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"Unrealistic" body goals

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  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,525 Member Member Posts: 8,525 Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    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?

    Do you know what the background of the relationship between each trainer and these clients were? Was this an intro session, or had they been working together for months? Is it possible the trainer had become familiar with these clients' strengths and lifestyles and was starting to see that these goals "were" unrealistic for them?

    I agree perhaps saying a goal is a long term goal that will require hard work, patience, and dedication and still might not be possible is a better choice of words than "unrealistic". But I'll add that we see lots of people (especially women) come here feeling like worthless failures because they can't get a flat belly or a big butt or a specific BF% and they have no idea that depending on your genetics these can be extreme and possibly "unrealistic" goals. There are a decent % of women who would need to become underweight to have the flat bellies they see in Insta posts. And maybe if someone had told them that 10 years ago they'd be happier and healthier today. Lots of folks live their entire lives feeling like crap about themselves because they are trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.

    I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but hey, it's the Debate forum :wink: I don't necessarily disagree with you, just not sure it's as cut and dry as it sounds.

    It wasn't a trainer and client, it was random people on MFP replying to others that had made posts. The context was there to plainly see and it made me mad! Some guy whose profile picture looked in good shape said something like "I want a sub 10% beach body" and a guy replied that it would be virtually impossible without the right genetics. Sure, it will take work but that's just BS.

    You might have gotten different responses if you shared the context in the OP, or earlier in the thread. There were several posts from people who got the impression this was in a trainer-client context, as I recall.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,525 Member Member Posts: 8,525 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    4Phoenix wrote: »
    @IronIsMyTherapy Absolutely....mindset is a critical component of lifestyle. (Tell me I can't do something...I'll work even harder and prove you wrong. But encouragement is a plus.) Congratulations on the transformation.

    Well, that's illogical. If you work harder when someone tells you you can't do something, how can encouragement be a plus?

    Read it again and you will understand - "try EVEN harder" for emphasis.

    When I suffered severe knee injuries a surgeon telling me I had to accept being disabled was a huge motivator to try EVEN harder. It didn't make me try as I was already trying harder than most people would.

    When another surgeon with higher ambitions for his patients congratulated me on the progress I had made far and above the norm that was an encouragement to continue and a definite plus.

    But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator. Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all.

    "But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator."
    Nope didn't say that at all, where did I rank the two experiences?
    It certainly can be though. the kind of encouragement in the form of mindless platitudes spouted by trainers/coaches etc. (think Peleton adverts...) do absolutely nothing for me, just noise.
    I also did not project that what works for me (and @4Phoenix ) on to everyone. Motivation is personal.

    I said my surgeon telling me to accept disability was a great motivator to me - those words burned for years and were a part of my drive to exceed everyone's expectations. Everyone's apart from my own.
    If you don't respond the same way to someone trying to crush your ambition that's fine by me, I fully understand many people wouldn't have reacted the same way as me.

    "Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all."
    Nonsensical statement. Nothing I wrote suggests that at all.
    If you can't understand something ask for clarification but I think you are just doing the written version of listening to respond.

    I'll expand just in case you want to understand....
    The encouragement from the second surgeon was great, gave me feedback on what I had achieved, gave me guidance on mitigating the risk of further injury and a suggestion which allowed me to take my recovery to the next level. That is the kind of support and encouragement that works for me - guidance how to achieve something as opposed to telling someone not to even aim high.

    Would it have been better if the surgeon had encouraged you to to expect you could achieve whatever your goal was? Then the surgeon's discouragement wasn't really a great motivator. If your outcome was better because he discouraged you than it would have been if he had encouraged you, then encouragement wouldn't be a plus.

    You don't have to directly compare the two.

    X > Y > X is nonsensical.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,267 Member Member Posts: 17,267 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    4Phoenix wrote: »
    @IronIsMyTherapy Absolutely....mindset is a critical component of lifestyle. (Tell me I can't do something...I'll work even harder and prove you wrong. But encouragement is a plus.) Congratulations on the transformation.

    Well, that's illogical. If you work harder when someone tells you you can't do something, how can encouragement be a plus?

    Read it again and you will understand - "try EVEN harder" for emphasis.

    When I suffered severe knee injuries a surgeon telling me I had to accept being disabled was a huge motivator to try EVEN harder. It didn't make me try as I was already trying harder than most people would.

    When another surgeon with higher ambitions for his patients congratulated me on the progress I had made far and above the norm that was an encouragement to continue and a definite plus.

    But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator. Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all.

    "But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator."
    Nope didn't say that at all, where did I rank the two experiences?
    It certainly can be though. the kind of encouragement in the form of mindless platitudes spouted by trainers/coaches etc. (think Peleton adverts...) do absolutely nothing for me, just noise.
    I also did not project that what works for me (and @4Phoenix ) on to everyone. Motivation is personal.

    I said my surgeon telling me to accept disability was a great motivator to me - those words burned for years and were a part of my drive to exceed everyone's expectations. Everyone's apart from my own.
    If you don't respond the same way to someone trying to crush your ambition that's fine by me, I fully understand many people wouldn't have reacted the same way as me.

    "Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all."
    Nonsensical statement. Nothing I wrote suggests that at all.
    If you can't understand something ask for clarification but I think you are just doing the written version of listening to respond.

    I'll expand just in case you want to understand....
    The encouragement from the second surgeon was great, gave me feedback on what I had achieved, gave me guidance on mitigating the risk of further injury and a suggestion which allowed me to take my recovery to the next level. That is the kind of support and encouragement that works for me - guidance how to achieve something as opposed to telling someone not to even aim high.

    Would it have been better if the surgeon had encouraged you to to expect you could achieve whatever your goal was? Then the surgeon's discouragement wasn't really a great motivator. If your outcome was better because he discouraged you than it would have been if he had encouraged you, then encouragement wouldn't be a plus.

    You don't have to directly compare the two.

    X > Y > X is nonsensical.

    I've explained my experience and mindset clearly and must conclude you are being deliberately obtuse.
    Not worth continuing this as you are going to ridiculous lengths just to be argumentative.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 463 Member Member Posts: 463 Member
    I feel like we're almost having two separate discussions here.

    There are goals that are relatively difficult or very hard to achieve, but they are realistic in that the human body can generally attain them given sufficient time and effort. They may not be realistic for ME in terms of the time and effort I'm willing to put in, but I'm the limitation. It's still an attainable result.

    There are also goals that can only be achieved through cosmetic surgery or a unlikely combination of genetics.

    I think that people should feel free to go after very difficult goals and that the important thing is that they have realistic expectations about the time and effort involved.

    If someone is asking how training or diet can make them look like (celebrity x), it can be useful to let them know that their results are not due to training.

    It's like any type of goal. If I say my goal is to climb Mount Everest, that's a realistic goal in sense that it is something that many people have done. It's currently unlikely for me in particular, in that I have never climbed a mountain and I am not saving up funds for an Everest expedition. But if I told an expedition guide that it was my goal, I'd expect him or her to outline the current obstacles for me and what I needed to begin doing instead of just telling me it could never happen.

    But let's say I had a different goal: to visit Atlantis. I'd fully expect people to let me know that wasn't going to happen, as it doesn't exist.

    You're right. And what I'm taking issue with is the people on this site telling others that are aiming for a difficult but attainable goal that its unrealistic.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,525 Member Member Posts: 8,525 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    4Phoenix wrote: »
    @IronIsMyTherapy Absolutely....mindset is a critical component of lifestyle. (Tell me I can't do something...I'll work even harder and prove you wrong. But encouragement is a plus.) Congratulations on the transformation.

    Well, that's illogical. If you work harder when someone tells you you can't do something, how can encouragement be a plus?

    Read it again and you will understand - "try EVEN harder" for emphasis.

    When I suffered severe knee injuries a surgeon telling me I had to accept being disabled was a huge motivator to try EVEN harder. It didn't make me try as I was already trying harder than most people would.

    When another surgeon with higher ambitions for his patients congratulated me on the progress I had made far and above the norm that was an encouragement to continue and a definite plus.

    But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator. Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all.

    "But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator."
    Nope didn't say that at all, where did I rank the two experiences?
    It certainly can be though. the kind of encouragement in the form of mindless platitudes spouted by trainers/coaches etc. (think Peleton adverts...) do absolutely nothing for me, just noise.
    I also did not project that what works for me (and @4Phoenix ) on to everyone. Motivation is personal.

    I said my surgeon telling me to accept disability was a great motivator to me - those words burned for years and were a part of my drive to exceed everyone's expectations. Everyone's apart from my own.
    If you don't respond the same way to someone trying to crush your ambition that's fine by me, I fully understand many people wouldn't have reacted the same way as me.

    "Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all."
    Nonsensical statement. Nothing I wrote suggests that at all.
    If you can't understand something ask for clarification but I think you are just doing the written version of listening to respond.

    I'll expand just in case you want to understand....
    The encouragement from the second surgeon was great, gave me feedback on what I had achieved, gave me guidance on mitigating the risk of further injury and a suggestion which allowed me to take my recovery to the next level. That is the kind of support and encouragement that works for me - guidance how to achieve something as opposed to telling someone not to even aim high.

    Would it have been better if the surgeon had encouraged you to to expect you could achieve whatever your goal was? Then the surgeon's discouragement wasn't really a great motivator. If your outcome was better because he discouraged you than it would have been if he had encouraged you, then encouragement wouldn't be a plus.

    You don't have to directly compare the two.

    X > Y > X is nonsensical.

    I've explained my experience and mindset clearly and must conclude you are being deliberately obtuse.
    Not worth continuing this as you are going to ridiculous lengths just to be argumentative.

    It's not clear to me whether you consider encouragement or discouragement to be more motivating. Despite repeated efforts, you don't seem to understand that I find that unclear, and now you're accusing me of bad faith, so I agree it is best to end the discussion.
  • ccrdragonccrdragon Member Posts: 2,820 Member Member Posts: 2,820 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    4Phoenix wrote: »
    @IronIsMyTherapy Absolutely....mindset is a critical component of lifestyle. (Tell me I can't do something...I'll work even harder and prove you wrong. But encouragement is a plus.) Congratulations on the transformation.

    Well, that's illogical. If you work harder when someone tells you you can't do something, how can encouragement be a plus?

    Read it again and you will understand - "try EVEN harder" for emphasis.

    When I suffered severe knee injuries a surgeon telling me I had to accept being disabled was a huge motivator to try EVEN harder. It didn't make me try as I was already trying harder than most people would.

    When another surgeon with higher ambitions for his patients congratulated me on the progress I had made far and above the norm that was an encouragement to continue and a definite plus.

    But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator. Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all.

    "But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator."
    Nope didn't say that at all, where did I rank the two experiences?
    It certainly can be though. the kind of encouragement in the form of mindless platitudes spouted by trainers/coaches etc. (think Peleton adverts...) do absolutely nothing for me, just noise.
    I also did not project that what works for me (and @4Phoenix ) on to everyone. Motivation is personal.

    I said my surgeon telling me to accept disability was a great motivator to me - those words burned for years and were a part of my drive to exceed everyone's expectations. Everyone's apart from my own.
    If you don't respond the same way to someone trying to crush your ambition that's fine by me, I fully understand many people wouldn't have reacted the same way as me.

    "Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all."
    Nonsensical statement. Nothing I wrote suggests that at all.
    If you can't understand something ask for clarification but I think you are just doing the written version of listening to respond.

    I'll expand just in case you want to understand....
    The encouragement from the second surgeon was great, gave me feedback on what I had achieved, gave me guidance on mitigating the risk of further injury and a suggestion which allowed me to take my recovery to the next level. That is the kind of support and encouragement that works for me - guidance how to achieve something as opposed to telling someone not to even aim high.

    Would it have been better if the surgeon had encouraged you to to expect you could achieve whatever your goal was? Then the surgeon's discouragement wasn't really a great motivator. If your outcome was better because he discouraged you than it would have been if he had encouraged you, then encouragement wouldn't be a plus.

    You don't have to directly compare the two.

    X > Y > X is nonsensical.

    I've explained my experience and mindset clearly and must conclude you are being deliberately obtuse.
    Not worth continuing this as you are going to ridiculous lengths just to be argumentative.

    It's not clear to me whether you consider encouragement or discouragement to be more motivating. Despite repeated efforts, you don't seem to understand that I find that unclear, and now you're accusing me of bad faith, so I agree it is best to end the discussion.

    This is the first time you have asked me a simple question without telling me my opinion / feelings or trying to deconstruct / reconstruct my words out of context so I will answer.

    Being told by the first surgeon I couldn't do something (virtually anything beyond walking and then in the future having a TKR) was huge boost to my motivation. It didn’t create the motivation but did turbo-charge it. It helped to drive me to regain my lost fitness, take up new sports, be a far better squash player than before, run further than ever - despite hating distance running! Even to have surgery to fix up the other knee which was repairable. When I was/am forced to concede that there are things I cannot do it hurts and I feel he gets a little victory almost 30 years later, that he wins the odd battle but I won the war is a source of satisfaction.

    Getting encouragement from the second surgeon was a fleeting plus. Nice to hear I had recovered more capability than most people but didn’t do anything for my motivation either way.

    In terms of the OP if I was the guy stating a desire to get to under 10% BF, naysayers would motivate me to try harder, simple encouragement would fall into the category of “that’s nice of them” but not change anything, practical advice might influence me. Other people would flip encouragement and discouragement the other way round but this is me, I respond stronger to a challenge than to praise.

    This is me too... I love it when people say I can't do something because that motivates me to go out and do that very thing (I guess that I like to prove people wrong about me).
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,525 Member Member Posts: 8,525 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    4Phoenix wrote: »
    @IronIsMyTherapy Absolutely....mindset is a critical component of lifestyle. (Tell me I can't do something...I'll work even harder and prove you wrong. But encouragement is a plus.) Congratulations on the transformation.

    Well, that's illogical. If you work harder when someone tells you you can't do something, how can encouragement be a plus?

    Read it again and you will understand - "try EVEN harder" for emphasis.

    When I suffered severe knee injuries a surgeon telling me I had to accept being disabled was a huge motivator to try EVEN harder. It didn't make me try as I was already trying harder than most people would.

    When another surgeon with higher ambitions for his patients congratulated me on the progress I had made far and above the norm that was an encouragement to continue and a definite plus.

    But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator. Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all.

    "But you are saying that encouragement is inferior to discouragement as a motivator."
    Nope didn't say that at all, where did I rank the two experiences?
    It certainly can be though. the kind of encouragement in the form of mindless platitudes spouted by trainers/coaches etc. (think Peleton adverts...) do absolutely nothing for me, just noise.
    I also did not project that what works for me (and @4Phoenix ) on to everyone. Motivation is personal.

    I said my surgeon telling me to accept disability was a great motivator to me - those words burned for years and were a part of my drive to exceed everyone's expectations. Everyone's apart from my own.
    If you don't respond the same way to someone trying to crush your ambition that's fine by me, I fully understand many people wouldn't have reacted the same way as me.

    "Thus it is only a plus compared to someone not talking to you at all."
    Nonsensical statement. Nothing I wrote suggests that at all.
    If you can't understand something ask for clarification but I think you are just doing the written version of listening to respond.

    I'll expand just in case you want to understand....
    The encouragement from the second surgeon was great, gave me feedback on what I had achieved, gave me guidance on mitigating the risk of further injury and a suggestion which allowed me to take my recovery to the next level. That is the kind of support and encouragement that works for me - guidance how to achieve something as opposed to telling someone not to even aim high.

    Would it have been better if the surgeon had encouraged you to to expect you could achieve whatever your goal was? Then the surgeon's discouragement wasn't really a great motivator. If your outcome was better because he discouraged you than it would have been if he had encouraged you, then encouragement wouldn't be a plus.

    You don't have to directly compare the two.

    X > Y > X is nonsensical.

    I've explained my experience and mindset clearly and must conclude you are being deliberately obtuse.
    Not worth continuing this as you are going to ridiculous lengths just to be argumentative.

    It's not clear to me whether you consider encouragement or discouragement to be more motivating. Despite repeated efforts, you don't seem to understand that I find that unclear, and now you're accusing me of bad faith, so I agree it is best to end the discussion.

    This is the first time you have asked me a simple question without telling me my opinion / feelings or trying to deconstruct / reconstruct my words out of context so I will answer.

    Being told by the first surgeon I couldn't do something (virtually anything beyond walking and then in the future having a TKR) was huge boost to my motivation. It didn’t create the motivation but did turbo-charge it. It helped to drive me to regain my lost fitness, take up new sports, be a far better squash player than before, run further than ever - despite hating distance running! Even to have surgery to fix up the other knee which was repairable. When I was/am forced to concede that there are things I cannot do it hurts and I feel he gets a little victory almost 30 years later, that he wins the odd battle but I won the war is a source of satisfaction.

    Getting encouragement from the second surgeon was a fleeting plus. Nice to hear I had recovered more capability than most people but didn’t do anything for my motivation either way.

    In terms of the OP if I was the guy stating a desire to get to under 10% BF, naysayers would motivate me to try harder, simple encouragement would fall into the category of “that’s nice of them” but not change anything, practical advice might influence me. Other people would flip encouragement and discouragement the other way round but this is me, I respond stronger to a challenge than to praise.

    Thank you. That's much clearer.
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    As long as you can achieve your goals and maintain it in a healthy way I totally agree. Body competitions are cool but wildly unhealthy. If you enjoy the challenge then go for it but ask anyone who has ever competed if they believe that physique is sustainable. We all have a set point of where our body fat wants to be. If you diet too long or too much the hunger hormone WILL consume your every thought and eventually we all cave in to hunger. With the proper nutrition plan focused on high volume, low calorie dense foods, will really help you in keeping your desired physique.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 463 Member Member Posts: 463 Member
    With respect the OP has stated he’s not natural. His physique IS unrealistic, in that he has stated previously he could not obtain it by natural means. It’s clearly POSSIBLE but only if you are open to the same enhancements.

    Youre right about me, but I disagree that it's only possible that way. Theres of lot people natural that have better physiques than me. My physique isnt extraordinary imo. I dont believe my physique is unrealistic for someone natural but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about wanting to have a flat belly or single digit bf.
    edited October 16
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 463 Member Member Posts: 463 Member
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    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.

    Before I knew WTF I was talking about, I told my coach I wanted to do a BB show in April. He didn't say I was stupid or crazy, but said that might be unrealistic in terms of not having adequate time to diet down at a reasonably safe rate & still achieve the condition I was going after onstage. He didn't tell me I couldn't do it, but stressed that I would get better results & have a better process overall if I looked for a contest later in the year instead. My timeframe was ill-conceived and my original expectations were unrealistic.

    I have competed and you're right. I also agree with adding some reality to how LONG it might take but it's not like your trainer said your goal to compete was unrealistic in itself. I'm taking issue with people telling other that things like a flat stomach or sub 10% bf is unrealistic without knowing where they're at currently.
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