Written by Akesha Smith
Bodybuilding: The Daily Struggles
The life of a bodybuilder looks glamorous and glossy, hundreds of men and women walking around on stage showing off their perfectly chiselled bodies. From the fake tan to the skimpy outfits, bodybuilders look like they have the dream job, but is it really that easy? Of course not! It takes months of gruelling diets and hours of intense workouts every day to achieve the desired look.
Bodybuilding is a job of sacrifices and discipline, those who undergo bodybuilding sacrifice many luxuries that most people would not even comprehend as anything special. Simple things like indulging in a quick chocolate bar or even spending a few more hours in bed are all luxuries that are forfeited in order to achieve their goals. The bodybuilding life demands the person to become emotionally, physically and mentally strong in order for success. The lifestyle they have chosen has no room for quick indulges or lazy days, they are required to stick to their strict workout plan and keep to their set diets.
Believe it or not, under their perfect muscular bodies, they go through daily struggles that the average person would not even think about. Bodybuilders have such a strict diet for example when they get their well-deserved cheat meal, they almost feel guilty for indulging themselves. Cheat day for them, is the day that makes their diet worthwhile, the day that keeps them going. Knowing they have a cheat day to look forward to every week pushing them to continue on the insane journey they have chosen. Another struggle every bodybuilder goes through on a daily basis is continuously feeling that they are too small.
Body Dysmorphia is a serious thing that distresses every serious bodybuilder. They have a never ending hunger to become bigger that sometimes they can never seem to satisfy. Those people you see pacing up and down in the gym, staring at themselves for hours on end, may not be vain but in fact, suffer from body dysmorphia. Inside their mind, they are fighting a never ending battle with themselves. Thinking they are too small, and having the need to pump more weights to get bigger. This is a serious issue that could lead bodybuilders down a path of over bulking their body and become obsessed with getting bigger muscles. Bodybuilders have to deal with this issue, it is a mental and physical fight they have to deal with and overcome this feeling of self-doubt.
On top of having to deal with their own personal battles with their body, bodybuilders go through battles with family and friends. Calorie counting is an important step in every bodybuilder’s life, however, family and friends may not understand the obsession with having to know how many calories they are consuming for every meal. Bodybuilders put in a lot of hard work in their gym workouts and food preparation in order to get the body they deserve, the last they need is to have their close ones pointing out their calorie counting obsession. It is already a chore and hassle to eat what is right and clean, at the right time with the correct quantity.
Following on from this, their close one will nag them when they go through their “cut” stage. The cut stage is when you begin gaining muscle and start losing the fat. Your calorie intake decreases and those around you who are unaware of the lifestyle, may criticise them, which in turn is no help for them. They may worry that they are losing too much weight too quickly and they are becoming unhealthy. Daily struggles like avoiding baked goodies their partner or friends might bake for them, in a plot to make them eat something.
Bodybuilding is not for everyone, as it takes huge commitment and effort, it all comes down to what you as an individual are prepared to put in, and what you are willing to give up in order to get what you want. Bodybuilding puts your body through many things, as your body experiences drastic changes to your diet and exercise. Those who choose this life need to make sure they are 100% committed to this as only half-heartedly doing bodybuilding is not only good for your body but you may not enjoy it as much. Having a muscular body is nice, however it is not ideal to have that body all the time because when or if you put weight on, you can become obsessed with getting rid of it, which in turn can lead bodybuilders down the wrong path.
Bodybuilding can be very challenging on the body, however overall, if it is something you want, it is a lifestyle that you will adapt to and start to enjoy. Bodybuilding like every sport should be taken seriously as not completing the right preparation and having the right advisors around you, can lead people to develop eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
The life of a bodybuilder proves to be mentally, physically and emotionally challenging, just like any other sport. Bodybuilding highlights the mental strength you need as an individual in order to succeed and it is not for everyone. However, if you embark on this bodybuilding journey, your body will transform and be sculpted to perfection. It pushes your body to your limits and forces you to see things in a new light. Bodybuilding reflects how your body can look healthy and muscular, and that the number you see on the scale does not always reflect your health. Muscle weighs more than, so it is perfectly natural to weigh heavier when you start your training
Those who know of the hardship of their bodybuilding journey do so because they love it and it has become the essence of their life. They continue on what would some say is an insane path, to become the best they can be.