Do you think Michelangelo looked at his statue of David while he sculpted it?
I read that Da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa for more than ten years. Do you think he looked at it in that time—to appreciate his work to date, to guide his upcoming work, and so on?
Why does looking in the mirror matter?
Because I can still remember my older step-brother teasing me as a child for having unnecessary fat. Because I can still remember in college, when sports had made me fit enough to feel good wearing shirts where you could see my abdomen. Because now, decades later, through my healthiest diet yet and my fun, friendly, and joyful exercise routine, I finally have the abdominal and muscle definition I thought only models had.
Since I’m not specifically trying to lose weight, I’m just living the best life I can and losing fat is a side-effect, progress happens slowly, but I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see the progress. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger said this:
A well-built physique is a status symbol. It reflects you worked hard for it, no money can buy it. You cannot inherit it. You cannot steal it. You cannot borrow it. You cannot hold on to it without constant work. It shows dedication. It shows discipline. It shows self-respect. It shows dignity. It shows patience, work ethic, passion. That is why it’s attractive to me.
While my goals aren’t his (or whoever said it), I agree with it and love seeing my progress, dedication, discipline, self-respect, dignity, patience, work ethic, and passion.
I went back and forth on posting my shirtless picture on my birthday, partly because I wasn’t sure how people might view it. But I run in Central Park without a shirt. People on the beach don’t wear shirts. Arnold didn’t wear a shirt and became Governor of California.
Anyway, since that post, the skin on my abs continues to lose fat as I continue to increase my workouts and fill my diet with more fresh fruits, vegetables, and home-cooked legumes. Two days ago, for the fun of it, I walked up eleven flights of stairs to meet a friend for lunch. Every meal I eat delicious food until I’m stuffed.
Damn straight I enjoy seeing my abs in the mirror after my burpees. Or especially after rowing. It’s my favorite time of the day, decades in the making. Nobody did any of it for me.
I still have progress to make. I’ll take pictures when I’m satisfied.
The crazy thing is that it doesn’t take that much work. Maybe to get huge like Arnold does, but to be fit so your abs show definition and you can walk up eleven flights of stairs when you feel like it just comes from eating delicious foods that are cheaper and more convenient than packaged stuff and exercising less than a TV show’s worth of time, even if, like me, you put on fat quickly.
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