As the weather gets hotter and it starts to get to the time of year where everyone is in bathing suits and crop tops, everyone starts to lean out and want to be super lean.. but is it worth it?
Ive been lean. Ive been to the point where i had an 8 pack.I spent almost 4 houts in the gym a day and was on a strict meal plan that had almost no carbs. I didn’t go out on weekends with friends and I didn’t endulge myself when I had cravings. I cut out my favourite foods. Was i doing a show? No. I was in no means prepping for a show.. but simply just chose to lean out for the summer.
I woke up at 6am and did cardo before work.. and then went to the gym again after work to lift. The only carbs I had were around my workouts. I was miserable and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I had abs. I was lean. I could see the stritations in my shoulders and I was getting vascular.
I look back on pictures from last year when I was lean, and I wish that i looked like that. I could go back to that. I could do it again and look that lean.. But at what cost? The cost of memories with my friends. The cost of not indulging. The cost of a restrictive diet. The cost of breaking down into tears when I failed on my diet.
Is being lean really worth it? Is it worth gibing up parts of your life for the simple fact that you can see your body changing? I can say from persoanl expeierence that although you love what you see in the mirror it’s mentally exhausting. It’s not worth missing out on parts of your life to be that lean.
Being fit does not mean you have to have abs. It does not mean that you have to have quad seperation. Being fit has nothing to do with how lean you are. Being fit putting in the work in the gym, its being able to push yourself to new limits everyday. It’s bettering yuorself.
There are days that i consider going back on a strict meal plan but then i realize that I would rather live my life. I would rather enjoy going out for food with my friends and having a couple of drinks without hating myself later.
Health isn’t purely physical.
Health isn’t having a low body fat percenetage.
Health is mental. Health is emotional. Health is physical. Health is spiritual.
Health is so much more than a number.
Being lean is not worth the impact that it has on your emotional and mental health. I go through old pictures and think about how many compliments I got on how lean i was and how good my abs looked, and as much I thank them and get happy about it.. I remenber how much mental struggle I went through. How many times i pushed away things that i loved because I wanted to be lean.
The picture on the right is last summer when I was on a strict meal plan that was loaded with restrictions. The second picture is from last month while enjoying my favourite treats in moderation and listening to my body. What isn’t showed in either picture is the mental strength. In the first picture the only thing that made me happy most days was seeing my progress and my abs. I posted constant pictures of my stomach for reassurance that it was worth it. In the second picture i’m still pleased with my progress.. but not only my physical progress but my progress in school and in life. Sure the reassurance from posting pictures is still nice, but it’s not the only thing that makes me realize i’m making progress. It’s not the only thing that makes me think it’s worth it.