouts, do you think all the wrinkles would stretch out?

  2. I guess it’s hard not to feel insecure when our economy flourishes, via advertising, by getting us to buy “stuff” to make us more like the rare, but beautiful. Learning how to make and/or appreciate what you have is tough. I work out for my health. And I’m getting pretty sick of constantly being harassed by a certain medical giant that it’s still not enough.

  3. Our parents didn’t have their pictures and lives plastered on Facebook for every friend and relative to see so they weren’t as prone to compare their wrinkles or accomplishments with each other. LOL I understand what you mean though. When you start comparing yourself to others it makes you nuts.

    • hillsmom says:

      One of my favorite quotes is from the late Erma Bombeck, who said, “Smear all the mirrors with Vaseline!” I rather think she had the right idea.

  4. Ellen Dolgen says:

    So many people become obsessed with their workouts. I not interested in having my workouts become another stress in my life. I try to do something every day….but I am NOT a bodybuilder (nor am I attracted to that bodybuilding physique), and I am not striving to be a size 0! I work out for health. Bike riding or walking for a half hour….doing low impact weights a couple days a week. If I miss a day….no biggie.

  5. Mary says:

    Genetics are our staring point it is up to us to make our bodies, mind and soul the best it can be. I think watching that video helped! : )

  6. Laurel Regan says:

    Comparison is definitely the death of joy. Hard not to fall into that trap sometimes, though.

  7. Life is so much different with social media. We have to recognize that, like you said, people post mostly the best of themselves. It’s sad to think someone gets depressed because they want the life/body/money/success someone else has. That’s a waste of time. Just trying to be the best me that I can be!

  8. Haralee says:

    I have heard many men and women talk about Facebook and it making them feel bad about themselves when comparing their posts to others. Different personalities. THe plus is no one is forcing any one to join Facebook and post.
    Holly Cow, these guys, just looking at them I thinks counts as a work out!

  9. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I think one of the life lessons I have learned after all these years is not to compare myself with others. Of course I slip now and then, but I know that no good can come from it. All it will do is make me feel inferior.

  10. I exercise- at a gym, 4 days a week. I do it because it’s good for me and it makes me feel good. The SECOND it becomes a stress trigger in my life I’m OUT! SO- I keep that in mind and just enjoy with blinders on.

  11. Carolann says:

    Good ole Theodore Roosevelt once said that “Comparison is the thief of joy” My favorite quote ever. I think it’s human nature to compare yourself to others…you just can’t let it consume you. He really does have an amazing build that’s for sure.

  12. It is useless to compare yourself to anyone else. What’s that quote – something like “Comparison is the thief of joy?” So true.

  13. I like what he says about health – very true Not sure I can cope with too much watching fit men at 11 oclock in the morning! I prefer men a little less pumped but still…nice to look at healthy bodies in action rather than the clapped out wrecks I see wandering around my town!!!!

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