do you think there will ever come a day when you're 100% happy with your physical appearance? only reason i ask is because a part of me resents the many societal expectations we are subjected to on a day to day basis and it seems no matter how many hours we log at the gym or how many nice clothes we purchase or surgeries we have, we will never, ever be able to achieve true perfection. do you see yourself having a stopping point or is this something you will deal with for the rest of your life?
Oh boy, this is one of those million-dollar questions, so I am not going to have a solid answer for this, but I can definitely share my experience.
Will I ever be 100% happy with my physical appearance? No, I don’t think that’s possible for anyone. No matter who you are or how far you’ve come, I can pretty much guarantee you will have something you wish was different.
Now does that mean I’ll never be happy with my body? Of course not. Right now, I’m very happy with the way I look. I want more of course, so I’m not satisfied, but I am happy–more than I’ve been in a long time.
My first gaining foray was a tremendous learning experience. I made a lot of mistakes, but I can say that one of the biggest mistakes was not appreciating what I had. I was so focused on my lofty goals and how far I felt from them, that that whatever size I was felt like nothing to be proud of, even at over 300 pounds.
Only now when I look at old photos do I really appreciate how big I was. Even though I wasn’t the 450-pound beast I dreamed of then (and still do), I can say I really liked how I looked. In the moment though, I thought nothing of it, and I am still upset at myself for that.
The several years in between that first gain and now really cemented in my mind that I did a terrible job appreciating what I had, and just how important that is for long-term success.
The way I see it now, satisfaction sounds nice, but it’s not the goal. I know too many people who save feeling happy with themselves for when they hit a certain weight or a certain size, and that’s foolish. For many of us, the point that you consider the finish line will end up feeling unsatisfying too, because there will always be more to want. It’s a moving target you’ll never reach, and saving your happiness for that point just means you’ll never be happy.
Now, depending on your situation, the idea that you’ll never be finished might sound horrible. If you don’t like the process of dieting or exercising or gaining or whatever it is you’re doing, then the prospect of it never ending sounds miserable. If that is the case for you, that is something to do some serious thinking on.
For me though, my body goals are akin to my art goals. Drawing is like any other skill, in that it is about improvement. If you focus on the people who are better than you, you’ll find it more discouraging than motivating. Because even when you finally reach the level of the person you envied for years, you’ll quickly discover that they felt the same way about someone else. There is no point at which you will feel like there’s no more improvement to be done.
I know my art isn’t the best, but what keeps me going is appreciating how far I’ve come. To be able to look back at my drawings from a year ago and see the difference in skill and quality–that is what’s satisfying. That is what provides motivation to continue.
All this has shaped my perspective coming into this process again. Focusing less on where I want to be, and more on how far I’ve come. It’s easier said than done, of course. There will always be reminders that will bring you down sometimes, but in the long run I believe this is how you keep yourself moving forward.