Have you ever felt bad about how you look? What am I talking about, of course you have. We all have. Unless you’re that one blessed individual who managed to make it through puberty, high school, and all the way to adulthood without ever feeling too fat, too skinny, too short, or too anything else to feel pretty.

It’s so easy to feel bad about yourself, and can sometimes seem impossible to feel good about yourself. All too often we compare ourselves to the physically perfect individuals in magazines, in movies, on Instagram; wishing that in addition to sleeping with that guy we could look like him as well.

Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo

In a recent survey by Attitude, 84% of respondents said they felt under intense pressure to have a good body. Only 1% considered themselves “very happy” with their appearance.

According to Attitude’s Editor-in-Chief, Matt Cain, “There is an epidemic of gay men taking shirtless selfies in the gym, desperate for affirmation.”

We understand that as a gay fitness magazine loaded with images of fitness models and muscular guys in their underwear, we have the potential to add to that. And we really don’t want to.

Don’t aim for perfection

Nobody’s body is perfect, even those that you think look perfect. Even the most buff and toned bodies come with their own insecurities. I hope they won’t mind me saying that when we photographed our lovely gay personal trainers, there was no end of comparisons voiced. Everyone’s so much bigger than me, his abs are so much better than mine, I wish I had his pecs, etc.

If these guys aren’t 100% happy with their bodies, how will any of us hope to be? I realise that sounds really negative but it doesn’t have to be. My point is, there will always be things about your body that you wish you could change, and so perfection is impossible and a waste of your energy striving for it.

By all means aim to improve your health and fitness, but don’t kill yourself in order to be “perfect”.

The numbers don’t count

So much of your fitness journey can’t be quantified. Focusing on numbers such as your weight, body fat percentage, calories burned/consumed, can easily lead to obsession.

If your goal is to be fit and healthy, that’s a goal that can’t be measured in numbers.

Matt Boyles is a gay personal trainer in London who’s focus is on creating a fitter, confident you.

“The whole point of my ethos is there in the programme name: Fitter (ie. fitter than you were) Confident (ie. more confident that before) You (errr… You).

None of these things are quantifiable and from personal experience I know how much happier I’ve been when I’ve stopped trying to hit a specific number, taken a step back and looked at A what I’ve done and B how I’m feeling.” – Fitter, Confident, You.

Work on yourself – inside and out

Eating well and exercising is important, it’s what we can focus on as a fitness magazine. But that’s not the only work you need to do in order to feel good about how you look. Your fitness journey is yours and yours alone. Check yourself when you start to compare yourself to others. It’s not about them, it’s about you and what you’ve achieved and how you’re looking after yourself.

Go to the gym with a personal trainer

It can feel really unfair when you see all these beautiful people on Instagram strutting around in their speedos, looking all trim and fabulous. Why can’t I look like that? Well those guys that you see with amazing abs and rock hard pecs, they don’t get those by wishing and praying.

In order to put things in perspective, you should go along to the gym with a personal trainer or fitness model or one of the speedo brigade, and see first hand just how hard they train. Twice a day for 2 hours at a time, with mountains of chicken breast and broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Is that something you’re willing/want to do in order to get those abs? If so then ok, go for it! If not, then enjoy the lifestyle you have. The life that people with these shredded bodies can’t enjoy.

Pizza, wine, and free time vs abs. The choice is yours.

Which would you choose?

Get help if you need it

We’re just a little gay fitness mag, we don’t have all the answers. If you’re struggling with body issues then we urge you to talk about it with someone. Whether that’s a friend or family member, or a professional. No good ever came from keeping these things to yourself.

Information and Support: Eating disorders

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