Calorie Counter

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

"Unrealistic" body goals

IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
In the last few days I've seen a girl in her 20s be told that wanting a flat belly is unrealistic and a guy be told that sub 10% bf was largely genetics.

When I started my journey, I was obese and from Day 1 I had a "unrealistic" goal physique. It took me over a decade but I achieved that goal and so have hundreds of thousands of other people so why call it unrealistic? It's only so if you believe it.

Instead of discouraging someone looking to achieve something remarkable, why not just say "go for it!"?

Thoughts?
«13456711

Replies

  • SuzySunshine99SuzySunshine99 Member Posts: 1,851 Member Member Posts: 1,851 Member
    I agree that no one should be discouraged from their goals, as long as they are safe and healthy.

    But, there is a difference between "unrealistic" and "impossible".

    Using yourself as an example, you said it took you over a decade to reach your goal. You proved that it was not impossible! But, many people (I would guess a majority), don't have the patience or dedication to stick with it for so long. People get frustrated after a while, and may end up settling for something less than their ultimate goal.

    I think that, for trainers and other people in the fitness business, it's important to be honest with their clients. Saying something like, "That's a great goal, but it's going to be a long process and a lot of hard work to get there. Are you up for it?"

    That's kind of my point; they're projecting their own limitations or lack of commitment onto someone else, after that person has already identified their goal. They act as if it's almost humanly impossible when hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have already proved it possible. Maybe its insecurity?

    It also depends on who is making the "unrealistic" comment. If it's the person's trainer, then the trainer is also trying to cover their own butt and tamp down expectations.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    I agree that no one should be discouraged from their goals, as long as they are safe and healthy.

    But, there is a difference between "unrealistic" and "impossible".

    Using yourself as an example, you said it took you over a decade to reach your goal. You proved that it was not impossible! But, many people (I would guess a majority), don't have the patience or dedication to stick with it for so long. People get frustrated after a while, and may end up settling for something less than their ultimate goal.

    I think that, for trainers and other people in the fitness business, it's important to be honest with their clients. Saying something like, "That's a great goal, but it's going to be a long process and a lot of hard work to get there. Are you up for it?"

    That's kind of my point; they're projecting their own limitations or lack of commitment onto someone else, after that person has already identified their goal. They act as if it's almost humanly impossible when hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have already proved it possible. Maybe its insecurity?

    It also depends on who is making the "unrealistic" comment. If it's the person's trainer, then the trainer is also trying to cover their own butt and tamp down expectations.

    Ahh, I could see that. But that's a trainer that should get fired.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    If someone wants a certain goal, depending on what it is I usually indicate the time frame and the amount of hard work involved. I also mention genetics and the fact that they might never get where they want to go (not that they can't, but they might not so try not to be discouraged).
    Also some people can never have a certain figure without surgery or help. And even then sometimes nothing can change what you were born with. For example, one woman was 5'2" or something and wanted to look like a Victoria's Secret model. I said there's nothing wrong with having certain physique goals but you also have to be realistic about height and genetic limitations.

    Oh, I get that totally. What you're doing is being REALISTIC. I'm more talking about things that are difficult but definitely possible. I feel like more and more, an athletic, lean body (male or female) is being viewed as out of reach by society at large.
    edited October 13
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    jenyb23 wrote: »
    jenyb23 wrote: »
    I think the reason people say "unrealistic" is because it requires a lot of hard work and most people will never achieve it. Like with sports, for example. An adult can start skating when they are in their 30s and maybe they have a goal of landing a double loop. This is unrealistic but not impossible. Are there adult skaters who started skating in their 30s who can land double loops? Yes! But it's not correct to say that Every one can be able to do that. Most people don't have the time or health to be able to jump like that. I've been skating for 12 years as an adult and I still cannot do more than single rotations. Yes, there may be tens of thousands of people who can do "unrealistic" goals, but there are also 7 billion people in the world. Once you have that perspective, it's understandable why people say certain things are actually unrealistic.

    Yes, but even if it would take monumental effort to achieve, why do people feel the need to adjust someone's view on what is realistic to fit their own stunted view? What do they gain by it? My absolute favorite thing to do in fitness is exactly the opposite; make someone realize they're selling themselves short and that what they consider impossible is, in fact, possible with hard work and consistency.

    I was actually trying to point out that what the experts you quoted are saying truthful facts. It's largely due to genetics. For most people, no matter how hard they dedicate themselves to something, some goals can never be achieved. It's good to have goals of course, there is nothing wrong with having unobtainable goals, but it's better to keep calling them unrealistic for the betterment of mental health. Fitness and mental health are closely related. If someone kept telling me that "yes, you can land a double loop! You just have to try harder." And then after 12 years, I still can't, I would quit skating. However, since that isn't the case, I keep skating because I know what limitations I have and have made realistic goals.

    I'm saying that's wrong. Having a flat stomach or low bf % may be easier with good genetics, but neither is unrealistic. For myself, I have terrible genetics! Your analogy is a matter of ability where what I'm talking about IS a matter of effort. And I'm fine with people telling themselves something is unrealistic, but they have no right putting that on someone else unless asked. Also, they're not experts, they're random people on here telling other people things are unrealistic just because that's how it feels to them.
    edited October 13
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    psychod787 wrote: »
    Wow...I think is a great one. I agree with @cwolfman13 , what is unrealistic is NOT impossible. I am living proof of that. I actually have been as low as sub 9% per dexa, probably lower because I dropped another 8 lbs after getting it, and was 6.1 bod pod and 6 % via trained calipers. I had feathered shoulders and would have had ripped abs if it were not for all my loose skin. Would I have ever though that this was possible after being grossly obese for years? Hell no. So, it was not impossible, but realistically maintainable? Well, kept it for almost 2 years. Worst 2 years of my life though. Like being a living anorexic. Actually was diagnosed as anorexic by a therapist. Worth it. **Kitten** no! So, realistic for me is probably in the mid 20's bf and being closer to 225lbs. I tell peoplr who want to lose weight to find a goal, and be happy with half of it. If you are 40% bf, shoot for the moon, but be happy with 20%. JMHO....

    Love this, so much truth. Good job, man!
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    I think sometimes people need the caveat of "unrealistic" attached to their idealized body type, b/c if they keep fantasizing about this body type and don't achieve it (often ppl want to achieve it quickly), they will give up completely or have adverse psychological effects.

    So prefacing some statements with "Yes this body type is achievable, BUT isn't realistic for most people" is just honest. Are most people going to achieve the level of "professional" instagrammer bodies? No, it isn't a realistic goal for most people.

    I agree. The statements that bugged me were both to younger people, both already in decent shape regarding a flat stomach and sub 10% bf. It felt like they were imposing that caveat on other people, almost like "since I don't have the dedication, you won't either."
Sign In or Register to comment.