Every few months or so I get this urge to take progress pictures. I tell myself that the reason I do it is to track my progress along the way and to have pictures to look back on, to see how my body has changed. And yes, that’s part of the reason, but another reason I probably do it is just to make sure that I’m staying in the shape that I want(as in.... not getting fat!).
So I took some of those progress pictures yesterday…and was not too happy with what I saw this time.
As I've blogged about before, I struggle with the desire to be perfect, mostly when it comes to my physique. I have worked my butt off and spent countless hours at the gym creating the body that I have now, and I am proud of it. I love being lean and I love all the muscles that I have created… but...there are still those little flaws that bug me. Yes, they're there. For the most part I really do love my body, but I *DO* have flaws and insecurities just like everyone else.
After getting a little down on myself after looking at the pictures, I had to talk some sense into myself. I'm trying to gain muscle, not have a 6 pack. I'm not dieting.... I'm not doing any cardio(with the exception of heavy sled pushes, if you want to call that cardio)... I'm eating in a way that doesn't stress me out or make me miserable(which for me, is not tracking calories or macros). ..I'm eating more carbs... Is that a recipe for having shredded abs? No, it's not... because that's not what I'm going for.
So...I came to the realization that maybe those progress pictures aren’t good for me at this point. I mean, even as I was taking the pics, I was thinking how stupid it was. All they are really doing is getting me to focus on my flaws and my imperfections. Instead of feeling good about my lean quads, what I see is that my abs are no longer as defined as they used to be. Instead of feeling good about my round shoulders, what I see is the fat covering my obliques. For some people, it's the scale they need to stay away from. For others...maybe it's even "progress" pictures.
(I do feel that I should point out that it seems I always get the urge to take pictures when it's that time of the month....which is pretty much the worst thing you could do, right?! Duh! When will I ever learn??)
If I really want to be super lean and have ripped abs, I could do it. I know exactly what I would have to do. I know that I could cut back on carbs and start tracking my calories and macros, and start geting up and doing a fasted walk every morning…and all that fun stuff. But do I really want to subject myself to the anxiety and misery of dieting just to see abs when I look in the mirror? Do I want to obsessively track every gram of protein, carbs, and fat that I put into my mouth just to get rid of that little bit of fat on my waist? Even though I can’t stand those freaking love handles...no, for me, it’s not worth living my life like that!
So what that means is that if I don't want to obsess over my diet, if I want to eat the foods I enjoy, if I want to have more treats here and there....well, then I just have to live with my love handles! I have to learn to be okay with not being perfect. :) And it also means that I am going to STOP taking progress pictures that do nothing but cause me to critique my body in a negative rather than positive way!