Polish Your Lense

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Feb2008 20

I want to discuss a phenomenon that happens more often than not with myself and my clients. We all view the world and ourselves through different perspectives or lenses. The things that color our lenses are everything that we have seen, felt, touched or experienced. Polishing the lens means to clean the crap out of your mind that changes the way you see yourself. A dirty lens is like looking into a carnival mirror. A clean lens allows us to see an accurate picture of ourselves.

Through the media, we have been trained to view celebrities and models as perfect beings or people who are better than us. If you have struggled with weight or haven’t been born with those “perfect genes”, you have undoubtedly looked at yourself with disdain or even, hatred. We are taught to magnify our flaws and belittle our beauty. Three psychological conditions come mind when we talk about body image, anorexia, bulimia, and body dimorphic disorder.

Anorexia and Bulimia tend to plague the female population and BDD tends to lean towards males. However, any sex can have any of them. Anorexics can never be too thin because they magnify the fat on the bodies as if they were looking into a carnival mirror. I have seen some of my clients bend, twist and pretzel their waistline in order to find an inch to pinch. Bulimics eat like a horse and throw up afterward. Some go as far as to weigh their food going in and coming out just to make sure it is the same. BBD sufferers have a skewed body image so that they think they are smaller than they actually are. The mirror can be our friend or our enemy depending on the lens we use to view ourselves. We tend to be judgmental and quick to compare ourselves to others.

If someone has good posture and takes pride in their appearance, we say or think that they are stuck up, lucky or have a pole shoved up their ass. If we see a heavy person, we say or think that they are fat, lazy, stupid or ugly. I know what it feels like to have been fat. 245 lbs., 5′ 8″ tall, sporting a 42″ waist at 16 years old, constitutes fat in my book! I also know what it feels like to be lean, muscular and strong. 215lbs., 5’10” tall, 32″ waist at 35 years old. I am not blessed with “perfect genes.” I have had to work my ass, literally off, to get my body to where it is today. In order to make the changes necessary to change my body, I first had to change my thoughts about myself.

If you can’t tell, the operative word here is, change! I no longer accepted any excuse for the way my body looked or the way I felt. I knew that I was like a caterpillar just waiting to become a butterfly. I went deep inside and let my true self show. I stopped poisoning my body, my mind and my spirit with all the crap I was choosing to believe. It took a lot of hard work and discipline to reach my personal goals. I no longer compare myself to others, no longer pass judgment, no longer worry about what others think, feel or say about me. I am happy and at peace with the choices I have made in my life. I “polished” my lens so I could finally see my real self in the mirror smiling back at me.

You can accomplish ANYTHING you put your mind to. If you need help, ask for it! My passion and why I chose to become a personal trainer is that reason; helping others reach their goals. I’m done blabbering for now. More good stuff is on the way so come back soon. John Sims CPT

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