Everyone can have a perfect body. I fully believe that. Yes, YOU absolutely can have a perfect body. If you are thoroughly healthy from the inside out, your body will be at its best, and your body at its best IS perfect. Whether it is short and stocky or tall and lithe.
Having said this, I am NOT jumping on the “all bodies are perfect and we should embrace all shapes and sizes” bandwagon that seems to take off every time Victoria Secret posts a new ad like the one above. This kind of ad typically outrages many people and is quickly countered with one like this:
Apparently this version shows what “real” women look like. And yes, the majority of women nowadays DO look like the above. But this does not mean that all of these bodies are perfect. I guarantee you that the healthiest hunter gatherer / traditional populations would have looked far more like the VS women than several of those in this picture.
No matter how nice it sounds to just accept every body shape as it is without any need for improvement, it is time for us to accept the fact that there IS such a thing as being overweight and underweight, or over / under muscular. Whether we like it or not, the “perfect” human body does exist between certain parameters, and those parameters reflect the optimum level of health for that body.
Victoria Secret may be remiss in only focusing on one version of the perfect body (ie. tall and lithe), but the truth is, those women DO have perfect bodies*. They all rigorously take care of their health through good nutrition and exercise. These women should be applauded as examples of health, not condemned and blamed for making the rest of womankind feel bad about their bodies. *Please note I am not talking about starved waifs that sometimes waft across fashion runways.
And for those people who claim these women are the cause of eating disorders, I think there is far more danger of us accepting the opposite body-type as the new “healthy”. Most people could do with following these women’s examples in terms of cleaning up their food and exercising more smartly, not the opposite.
Having extra fat around the mid-section is not ideal in terms of health, no matter how much we may dislike that fact. Neither is having a body that is unhealthily skinny and lacking in muscle tone, so I’m not condoning the skeletal runway models we often also see either.
Whether we like it or not, there is a certain body shape range that is biologically healthier AND more attractive than body types that fall out of that range. It is not (contrary to popular belief) Victoria Secret’s fault that the majority of men prefer certain body shapes vs others in women and vice versa.
Studies have shown, for example, that most men EVERYWHERE (ie. those exposed to western advertising and those who have never seen a supermodel in their lives before) tend to prefer a certain hip to waist ratio (0.6-0.7) if given the choice. Even blind men preferred this ratio. This is biologically programmed into our DNA and exists because that ratio is probably the most ideal in terms of being an indicator of a woman’s fertility and health.
Back in prehistoric days, seeing a woman with a flat stomach, small waist and a slight curve to the hips and butt meant that she was, a) not pregnant and so still “available” and b) fertile enough to conceive and bear children.
So, like it or not, this kind of shape actually IS the ideal. It signifies health and fertility, and these are the qualities that, either subconsciously or otherwise, determine how attracted we are to the opposite sex (in this case women).
There are similar criteria for the “perfect man”.
Having said all this, I am NOT suggesting we all need to look like Alessandra Ambrosio. We may be shorter, more or less muscular, have larger or smaller bones etc, but we can still fall within a healthy range – ie. a similar ratio to the above, without excess body fat and with optimum muscle mass. We can still enjoy a range of physical variance, but that range is, I’d argue, far less wide than is currently acceptable in our desire to be all-inclusive to every shape out there.
Remember, our population right now is horribly unhealthy. A huge factor in this unhealthiness is a result of the increasing rise in obesity. We can argue day and night about equality and loving all body sizes, and yes, we should absolutely love and accept all people in the purest sense of the word. But we do not, and SHOULD not need to accept all shapes and sizes as healthy or optimal. This just isn’t true. We should all love our bodies enough to treat them with the utmost respect and love they deserve, and that means making our health a priority.
So how do you get the perfect body?
It is both the easiest and the hardest thing in the world. Easy because, really, health for most people is not that hard if we are consistently kind to our bodies.
If we treat our bodies right, most of us can easily enjoy optimum health and, by extension, optimum body composition. As soon as we get out of balance, though, things get whacky. So if we’re eating the wrong foods, or even, too much/too little of the right foods, or if we’re not sleeping, feeling stressed, not taking time to meditate and nourish ourselves in other ways, we will begin a slow (or sometimes rapid) decline towards a body that betrays us both in function and in shape.
The problem is that we can often get away with mistreating our bodies for a long time, because the negative effects usually take some time to manifest. We all know people who get away with eating crap in their 20s and 30s, and who look (and even feel) “fine”, but then they hit their 40s and onwards and their body composition, health and energy break down. At this point it is so much harder to undo all those years of abuse, so people just chalk it up to “aging”.
It does not have to be that way. Ask Sham. He is well into his 40s and looks and feels younger than many people in the “prime” of their 20s.
So, focus on eating the right foods in amounts that are suitable for your energy expenditure, move your body in functional ways according to how it was genetically programmed to be moved (eg. CrossFit), sleep a minimum of 8/9 hours every night, find ways to reduce stress, spend time with friends, find time for play and get enough healthy sun exposure. Do this consistently and you will eventually have a perfect body. This will take shorter or longer, depending on your current health/shape, but is SO worth it. And more for how you feel than look!
If you’ve been struggling with your weight, or need some more support in getting truly healthy, we now offer personalized holistic health coaching which will give you some simple, yet powerful steps you can begin to implement right away to get you to YOUR perfect body. Email us for more details.