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Thread: Placing too much importance on one's physique?

  1. #1
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    Placing too much importance on one's physique?

    This issue has been hinted at in other posts, but I haven't seen an actual thread addressing it, so here it goes:

    Everyone on here is dedicated to improving their physique - that is no surprise. We all know that doing so requires hard work, patience, etc., etc.

    But my question is this - how much does your confidence in yourself, and your image of who you are as a person depend on your physique?

    I have been thinking about this lately had just had a realization - If I were to be involved in some serious injury that totally prevented me from lifting, I would be absolutely devastated to watch myself shrink back down to my starting point or worse. I'm not at all huge by BB'ing standards, but I'd like to think I'm a lot better than when I started.

    Is it bad that I seem to have so much mental and emotional energy invested in my physique, and that if I were to lose it, it would totally mess me up?

    I know there are people on this board who have been in some pretty serious accidents - what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    I want to try to use all I have to the best of my ability. If some of that ability is lost, I might have to lower my standards a little because my potential might not be as high, but I'll still try to reach the highest level I possibly can. As long as I am still making an effort toward reaching my potential, I will be happy, because I'll be in the right mental state of being.
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  3. #3
    Fountainhead Organichu's Avatar
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    This is something that I have also considered for a long time.

    When I seriously hurt my hand and couldn't lift an iPod, let alone a weight, for months, I was absolutely devastated. I remember reading somewhere that the best Marathon runner in the world would, after only 6 months of a "normal" lifestyle with absolutely no running, only be as fit as the average guy. That fear plagued me. I lost 10 lbs and ~150 lbs on my big three during that period. Terrifying.

    I have a lot of conflicting thoughts on it, but I suppose that my conclusion, after considering it so voluminously, is this:

    The same way that an architect must gaze contentedly at his completed skyscraper is the same way that I gaze at myself in the mirror. I'm not that tall or that solid (haha), but what I have now, however far from spectacular it is, took me years of physical and intellectual investment and effort.

    This is something that I, as an ex 270 lber-with-a-70-lb-benchpress, built from the ground up.




    I do, however, think that I could be just as happy and confident if I were to lose it all via a truly serious accident... but it would damn sure take some adjusting!
    20 y/o, 6'1", 186 lbs, 14% BF
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    People are multifaceted. To invest all of your identity/self-worth in one, or a small number of characteristics is to invite catastrophe.
    Last edited by Jorge Sanchez; 09-15-2006 at 10:59 AM.
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  5. #5
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    How much do you value the trinity? Mind? Body? Spirit? I can't be strong mentally and spiritually if I don't have a body that can handle the strength that the other two give and all the other combinations. I believe it's especially important to be as physically strong as I am mentally and spiritually. That's why I read for countless hours each week, I pray and I attend mass. All of these things build my body. The mind and the spirit are a part of the body. I want my body to be so strong that I can handle anything mentally, and I can develop spiritually.


    So, to answer your question, I use as much time as possible to keep my body strong as I do to stay mentally and spiritually erect.



    When I tore my rotator cuff I still lifted weights. I might only have been able to bench the bar, but it was a start. I was in a serious car accident. I believe the reason why I sustained no injuries was because of my faith in God and using my physical abilities to lift and stay strong like he wanted me to.
    Last edited by sharkall2003; 09-15-2006 at 11:04 AM.
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  6. #6
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    If I were to be involved in some serious injury that totally prevented me from lifting, I would be absolutely devastated to watch myself shrink back down to my starting point or worse.
    This is exactly what I'm going through. Granted it's just a finger, but w/ the splint and pain no way can i lift.

    Anyway, People have crazy hobbies that they spend hours upon hours on (trains come to mind). I just choose one that improves my mind and body.
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  7. #7
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    Bodybuilding is a journey, not a destination.

    If you have achieved changes in your body as a result of training, and then circumstances conspire to undo those changes, that doesn't change that fact that YOU ALREADY DID MAKE THOSE CHANGES.

    You as a being are the sum of all that you have done, thought, dreamed, loved, hated, achieved, failed at, etc. If you define yourself and your self worth by one or a very few things, particularly transient things like physical appearance, money or possessions, then you are being very foolish.

    Relentless.
    Last edited by Relentless; 09-15-2006 at 01:29 PM.

  8. #8
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    I would just rent a lot of movies and try not to get too fat while I healed up.
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  9. #9
    *Bingo Fuel clawhammer_33's Avatar
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    When I've been out of commission due to car accidents, stupid injuries, the depression comes mainly from not being able to do what I love. Because at the end of the day, no matter what I look like, I just love to lift heavy ****.


    If you search hard, there is a thread that includes a post by GynoRhino, talking about the obsession in bodybuilding and losing, the ability and progress, due to injury. It really put things into perspective for me. I'll try to find it for you.
    Face it: biceps are the muscle that classifies you as a muscle man.

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  10. #10
    The Body Never Lies Nosaj's Avatar
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    As long as I could still get laid, I would be content.
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  11. #11
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    They have this one dude thats in a wheelchair who bodybuilds.

    Now that should put it in persepctive

    Personally I'd be devastated. I'd go through a depression of a few months, but eventually you'd grow tired of that and try to get back on the "horse" the best you can.

    I was reading the newspaper today at work where this guy who lost both arms now has robotic arms....he says they work just as good...Of course I couldnt do curls but I could work on my back....chest etc. Thats considering those metal arms can hold that weight haha.

    -jordan

    But if it were crippling like you can't move.......ever.....i'd honestly want and try to kill myself. Whats the point of having life if you can't use it? Sounds crazy but I doubt anyone wants to be alive stuck in a bed all day.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Eszekial's Avatar
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    it's not all about physique. It's about testing yourself every day until you die, so that maybe you might be able to look at God's feet and say "I tried at least, to make something worthwile of this opportunity."
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  13. #13
    Banned Tofer's Avatar
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    If I got in an accident and couldn't lift anymore, I don't even know what would happen to me.

    I broke my finger last December and couldn't lift until May. I first lost all the LBM I put on from lifting, falling from 197 to 178-180 and then I gained fat, and sat at 188 lbs. I looked completely awful, but worse yet I felt incredibly awful. I went through some serious depression during that time (something I have been prone to throughout my life, but not quite that bad).

    Lifting is such a big part of my life now. It's given me so much confidence and I feel like it's helping me beat my social anxiety disorder. If you take that away, I'm left with nothing. That may sound horrible and even slightly sad, but that's how I feel. I like being that 225 lb "big guy" instead of the 180-something-lb stick figure I used to be. I love that feeling I get when I see the reactions of people I haven't seen in a while. I don't ever want that to be taken away.

  14. #14
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    i think a person's perspecitve changes, as does their reality and what is a "challenge," when something goes wrong..

    you lose your legs, you thrive on building your upper body.

    lose your arms, and be like that guy who plays drums with his feet, and even does the hand motions with his feet when he talks. i

    if you don't have arms, why spend too long being depressed over them not lifting heavy? at some point, reality needs to kick in and you have to make do with what you have, and set new goals. always better yourself, based on the situation.
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  15. #15
    T.J.W. nhlfan's Avatar
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    you're talking about this like it's an option. one day you WILL be 70 year old with no muscle mass or strength to speak of, unless you die of some disease or accident.
    -Matt
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  16. #16
    Back in business WBBIRL's Avatar
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    People are hardwired to put far to much emphasis on physical attributes, both by good ole mother nature and the media.

    Someone whos slightly overweight (slighty doesnt mean 100 + pounds either) may be a much better overall partner for somebody yet that person would choose someone with a better overall physical apperance. In so many cases I've see just this.

    Person 1 chooses partner A over partner B

    Parnter A is:
    Abusive
    Violent
    Possesive
    Childish

    Partner B is:
    Understanding
    Peacefull
    Open minded
    Good Provider


    Person 1 chose partner A and keeps that parnter due to differences in physical attributes. While its obvious that partner B would be a much better choice.



    Their is way to much emphasis placed on how you look, people worry so much about it.

  17. #17
    The Body Never Lies Nosaj's Avatar
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    What's the point of being in an intimate relationship with someone if you're not attracted to them? That is just unappealing. Speaking as a guy, if you're not turned on by someone, the intrest in them is slim to none, regardless of how good of a spouse they would be.
    Scars are tatoos with better stories.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eszekial
    it's not all about physique. It's about testing yourself every day until you die, so that maybe you might be able to look at God's feet and say "I tried at least, to make something worthwile of this opportunity."
    Quite honestly, I think posts like this are kind of sad. Weightlifting is not some divine quality.

    If you identify yourself as a weight lifter first and foremost, you will be devastated if you can't lift weights for some reason. I also think that it is a little depressing. People are capable of so many great things, to be defined by only one of them, especially one as trivial as how much weight you can lift, is to sell yourself short.
    Last edited by Jorge Sanchez; 09-15-2006 at 07:06 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by clawhammer_33
    When I've been out of commission due to car accidents, stupid injuries, the depression comes mainly from not being able to do what I love. Because at the end of the day, no matter what I look like, I just love to lift heavy ****.


    If you search hard, there is a thread that includes a post by GynoRhino, talking about the obsession in bodybuilding and losing, the ability and progress, due to injury. It really put things into perspective for me. I'll try to find it for you.
    If you can, that would be helpful

  20. #20
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    I lost a tonne of strength and size while travelling and to be honest, i really don't care that much. Well at least not as much as i thought i would.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhlfan
    you're talking about this like it's an option. one day you WILL be 70 year old with no muscle mass or strength to speak of, unless you die of some disease or accident.
    Right, but I was mainly referring to accidents that happen to otherwise healthy people who aren't so old that they can't perform or benefit from strength training.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBBIRL
    People are hardwired to put far to much emphasis on physical attributes, both by good ole mother nature and the media.

    Someone whos slightly overweight (slighty doesnt mean 100 + pounds either) may be a much better overall partner for somebody yet that person would choose someone with a better overall physical apperance. In so many cases I've see just this.

    Person 1 chooses partner A over partner B

    Parnter A is:
    Abusive
    Violent
    Possesive
    Childish

    Partner B is:
    Understanding
    Peacefull
    Open minded
    Good Provider


    Person 1 chose partner A and keeps that parnter due to differences in physical attributes. While its obvious that partner B would be a much better choice.



    Their is way to much emphasis placed on how you look, people worry so much about it.
    I think your example has much more to do with personality differences than it does physical apperances. Physical appperances matter, but the hypothetical situation you described above sounds an awful lot like the "nice guy" vs. "jerk" syndrome, which I think has more to do with personality and self esteem issues than good looks. I'm sure we've all seen guys who are nothing special in the looks department, but are with amazingly hot girls.

  23. #23
    Never enough. MeHoW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBBIRL
    People are hardwired to put far to much emphasis on physical attributes, both by good ole mother nature and the media.

    Someone whos slightly overweight (slighty doesnt mean 100 + pounds either) may be a much better overall partner for somebody yet that person would choose someone with a better overall physical apperance. In so many cases I've see just this.

    Person 1 chooses partner A over partner B

    Parnter A is:
    Abusive
    Violent
    Possesive
    Childish

    Partner B is:
    Understanding
    Peacefull
    Open minded
    Good Provider


    Person 1 chose partner A and keeps that parnter due to differences in physical attributes. While its obvious that partner B would be a much better choice.



    Their is way to much emphasis placed on how you look, people worry so much about it.
    Now ask yourself a question. If the girl was 350+lbs but a great girl would anyone still write about her? We have a case of a double standard here.

    If you want good looking women you better look good yourself, give what you want to get instead of complaining how world is unfair.
    Whether that means losing weight, gaining weight, changing your clothing style to something that fits you a bit more. Do whatever you have to, but do something.

    Everyone laughs at ugly women that want great guys. When ugly guys talk about how women don't want them no one seems to call it the same way.

    In simple words, you're gonna get what you deserve based on your looks especially at a young age. If you think you deserve more, than you're proboblaly gonna have to work for it.
    Last edited by MeHoW; 09-15-2006 at 08:43 PM.
    5'6
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    Goal: Lift more, Be Bigger and look Better.

  24. #24
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    Lifting is the only real thing I care about in life. Everything I do is structured around it. It defines who I am. Temporary injuries I deal with and work around. If I was permanently injured and couldn't lift at all ever again, than I'd shoot myself, simple as that. I'd rather die than live without being able to do what I love. The thought of being small and weak and not being able to do anything about it is a life not worth living to me.

  25. #25
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by POWERLIFTER87
    Lifting is the only real thing I care about in life. Everything I do is structured around it. It defines who I am. Temporary injuries I deal with and work around. If I was permanently injured and couldn't lift at all ever again, than I'd shoot myself, simple as that. I'd rather die than live without being able to do what I love. The thought of being small and weak and not being able to do anything about it is a life not worth living to me.
    And anyone that feels that your opinion is wrong and wants to pass judgement on you like many others are doing in this thread is probably not a good idea.

    I'm glad you found something that you love and you would never give up.
    5'11.75
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    Bench: 250
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    Squat: 350
    OHP: 190

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