What drives you? (A confessional.)

  • ArtistLike

    Posts: 75

    Oct 20, 2012 3:04 PM GMT
    Soo I'm just curious for the guys in the fitness forum: what drives you? I imagine most of us are at least semi-obsessed with having muscular definition and as small a waist as possible. (Yes, that's a sweeping assumption.) But why?

    Here's my 'why': As a result of suddenly being a sexual (gay) being around age 12, I became incredibly self-conscious and also was rejected by all of my until-then lifelong friends. I stayed home, ate chocolate, gained a ton of weight and had probably the worst acne anyone could imagine (think burn victim). I thought my life was over and that I was rotting. Flash forward to the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I starved myself (ate one piece of dry toast a day) and dropped down to about 125lb (I'm 5'11"). And I suddenly felt alive and I suppose I had a feeling of control over my own fate. When I finally felt like I wasn't a complete monster to other people, I started working out, got laser treatments on my face, etc. But I still carry my insecurities with me, even in physical form as acne scars and gigantic 8" white stretch marks on my abdomen that I'll never get rid of. For years I did 450 or 900 crunches a day and had rock-hard abs in an attempt to compensate for the scars--and of course from working out a lot, I developed more stretch marks all over my back, flanks, and arms. (My skin is prone to scarring even with the use of cocoa butter, etc.)

    So that's the bottom line: past trauma and overcompensation. I'm pretty much past the phase of just wanting to have sex with every hot guy I meet, but I still feel pressured to be in shape so that I won't come across as repulsive to other people. Am I alone?
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    Oct 20, 2012 6:16 PM GMT
    I guess i can relate to the whole unpretty thing.I have a really big nose,and i always feel its the reason why i am "ugly".I can't say i do push ups and what not,but im always active. which is why i am still skinny to this day,despite the fact i eat more than a black hole.Even though my nose isn't something i can't fix with fitness,Being active and doing stuff usually takes my mind off the whole physical attractiveness spectrum of life.
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    Oct 20, 2012 6:50 PM GMT
    No you are not alone, we all have insecurities. If I dont go to gym 2 days in a row I start feeling ugly for some reason, even though gym doesnt really help me much putting muscle mass but at least it helps me stay where I am and I am ok with that. If I dont go to gym I start putting weight on my stomach and my arms start getting thinner and I dont like that.
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    Oct 20, 2012 9:34 PM GMT
    ArtistLike saidSoo I'm just curious for the guys in the fitness forum: what drives you? I imagine most of us are at least semi-obsessed with having muscular definition and as small a waist as possible. (Yes, that's a sweeping assumption.) But why?

    Here's my 'why': As a result of suddenly being a sexual (gay) being around age 12, I became incredibly self-conscious and also was rejected by all of my until-then lifelong friends. I stayed home, ate chocolate, gained a ton of weight and had probably the worst acne anyone could imagine (think burn victim). I thought my life was over and that I was rotting. Flash forward to the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I starved myself (ate one piece of dry toast a day) and dropped down to about 125lb (I'm 5'11"). And I suddenly felt alive and I suppose I had a feeling of control over my own fate. When I finally felt like I wasn't a complete monster to other people, I started working out, got laser treatments on my face, etc. But I still carry my insecurities with me, even in physical form as acne scars and gigantic 8" white stretch marks on my abdomen that I'll never get rid of. For years I did 450 or 900 crunches a day and had rock-hard abs in an attempt to compensate for the scars--and of course from working out a lot, I developed more stretch marks all over my back, flanks, and arms. (My skin is prone to scarring even with the use of cocoa butter, etc.)

    So that's the bottom line: past trauma and overcompensation. I'm pretty much past the phase of just wanting to have sex with every hot guy I meet, but I still feel pressured to be in shape so that I won't come across as repulsive to other people. Am I alone?


    No, you are not alone! I can identify with what you said, I was overweight from about 4th grade until senior year in high school. At that point I wanted to become a lifeguard so I went on a diet at the same time I was taking the class(which was I think about 6 weeks). I lost the extra 35 pounds and to this date all these years later I've never put the weight back on. I remember once I started seeing results it made it even easier to keep working out and watch what I ate.
    Also, I too had to endure really bad acne in high school, that really sucks especially at that age when kids are cruel and all you want to do is fit in.
    But having gone through those experiences, they helped shape my mindset for a lifetime, in good and bad ways. Good because I am incredibly disciplined with working out and eating right. Bad, because the insecurities are still things I work on today.. I feel fairly pleased with the way I look but in the back of my mind there is still the voice of that overweight kid with acne trying to interfere with self confidence and play mind games.
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    Oct 20, 2012 9:46 PM GMT
    I think what drives me is my aspiration to be the best I can possibly be.
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    Oct 20, 2012 9:50 PM GMT
    nightowl1 saidI think what drives me is my aspiration to be the best I can possibly be.


    Yes! that is exactly the way I feel.
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    Oct 20, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    For me it would be many little things. I do sports since I am a child, but the working out thing is pretty new to me.
    The fact that I want to look fitter, and I want people to find me sexy is of course a big part of it
    But more than that, I like the feeling that my muscles work, and I like the feeling that my body responds to it. It makes me feel that I am controlling something.
    Then I want to become strong, mentally and phisically.
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    Oct 20, 2012 10:19 PM GMT
    I was never a jock. I was the tall, skinny band geek and smart guy. Now, in midlife, I'm exploring all the things I had just assumed to be "not me." Why NOT me?

    Some things I've liked, others I haven't. I was surprised that working out and building up my body was something I actually enjoyed. Which is why I'm so bummed by my motor scooter accident 5 weeks ago which has kept me not only from working but from working out. I might need surgery on my shoulder which will take a LONG time to heal.

    But back to the point: I work out as kind of an experiment. "Let's see what this body can do (and look like)." I can't take it too seriously or I get frustrated. Like most people, I've felt invisible at times and suffered from less-than-high self-esteem. A great side benefit of my efforts is more attention from guys and feeling more confident.

    This quote sums it up best for me:

    "What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
    --Socrates (469-399 BC)
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    Oct 20, 2012 11:41 PM GMT
    A Toyota.
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    Oct 20, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    That is a varied as the incentive at the end of the road... mostly the idea of happiness a thing can bring me, or series of actions is enough... and people's indomitable stupidity against me fulfilling my goals, still hasn't been enough to stop me. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Oct 20, 2012 11:46 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidA Toyota.


    toyotas aren't planes, silly
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    Oct 21, 2012 3:36 AM GMT
    For me feeling good about myself would be the main driver. The feeling of endorphins after a workout and that you have accomplished something for the day is great.

    When you feel good about yourself it radiates into all aspects of life.
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    Oct 21, 2012 4:09 AM GMT
    a black man named Hoke

    you can call me Ms Daisy
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    Oct 21, 2012 4:25 AM GMT
    calibro said
    paulflexes saidA Toyota.


    toyotas aren't planes, silly


    calibros package and ass drives me!!
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    Oct 21, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    My intense dislike of my many flaws drives me, together with my fear of rejection. I would love to say I do it out of some sort of positive motivation for health, and there are many things I do to advance my health, but the core motivation for exercise really stems from those two factors.