Ok I admit it… I have body issues.
I’m sure you’re saying right now, come on Devin everyone has some right? Yes that’s true, but there was a time I had a lot! Let me explain.
When I was younger I was painfully shy. In fact when we did a grade eight year book write up for our class mine began, “Devin is the quietest member of our class…”
I was shy, I was only mediocre in school (my siblings both did better) and I didn’t have a lot of friends. It wasn’t the best time for me.
But the thing I hated the most was that I was super skinny. When I say skinny I mean it! In grade nine I was 5’10” (same height as I am now) and weighed 135lbs. You can’t even believe how self-conscious I was about how I looked.
I wanted to look like the football players on my favorite team the Chicago Bears and the bodybuilders I saw in magazines, but I wasn’t even close.
My brother got a weight set when I turned 14 and I decided it was time to do something about it so I started lifting weights and working out. As I got bigger and stronger nothing was ever enough for me. I couldn’t get big enough and I couldn’t push myself hard enough. Throw up from working out? Yep did that all the time. Workout until I could hardly walk upstairs? All the time!
Through university football my attitude didn’t change, in fact it got worse. No matter how much stronger and bigger I became it wasn’t enough for me. But it wasn’t just about being big. I wanted to be able to sprint, and run distance too.
Following university I got into bodybuilding, strong man events and kept getting bigger. But still, when I looked in the mirror I saw that skinny kid who was 14 and felt like the wimp on the beach getting sand kicked in his face.
It wasn’t until I got in my 30s that I finally realized what I was chasing was not only crazy but it made no sense. There was no point in being huge and without the aid of large amounts of drugs I wasn’t going to be huge anyway. I had to take a step back and re-evaluate what I really wanted.
It was very hard. When you have told yourself for years that you need to look a certain way, and spend literally thousands of hours chasing that look, it’s no fun to say OK it’s time to stop.
But when I finally did I realized I didn’t like what I was chasing. I was sick to death of looking in the mirror and not being proud of all the hard work I put in. It was a huge mindset change and it was needed!
I am much happier now when I look in the mirror. In fact rather than looking for the negatives I look for positives. Any time I feel negatives sneak in I think, “would I let a friend say that to me?”
What I am saying is you should love your body. That doesn’t mean give up on exercise. I believe if you love your body you will want to take care of it and exercise to keep it healthy. But you should look at your progress as you go and celebrate how far you have come, even as you keep going.
Ignore the negative voices, and concentrate on how much you have accomplished! That positive will always keep you going and working hard than any negative self-talk!
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Devin Sherrington was named #2 trainer in Canada 2015, is 8 time Best Personal Fitness Trainer Halifax award winner, and owner the award winning fitness studio 360fit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He lives in Fletcher’s Lake with his girlfriend Lauren and children Reign and Journey.