WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE IN PEAK HEALTH? DIFFERENT LOOKS FOR DIFFERENT PEEPS
Do you know what your ideal healthy body looks like? Do you know what your ideal healthy weight and body fat % range should be? If you are looking at the person next to you at the gym, a magazine with a model in it, a movie star, or a pro athlete who is ripped to shreds you are looking in the wrong place.
First of all any photos you see are often touched up, lighting tricks used and there are body water manipulation techniques that will make someone look a lot more toned or muscular than they actually are on a day-to-day basis. Photo shoot ready people are not in a sustainable and healthy state. It’s temporary. They don’t walk around every day looking like that. And those pro athletes? They get paid to workout and they usually have very strict nutritional guidelines that require time and discipline. Oh yeah and genetics. I would love to run a 4.2s 40 yard dash, have a 40 inch vertical leap, and bench 300lbs for 25 reps. This is not to say that training and preparation don’t matter. But these elite athletes also have a little something special genetically and therefore physically and metabolically. Otherwise we would all be Olympians right? This goes for certain body types too.
So we all can’t be Hale Berry, Christiano Ronaldo (he’s a soccer play y’all), Gisele Bundchen, or Ryan Gosling (right ladies, he’s the guy?!) or insert your ideal hot body star here:_______. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t look and feel AMAZING with a proper balance of nutrition and exercise.
So what should you look like when healthy? My first answer would be you’ll know when you get there but that’s not easy to recognize at first. So here’s a good place to start: know your body type. There are three general kinds (and of course all of the in-betweens).
Ectomorph: Long thin muscles and limbs with lower fat storage; generally slim. Think: Gwenth Paltrow and Bruce Lee
Mesomorph: Larger bones, solid torso, wide shoulders, trim waist, controlled body fat levels. Think: Beyoncé and Hugh Jackman
Endomorph: Increased fat storage, wider waist, large bone structure. Think: Kim Kardashian and Seth Rogan
And every other variation in body type that makes you a unique human! There are a few nutritional considerations to think about here as well. If you are an ectomorph you will be more carbohydrate tolerant and should have a higher percent in your diet: Protein 25% Carb 55% Fat 20%. Mesomorph: Protein 30% Carb 40% Fat 30%. Endomorphs are generally less carbohydrate tolerant and should have a ratio of: Protein 35% Carb 25% Fat 40%.
Aside from the nutrition considerations the point is this: don’t compare yourself to other people because your genetic make up may not allow you to look (or perform) like other people. You might just not be built for it. However, there IS an ideal range of weight and body composition for YOU. It may even look different from someone that has a similar body type as you.
One thing I have noticed is that the most attractive people are those that feel and therefore look healthy. The feel part comes first. It’s a psychological confidence loop that when you take care of your body it exudes attractiveness because you feel fit and therefore look fit. It’s an upward spiral! It works the other way too so be careful. The most extreme examples would be turning yourself into a body type that is not yours. You may look slim and like an ectomorph but if you are a mesomorph naturally it will look unhealthy (think Christian Bale in The Machinist, meso to ecto). Psychologically it is called body dysmorphia and can lead to more serious cases of eating disorders (blog post about this coming soon from Dr. Holly Peek).
So try this: know your body type, step off your scale, eat your Tein’s (protein) n’ Greens, get to Cypress Fitness (shameless plug) and get plenty of sleep and for the next month. Then measure your progress, how you feel, and your energy levels. Look back in the mirror with the confidence of hard work behind it and see your health and attractiveness coming from the inside out.