"I started lifting weights and while I love getting stronger, I really hate the way it made my body change" - said no one ever.

Here's a little story: I used to be a back up exerciser for fitness DVDs. Typically, you have the star of the show leading the workout and at least back up exercisers, meant to represent 3 different fitness levels. One particular audition, there was an extremely buff girl they loved right off the bat: she was shredded and lean, perfect for the advanced modifications.

That is, until they handed her a weight. When given 15 pound dumbbells, she couldn't keep up. The producers dropped them to 10 and she still couldn't make it through the first set. Eventually, even the 5s weren't light enough for her to finish the workout. They cut her because it was impossible to film, even if she was the beginner modification. 


Sure, she looked great, but she can't make it through an entire workout even with the easiest of modifications, what's the point? 

Training for aesthetics (unless you're training for an aesthetics competition, of course) is a mistake. While our example walked in with her head held high on top of a body with an impressively low amount of fat on it, she wasn't in any better shape than an unconditioned, sedentary person, and left the audition with her ego battered and bruised. 

Most people have aesthetic goals, and while they are superficial, they are just as valid as any other goals- if they keep you motivated to keep improving. But physical results aren't completely under your control, and while you can diet and train as much as you want, ultimately how you look is dependent on things you cannot change, like your body type and the length of your limbs. If you focus on improving what your body can do instead of how it looks, you'll never be disappointed, but most importantly, you'll learn how to not tie your self esteem to your physical appearance. 

Trust the process. Train to be become stronger and your body transform, guaranteed. Results will come but they come last. Your cellulite will smooth, your skin will become taught, your physique will become balanced, lean and toned. It's an awesome side effect but shouldn't be the goal. The stronger you become, the stronger you become and you'll love your body both for what it can do, as well as how awesome you look.

by Kelly Turner

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