You Are Not Your Body Image

By Terry Grant

“There’s more to life than being really, really, really good looking.” 
– Ben Stiller (Zoolander)

“What you perceive as a dense physical structure called the body, which is subject to disease, old age, and death, is not ultimately real – is not you. It is a misperception of your essential reality that is beyond birth and death.”Eckhart Tolle

Many ectomorphs and hardgainers would love to learnhow to gain muscle; therefore being able to transform their bodies with their newfound knowledge. In fact, for many with a somewhat negative body image (myself included here) this has become a life long dream.

;)

Some may even say an obsession…. but who cares what “they” say anyway.  

What they don’t realize is that there is a deeper truth of bodybuilding, beyond the surface image that the sport portrays.

Like a lot of guys, I love working out and have come to really enjoy it as an activity in itself. Just because lots of people find exercise to be tedious and boring doesn’t mean everyone does.

Weight training is far more than just a means to an end propagated by vain bodybuilders who spend all day staring in the mirror and flexing their biceps.

What the uneducated fail to realize is that lifting weights has many benefits beyond simply building muscle mass. It can be likened to the intense pressure and resistance that, in time, transforms a lump of coal into a diamond.

Besides movement is essential to maintaining health; weight training energizes you, builds strong bones, improves your posture and aids in the prevention of disease and premature aging. Sounds like more people should actually give it a try instead of merely labeling it a narcissistic activity!

Even though all of these are great benefits of weight training, many skinny guys just want to gain some muscle mass, get a little bigger and improve their poor body image.

Hey pal, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, most of the readers on this site would be absolutely thrilled to gain anywhere from 10-50lbs of muscle.

This transformation would have a HUGE impact on how they are perceived, how they feel about themselves and how much success they can have in life and with women.

A lot of skinny guys (even if they hate to admit it) are lifting weights to improve their self- confidence, body image and to improve their success with the ladies.

In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel good, add some muscle to fill out your smaller frame, or even improve your chances with women.

In fact, I applaud you for being an action taker by reading this blog and for being someone who actively seeks to improve and transform their body and life. Few rarely do, so you’re awesome like that!

Just like kids are teased for being fat and overweight, many young men are also teased for being underweight and skinny.  “Skinny, bean pole, toothpick, skeleton, pencil neck.”

These are just some of the names you may hear growing up as a skinny kid… and then there’s the skinny jokes:

“You’re so skinny you have to stand in the same place twice just to cast a shadow.”

“You’re so skinny you can see out of the peephole with both eyes.”

“You’re so skinny you have to jump around in the shower to get wet.”

“You’re so skinny that when you turn sideways you disappear.”

“You’re so skinny that if you had dreads, I could grab you by the ankles and use you to mop the floor.”

Remember, it’s a good thing to be able to laugh at your self!

A Real Man is Big and Strong

All joking aside, being a skinny guy can take a toll on your confidence level and your self-esteem if you have not yet developed a strong sense of self. A real man is supposed to be BIG and STRONG or so says our cultural stereo-type. Of course, there may be some truth to this, because as the saying goes… “Only the Strong Survive.”

As we’re growing up we desire to be the best we can be, so you too want to be big and strong like all of your heroes. I know I was inspired by the comic super heroes I watched and read about, not to mention all the tough guys kicking ass in the movies. Many athletes and martial artists possess amazing physique’s and further motivate many guys to begin training as well.

Men, who possess a more mesomorphic physique are respected, admired, desired and treated differently than those who are small and weak (or really fat for that matter.) Do you think that’s fair?

It isn’t any fairer than how a pretty woman is treated differently and given so much attention and admiration for being sexy and beautiful.

Ultimately, whether it’s fair or not bares no relevance to the fact that IT simply IS!!! This is the reality we live in. Men, who are more muscular are revered, while those who are underweight are often overlooked… especially by women.

Therefore, your desire to learn how to gain muscle and overcome your scrawny genetics is a perfectly valid and natural desire. It’s not so much about vanity as it is about achieving your ultimate potential in life and becoming a man that others admire and respect.

For me, training is about WAY more than just looking good. It’s about being a man that commands attention when he enters a room; a man that can protect his girl, family or friends; a man that can go the distance physically, mentally and spiritually while living life to the fullest.

In a perfect world, it wouldn’t matter whether you’re skinny or muscular. Honestly, it may not even matter as much as one thinks. Let’s look at this from BIGGER perspective:

In the grand scheme of things, your physique doesn’t really matter at all. No, this is not bodybuilder blasphemy (or maybe it is, whatever!!!) People often think they are more important than they really are.

This is a vast and infinite universe in which we live. Just look up into the clear night sky at the unfathomable dance of stars, planets and galaxies.

The sheer magnitude of our universe is literally beyond all human comprehension. Even so, we’re doing our best to make sense of it all.

In ultimate reality, your whole life is nothing more than a short, fractionalized blip (if that) on the timeline of the universe. In the grand scheme of this magnificent, mysterious universe… have you ever wondered if your “skinny ass” is of any real significance at all?

In the end, it’s not what you look like that’s of ultimate importance; it’s what you do and the value that you add to the world that defines you as a man.

This is the TRUTH at the core of all understanding and something that every person should take to heart. I’m serious here.

You Are Not Your Body…

Okay, I’m going to get a little “Woo Woo” on you, as one of my mentors, Chris McCombs likes to say.

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” -Morpheus

If you choose the blue pill, then close this website down and go back to sleep, but if you choose to take the red pill, then keep reading this blog and come back often!

You’re still reading, so you must have reached for the red pill! Okay, here we go, but this may not be easy for you to accept. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I loved the Matrix movie because although it seems like straight-up science fiction, there is a lot of Truth and similarities to the REAL world.

In fact, some fairly enlightened philosophers and scientists actually think we may be living in a virtual world, a simulation of sorts, an illusion that seems more real than any dream you’ve ever had.

Through my personal study of science, religions, evolution and philosophy, I also have come to believe that we are living in a divine matrix of consciousness. A world where science is beginning to support some of the insights our ancient wisdom traditions have known for centuries.

At first this may sound pretty “out there” to your logical and analytical mind.  Although, let’s not forget that we once thought the world was flat not too long ago. Obviously, we haven’t unraveled all of the mysteries of the universe just yet.

In this matrix of consciousness, your body is just a temporary avatar, a vehicle if you will, that allows you to move and be in this physical realm. Almost like a virtual reality video game that you forgot you were playing or perhaps a dream from which you have never really awakened. Now you mistake the dream for reality.

Your body is NOT who you are, anymore than your job, your bank account, your car, or anything else in this world. None of these things are actually YOU. They are only physical projections of your deeper consciousness.

When you die, all of these things will be stripped away and all that remains is this pure consciousness. Not your mind or endless thought streams, but rather the awareness that is beyond your thinking mind.

This pure consciousness is who you TRULY are and it is beyond form, beyond the physical and beyond our human capacity to even fully understand it. This consciousness is the source energy of everything in the universe. It IS The Matrix– that is to say– the energy field in which the universe evolves and exists.

To grasp this concept, think of the ocean. To a fish, the ocean is the universe in which all life plays out. Beyond the ocean is the Earth and Sun or “source energy” in which the fish evolved. Without the ocean there would be no fish and without the fish the ocean would be a boring, lifeless place.

The fish has no concept of a life beyond the ocean even though one does exist (as the Earth and Sun.) The fish swims around doing its fishy thing, seeking to survive in the ocean and trying to hook up with the lady fish. Sound familiar?

Then the day comes that the fish must die. When the fish dies its body dissolves and it becomes one with the ocean again. It returns to the source from which it came. New fish are born and so the cycle continues indefinitely.

You are the fish, my friend… and the Earth and the Universe are the ocean in which you evolved. Pure consciousness (the source energy) is the life beyond the ocean that you have no real concept of.

It is this same consciousness that breathes through you… that also animates and directs the life of the fish. Consciousness explores the depths of the ocean as the fish while it explores the country and cities as YOU.

You, the fish, the ocean, the country and ALL the cities of the world are only temporary.

However, the source energy that gives birth to them, the life force that animates them, the consciousness that explores as them… IS FOREVER.

It is this consciousness that lives through you, sees through you and feels through you and in fact… IS YOU!!!  Not only is it you, it is also everybody and everything else that exists in the universe.

Therefore, every thing and every one is merely a reflection of your self in a different form.

To make this point, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, one of the greatest and brightest scientists of our time:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

This “optical delusion of his consciousness” is man’s belief that he is his body and he is separate from everything else in the universe. A man’s body/mind may become his “prison” if he doesn’t awaken to the reality that he is in fact, pure consciousness itself and one with “the whole of nature.”

Knowing and living from this truth is the very essence of what it means to be an Awakened Warrior. At its deepest and most profound level, this understanding is the realization of enlightenment.

I know to some, this may sound like psychobabble or new age fluff. In fact, ten years ago I would never have believed ANY of this, as I was too entrenched within my culturally conditioned mindset.

However, the “me” that writes this today is not the same me that existed 10 years ago. I’ve read, grown and evolved a lot in the past decade, yet I realize how much growth I still have to go and how much I still have to learn and do.

Currently, I may know some of these concepts intellectually and can write about them, yet I haven’t fully integrated them into my life entirely. This is an unfolding process of which I admit I am in the beginning stages of.

Ten years ago I thought I knew it all. I thought I had this life all figured out. Youthful arrogance, I guess. I had a closed mind and couldn’t see beyond my own limited perception of reality; a reality that was handed down to me from my culture, parents, teachers, and religion.

This is known as ‘cultural conditioning’ or ‘enculturation.’ In a sense, we are all brainwashed from birth by the people and the environment in which we are born. Many never come to realize this at all.

In the past, our ideas and beliefs have been terribly slow to change. Many people would rather die than to admit they are wrong or have to rethink their understanding of the world.

The rise of the internet and our easy access to information, now allows us to learn at an accelerated pace. We can quickly go beyond the limitations and dogma that has been holding us back from real growth and evolution as a species.

Today, I realize that I only have a small glimpse of this absolute Truth. I would never dare to set myself up as the judge of all matters because as Einstein states:

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

So please don’t disregard what I have said without considering it further. I know I just got sorta deep on yo’ ass all of sudden and I fully intend to elaborate more on this type of stuff in the future.

I’m not asking you to believe me blindly or to take my word as gospel. I will never do that.

In fact, you need to trust yourself first and foremost before you ever listen to me or anyone else for that matter. You must follow your own heart and choose what you believe based on your own discoveries, not mine or anyone else’s.

Otherwise you’re just another follower bowing down to the dogma of a higher authority. Question everything, read, learn, and study all the angles.  Research what humanity has learned and is still learning about this mystery of life. Always keep an open mind to new perspectives. Keep what works and disregard that which is of no use to you.

This universe is like a puzzle that must be pieced together, one insight at a time. Just make sure you choose your beliefs wisely because they have both the capacity to enslave you and to set you free.

The main concept to grasp from this section and the reason I went off on this tangent in the first place is to explain that you are not your body or your body image. You are so much more than that.

Desire and a Whisper of Doubt

Even though I know that I am not my body, there’s still a part of me that desires to gain weight and muscle mass. There is still a part of me that knows this is possible and continues to push me to train, eat and strive to achieve this life long goal of having a muscular body.

I’m perfectly okay with that because I know that achieving this goal is something that I came here to do. It’s a part of my mission and if it weren’t… I would have given up on this a long time ago, way before creating this website and blog.

Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind (and maybe yours too) there is a lingering voice that tells me this is impossible. Even though I’ve already gained thirty pounds of muscle, it still whispers its uncertainty in my ear.

Whether it is a fear, a doubt, a limiting belief or just the echo of people from my past who’ve told me “You can’t do that, you don’t have the right genetics”, I’m not sure which.

Regardless, this nagging little voice of the naysayers must die today. If I am to be what I can be, there can be no room for doubt in my ability to achieve the successful realization of my dream.

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Likewise, if your goal is to find out how to gain muscle and create your ideal body image… you too must banish any limiting beliefs you may have about your ability to build your body. It can be done if the desire is strong enough.

You may not be able to build a PERFECT body by society’s standards. However any body can be built up, made stronger, healthier, leaner and more muscular than it currently is. This I can guarantee.

Any BODY… even if you have the worst muscle-building genetics in the world!!!

Just remember, that ultimately you are NOT your body or your body image.

;)

Nevertheless, it’s your temporary home for now. Might as well tidy it up a bit!   

Live Strong,

Terry Grant

Related posts:

  1. What’s the Point of Building a Muscular Body?
  2. The 4 Pillars of Rapid Body Transformation
  3. Body Transformation Part I: A Window Into My Past
  4. Private: Body Transformation Part III: A Gateway into the Future
  5. Body Transformation Part II: Reflections of the Present Moment

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