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  • Your thoughts on Vanity

    I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my fitness goals, why I want to keep fit, and how I'm going to go about accomplishing my goals. I've come to a conclusion that's raised a bit of inner turmoil, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that has come to this conclusion: I want to look good naked. There...I said it...I want to have a bangin' body that turns heads. What bothers me is that the little puritan in me is scolding me for being narcissistic.

    Up until now, the reasons I workout and keep fit have always been to attain functional real world-applicable fitness - training for strength, speed, and endurance. I still do strive for functional fitness, but lately I notice myself wanting bigger arms, rounder delts, a flatter stomach, etc. There was a time when I'd turn my nose up at bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. Nowadays, not so much.

    My question(s) to you MDA'ers: Am I falling into a vanity trap? Is the desire to attain an ideal of physical beauty something to be avoided? Is it possible to look like a fitness model AND rescue someone from a burning building/escape from that cheetah that wants to eat you?

  • #2
    Vanity, selfishness, pride, competitiveness....all of these get an unnecessarily bad rap. There are appropriate places for all of these. Just like everything else it depends on what degree it controls your life.

    What is wrong with vanity? In proper proportion to other things in your life there is nothing wrong with vanity. If it results in you staying motivated, focused, healthy it is a good thing. If you find yourself doing a million bicep curls but can no longer find time for functional fitness, then it is a problem. If you start working out so much that you neglect your family its a problem. If you start to ignore health cues then it is a problem.

    Otherwise what is vanity. Taking care of one's outward appearance to make it reflect your inner self. Keep it in control and like every other aspect of being human, it can be a positive.

    MTA: and is not denial of vanity a vanity in and of itself. "I dont work out to look good, I just want to be healthy ( I'm superior to those who workout to look good)"
    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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    • #3
      There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good naked, absolutely nothing. Unless you want to look good naked in a room full of children, or something like that.

      Forget society telling you it’s wrong, as long as nobody is hurt in the process, it really isn’t.

      In my case, I’m after looking good naked as well, but it’s not the only reason I work out. Like you, I want to have functional strength, etc, but the more I work towards strength, conditioning, etc, the more I play and explore new workouts… the better I look when naked, so it doesn’t make sense for me to fight that, and it doesn’t make sense for me to be ashamed about it.

      I’m 25, male and in a happy relationship with a girl that fell in love with me when I was chubby. She wouldn’t care if I was chubby again, or even if I gained more weight than when she met me. She’d probably worry about my health, but not be bothered by my outside appearance. She wouldn’t leave me if I were to gain a lot of weight, she wouldn’t be significantly less attracted to me either. An outsider looking at me could say “why should he bother to look better? He’s already got the girl…” but I don’t do this for attention or praise (though it’s nice to have people tell you that you’re looking good, fit, active, etc and you shouldn’t feel shame for that either) I do it because exercising makes me feel good, eating right makes me feel good too. Achieving workout goals makes me feel even better and it motivates me, so the by-product or perk of having a nicer body thanks to the work I put in is something I refuse to second guess or feel awkward about.

      Besides, if I purposely tried to carry excess body fat around it would make some of my workout goals for the future more difficult to attain and that’s no fun.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        If the desire to look good doesn't overpower decency, etiquette and common sense, I don't see why it should not be used as a motivating factor.
        My Blog: http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Those outer visual markers....the six pack (which is only possible if you don't have unhealthy visceral fat and deranged metabolic issues), muscle definition, clear skin, thick hair, strong nails, and few wrinkles...these are all markers of excellent internal health.

          Primal recognizes that creating internal health and fitness also looks good on the outside....and its attractive because subliminally, other people recognize it, too. We all want to look good. And feel good. they go hand in hand.

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          • #6
            Looking good naked is one of my personal trainer's marketing slogans! It's right there on the home page!

            I think as long as vanity doesn't trump making the right decisions for your health, there's nothing wrong with it. The two can go hand in hand; it's only when you start to make decisions that are questionable for your health (e.g., "I can't quit smoking because smoking helps me stay thin" or "I am going to starve myself to become thinner") that it gets in the way of health.
            "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

            My primal log

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            • #7
              Originally posted by primalpilgrim View Post
              If the desire to look good doesn't overpower decency, etiquette and common sense, I don't see why it should not be used as a motivating factor.
              so much nicer than i would have put it, it bears repeating
              beautiful
              yeah you are

              Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
              lol

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              • #8
                "Vanity is definitely my favorite Sin." comes to mind.
                http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Daemonized View Post
                  "Vanity is definitely my favorite Sin." comes to mind.
                  It's definitely one of mine.

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                  • #10
                    i agree with the above. any number of things can be a vanity.

                    i admit that i started this to integrate my family (check, it worked). but, i also admit that the pictures of the successes AND, in particular, how women who practiced this lifestyle starting at about my age (or a bit older) and are now in their 50s through 70s look DECADES younger than their counterparts.

                    i am 34; most people think i'm 24, tops. my husband is 38. most people think he is 25-27. when i'm 44, i'd like people to think i look late 20s. when i'm 54, perhaps in my 30s. when i'm 64 and 74, perhaps in my 40s.

                    vanity of that sort aside, we also want to be *well*. we want to be active, having fun, not on medications (unless absolutely necessary). we want to be independent and working in our 90s (like christopher lee!). we want to be vital.

                    and the only way to do that, in our opinion, is to take good care of yourself now. take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. it all needs to be balanced out.

                    and personally, i see no problem with wanting a certain 'look.' humans have always found ways to modify themselves for the look they want.

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                    • #11
                      It may not be pretty, but it's motivation. Take it where you can get it!
                      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                      Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                      My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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                      • #12
                        I'm proud to be vain. I feel awesome when I think I look awesome - there's nothing better than getting dressed and then looking in the mirror and thinking 'golly, I look AWESOME.' To be fair, I'm not really a stunner by anyone's standards, but there are days when I do look good to myself, haha.
                        But seriously, there's nothing wrong with a nice big dose of healthy vanity! Remember, there's a difference between thinking 'I look good today' and thinking 'I look fucking badass and I'm better than anyone who's fatter, shorter, less muscular and uglier than me today'. That's the bad kind of vain, of course.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Enamel View Post
                          But seriously, there's nothing wrong with a nice big dose of healthy vanity! Remember, there's a difference between thinking 'I look good today' and thinking 'I look fucking badass and I'm better than anyone who's fatter, shorter, less muscular and uglier than me today'. That's the bad kind of vain, of course.
                          +1!


                          Robin's Roost
                          My Primal Journal

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                            i agree with the above. any number of things can be a vanity.

                            i admit that i started this to integrate my family (check, it worked). but, i also admit that the pictures of the successes AND, in particular, how women who practiced this lifestyle starting at about my age (or a bit older) and are now in their 50s through 70s look DECADES younger than their counterparts.

                            i am 34; most people think i'm 24, tops. my husband is 38. most people think he is 25-27. when i'm 44, i'd like people to think i look late 20s. when i'm 54, perhaps in my 30s. when i'm 64 and 74, perhaps in my 40s.

                            vanity of that sort aside, we also want to be *well*. we want to be active, having fun, not on medications (unless absolutely necessary). we want to be independent and working in our 90s (like christopher lee!). we want to be vital.

                            and the only way to do that, in our opinion, is to take good care of yourself now. take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. it all needs to be balanced out.

                            and personally, i see no problem with wanting a certain 'look.' humans have always found ways to modify themselves for the look they want.
                            I have to get out my driver's license to prove my age - most people (including my doctor, who has the data in front of her) take me for early 40s. I'm 59.

                            Good genes help - but a good diet helps more.

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                            • #15
                              we are also lucky that we both have good genes. most people peg my mom in her 40s, and she's 59, and my dad is 64 and most people put him about 5-7 yrs younger. definitely helps!

                              but, i also look younger than my sister. she is 3 yrs younger than me, and people think she is older. this is likely due to her weight/health relatively. and of course, right now, taking care of an infant in a high drama situation (her favorite!). so, she's exhausted too.

                              i remember being tired, and sometimes i still am, but we get a lot of sleep now. and he's only 2. i would say we started to get sleep around 4 months.
                              Last edited by zoebird; 01-17-2011, 03:07 PM.

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