Have you (like me) wondered if you’ll ever know what it’s like to have a perfect body?
At the outset, it’s probably worth acknowledging that the concept of the ideal physique isn’t the same for everybody and that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.
What I consider as the perfect body might not mesh with the glutes and six pack you have in mind. But I still have a burning desire to find out why some girls glide through life without the common body hangups and issues experienced by most of us (possibly all of us)… but do they?
It’s a simple but all-too-common question, so we thought that it’s time we ask it. That’s why we approached women with some of the fittest physiques in the business to find out “what’s it like to have a perfect body?”
Farai Gomwe – USN Face of Fitness 2018
I’m going to start off by saying that perfection is definitely subjective. I’ve been met with criticism when preparing for comps and leaning out, even though I’ve worked hard to get through the rigours of getting stage-ready..
I have come to realise that if your mind is not right, you can have a body that many people would perceive to be “perfect”, but you will never agree.
My ideal body is when I’m comfortable in my own skin, whether I’m competing or not. I keep a mental checklist to achieve this, ensuring that I’m drinking enough water, eating right, taking my vitamins and training consistently.
Due to my hectic schedule, I strive to maintain a body in which I feel good and take care of it so I never need to drastically change anything. I will always have insecurities about certain features because appearing on a magazine cover always creates underlying expectations to constantly look picture perfect.
I take comfort in knowing that as long as I’ve ticked off my checklist, and if I don’t have a competition goal in mind, then maintaining a healthy body and mind is what makes me content and relaxed. This does not make me feel like I have a perfect body, though. It simply gives me the right amount of confidence to feel good in my own way.
Yvette Ferreira – USN Face of Fitness runner up and Fitness Cover model
I had to read the question a few times because it raises many emotions for me as I have never thought that my body was “perfect”.
I always wanted to have a perfect body, though. I’ve spent many years dieting and I’ve spent countless hours in the gym in a misguided effort to achieve something that quite frankly does not exist.
My mother once said to me: “you will never be happy or satisfied with your body”. As a competitive athlete, that statement is very true. I’ll always want to improve certain aspects of my physique and I’ll never achieve perfection, but I thrive on improvement.
Throughout comp prep, I always have a constant mental battle with myself. Dieting and working out are easy, but the war with my mind is the hard part. Convincing myself that I am enough is the real challenge.
But now, as a 30-year-old woman I can confidently say that over the years I’ve learnt to love and respect my body. It took years of hard work to reach this point, not just the mental state of accepting my body and its flaws, but also physically seeing what my body is capable of when I push myself beyond my limits.
So, when you ask me what it’s like to have the perfect body, I’d say the perfect body is a state of mind. It is a sense of self acceptance and self love.
Once you have made peace with the fact that your body is unique and know that your worth does not lie in your outward appearance, only then will you have the perfect body. A perfect body is embedded in a woman who carries herself in confidence.
Angelique van der Linde
Does the perfect body even exist?
I’ve been at 20% body fat and I have felt what it is like at 5% and the truth is you need to find happiness in either body. If you cannot do that, you are missing the entire point.
It’s about health, wellness and, most of all, living in a place of balance in a world where none exists.
Countless women bring me photos of a body they aspire to achieve. I believe that the person in the photo has her own story to tell. She probably lives a different life and her genes also differ. My advice to these women has always been to find a photo of the optimal and realistic you.
Aim to achieve that again because that is attainable. You know the life that person lives and you know the struggles she endures. So, by reflecting on who you believe was the best version of yourself makes your goal realistic and certainly leaves you with no excuses because, hey, it’s you!
Know this, we all ultimately strive for perfection in an imperfect world. Fitness models always want to be fitter, healthier and leaner. So, if even the professionals want more out of their physique, rest assured that you are not alone, beautiful.
The perfect size and body is a myth. It’s something society has fabricated for you to believe. Don’t get me wrong, some people advocate that it’s okay to be unhealthy and overweight, but I’m not one of them.
If you’re a certain size and you feel comfortable and you’re healthy, then all the power to you. But, being overweight, unhealthy and preaching self-love to young girls who are yet to learn about health and wellness, is setting the wrong example.
Find your own happy and healthy size. Find your own version of a perfect physique, and turn your focus to a healthy mind, body and soul. Forget what the world portrays as beautiful because that will always vary. When you do, you create sustainable perfection!
I recently heard someone talking about what would happen if we put as much effort in celebrating our strengths as we did criticising our weakness. That statement basically sums up what I think it’s like to have a perfect body… it’s non-existent!
I’ve struggled with insecurity my whole life and I still do! Even through my successes, I can always find someone who is doing more, who’s in better shape or is more successful. And I don’t think I’m completely alone in this viewpoint.
I think we’d all say we aren’t perfect, yet we can look at someone else and think that she is. Social media has allowed a unique peek into someone’s life and being human, we put our best images or, at least, the best angles, out there for people to see, which gives the perception of a “perfect life”. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, but we are far from perfect.
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While choosing edits from my recent shoot with @jpatrickphoto , I went down a rabbit hole of looking at past shoots. (The second image is a side by side of my very first shoot vs my most recent!) In the past 7 years I've shot with some great photographers @david_sherman @evasimonphotography @noeldaganta @lhgfxphoto @paulbuceta @jpatrickphoto …and more I've enjoyed every single shoot and have great memories of them! 💗 #nostalgia #photoshoot #photographers #fitnessmodel #fitnessshoot #memories
First and foremost, I’d like to say that I don’t think I have a perfect body at all, although I’m happy with my appearance and don’t beat myself up over it.
Before I had my daughter Bella, my tummy skin was very taught and firm. In fact, I’ve never carried excess weight around my abdominal area, only around my legs, bum and thighs.
But after having Bella, my skin obviously stretched from the pregnancy and although it’s not that noticeable now when I stand up straight, I definitely notice a change in the tone and texture of my tummy. The skin is a little looser and crinkly, especially when I sit. And I know that no amount of exercise, clean eating or special creams or oils will help to reduce the appearance of that excess skin.
My boobs have also shrunk since having a child and breastfeeding. They were much bigger during pregnancy and soon after giving birth, but as the years have passed, they’ve gotten much smaller. Ideally, I’d love them to look the way they did before I had Bella, but it doesn’t worry me too much.
I also have a few stretch marks, but not from pregnancy. They’re from weight fluctuations in my youth.
So, I don’t feel that I have the perfect body at all. In fact, I always feel that I’m around 2kg away from a shoot or cover model body.
My normal day-to-day body is fit, firm, healthy, strong and injury-free, but there are of course areas I’d like to improve on and I’m always striving to be better where I can.
I know my body well though, and if I have a shoot coming up that requires me to wear a bikini, for instance, I simply cut down on a few things like wheat and hidden sugars. I also increase my weight training sessions and drink plenty of water while cutting down on caffeine, which gets me shoot-ready within a few weeks. A spray tan also goes a long way!
I really believe in a healthy, balanced lifestyle and not obsessing over appearance because the truth is, as you approach your mid-30s, your body naturally changes and you have to work harder to lose weight and keep it off, keep your muscle tone or reach whatever goals you set for yourself.
I do feel that I’ve reached a point where I’m happy with the way I look and feel, even though it’s not perfect. I’m a firm believer in balance, restorative exercises and rest to boost the immune system, and a balanced approach to training. My typical week’s training consists of rebounding, weight training, running/walking outdoors and some flexibility training. I like to mix things up as this gives me the best results without increasing my injury risk – and I enjoy working out.
If you’re going to have a healthy relationship with food and lead a balanced life, where you get to enjoy eating out and experimenting with food, you can’t be shoot-ready or have the perfect body all the time. It simply doesn’t exist.
And after all, life is too short not to have a slice of cake once a week!
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.