Quick Tips To Break Free from Body Image Baggage

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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • We seem to understand that our faces are different than other people’s, but we don’t remember that there is no standard “acceptable” body shape or form.
  • We have to remember not to compare ourselves with edited photos of models.
  • Your age and life circumstances will change what your personal best SANE body will look like.
  • There is no single “right way” for a SANE body to look.
  • For an accurate estimate of how you are doing on your SANE journey, measure your waist circumference on the same day, at the same time, each month.
  • Area specific weight loss doesn’t exist. You can’t selectively burn body fat.
  • You can focus on doing eccentric exercises which will give you toned muscles.
  • If you are not getting the results you want, think about how much water you’re drinking, your stress level, how many hours of sleep you’re getting, etc. as that will affect the outcome.
  • There may be some strong genetic components to keep in mind if there is a certain physical trait you can’t seem to overcome.
  • If you want to look like a fitness competitor you can do that, but consider the cost.
  • Anyone with a very low body fat percentage works constantly to make that happen.
  • SANE isn’t about being a physical competitor. SANE’s goal is nutritional serenity, long term health, and well-being.
  • A professional physique is a career. It take a long time and a lot of work.
  • SANE offers a solution to individuals seeking long-term health without sacrificing their careers, their families, and their personal time.
  • SANE give you the tools to be the healthiest and best version of yourself.

SANE Soundbites

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  • 5:37 – 6:28, “If we’re female and we look and we have someone we think is very beautiful, we don’t beat ourselves up that our face doesn’t look like their face, but we will beat ourselves up that our body doesn’t look like their body and implicit in that is this assumption that our bodies are like clay and we can just make them however we want and our faces are not. I think that the idea that there is a normal average face, we would say is a ridiculous question because we would say there is no normal average face. Faces are very different. I contend that the statement, what is the normal average body is actually more like the question, what is the normal average face? I’m not even sure there is one.”
  • 8:39 – 9:18, “Being a 65 year old individual, who’s had five children has a different baseline than maybe a 25 year old who has not had any children. There’s a lot of variation. We have to get really specific on if we think eating, for example, in and of itself, isn’t going to give you toned, defined legs. That requires exercise as well, and a specific form of exercise.”
  • 9:18 – 9:52, “If you think about it like a marathon runner and an Olympic marathon runner and an Olympic sprinter, are both very active and they both spend all day exercising, however, their bodies look very different because the way they eat and the way they move their body, is very different. So for us to even talk about SANE arms, SANE legs, SANE stomach, SANE thighs, again, assumes that there is a right way for your legs to look.”
  • 13:16 – 13:51, “My personal recommendation is that you just measure your waist circumference with a tape measure at the same time per month, same day of the week, same time of day because that will also factor things like menstrual cycles, once a month. No more frequently than once a month because you’re not going to find someone if you have 40 percent body fat, your waist circumference is obviously going to be very different than if you have 20 percent body fat and it’s important to note that not all body fat is the same in terms of its impact on your health and visceral fat around your stomach and your waist. That is the fat that leads to disease and problems.”
  • 16:02 – 16:46, “So, if someone was exercising Eccentrically, like doing squats and deadlifts, not the little abductor and adductor machines that women are told to do, that’s nonsense. We should be squatting, dead lifting and leg press, eating SANE amounts of protein, SANE amounts of vegetables and avoiding inSANE foods and you were still not losing body fat, then I would certainly have some questions around other medications you’re on, how much are you sleeping, how much water are you taking in, and what are your stress levels. Then I would also say for example, how would your mother’s legs look? How did you father’s legs look? There might be a strong genetic component here that we need to keep in mind as well.”
  • 18:15 – 18:42, “I just want to be able to offer hope and offer people a plan knowing that if you are struggling with your physical appearance, and if you’re feeling insecure looking in the mirror, and if you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, continue on this SANE journey. Honestly, just hang out with Jonathan and learn as much as you can. What you’re doing makes a huge difference.”
  • 18:55 – 19:34, “If you want to look like a fitness competitor, pick up a fitness magazine, like a female/male, big muscular people where you see their abs.  You can do that. Here is what it takes. That’s your full time job. You count every calorie you consume. You eat chicken breast and broccoli. You eat 1,200 calories of that. You take a huge amount of diuretics, you train two to three times per day in the gym. If you’re a woman, your menstrual cycle will stop. Everything else in your life needs to be put on hold, but you’ll see your abs.  That’s not a criticism.”
  • 20:20 – 21:07, “At the end of the day if you say, I’m so tired of having cellulite on my legs, go to like Gold’s Gym or World Gym, find someone who trains fitness competitors and have them put you on a bodybuilding diet. If you really want to spend 20 to 40 hours per week on your physique you can look like those people, but that’s what it takes and kudos to them for having that discipline. There isn’t a shortcut, it isn’t easy. It’s like becoming a great pianist or like having a great relationship with the person, or like being a great swimmer. It will consume a huge amount of time. So that’s why it’s not our goal here. Our goal is nutritional serenity and long-term health and wellbeing.”
  • 22:37 – 23:25, “Having a professional physique, having a professional competency at music, having a professional competency at law, or medicine, it’s like a career. It takes a long time and a lot of work and it’s not a bad thing, but this isn’t the get ripped show. SANE isn’t the be a professional fitness competitor program. It’s you are probably not a fitness competitor, you’re probably a professional with a family who’s awesome and wants to be able to do everything else other than that really well. That’s what we’re here to help you do.”
  • 23:47 – 24:26, “Last night we’re sitting around my mom’s bed. She has Alzheimer’s and she’s in her bed. We have a hospital bed up. I was there with my sisters and two of us were talking and we were talking a little bit about this book I’ve been writing for my mom and there was one part in the book where I talked about she would look at herself in the mirror and think she looked terrible. My sister, Laura, said April, I didn’t realize until reading that a second time, how you commented that has transferred over to you. She said I would never guess that you would look in the mirror and think something negative about yourself. My two sisters and I had a really good talk and I said, I’ll tell you what, SANE is healing me.”
  • 24:54 – 25:21, “I know there are people listening right now, who looked in the mirror this morning and who thought something negative. I know they’re going to look in the mirror later and be tempted to say something negative. I just want to shout SANE from the rooftops and let people know there are things you can do to become the healthiest and best version of yourself and you keep doing those things and you get better at doing those things because it’s easier the more you do it. Then you give yourself a break.”

Tips To Break Free from Body Image

Jonathan: Hey, what’s up everybody, Jonathan Bailor and April Perry and we are back with another SANE show. What’s up April? How are you doing today?

April: I’m doing fantastic. How are you Jonathan?

Jonathan: I’m doing well, April. I’ve got my mug of water.

April: How awesome.

Jonathan: It’s delicious.

April: I have a green smoothie and a new blender bottle. Really excited about it. It has some of those springy things inside of it, so when my smoothie needs to be shaken, I can shake it up and I’m loving this. Isn’t that fun?

Jonathan: Oh, that is very fun, the blender bottle. I love it.

April: It wasn’t even a product [Inaudible 00:01:48]. I have my green smoothie right here if I need it, which was awesome. Are you ready to play therapist today?

Jonathan: I’m ready.

April: Not really play therapist because you’re actually a really good therapist in a lot of ways. Today, we’re talking about what a naturally healthy SANE body should look like. Now, this is really important for a lot of reasons and some of them are things I’ve experienced and some of them are things I’ve been hearing from people who email me. I can’t tell you how many SANE emails I get, but I love it, because I love that people are thinking about it and going SANE.

Alia and I went to this big conference at Long Beach Convention Center and all of these people were there. We had at least six or seven people who came up who listen to the podcasts and said hey, we love SANE. We’re so excited. It was so random, but Alia felt quite famous. It was really fun. We’re grateful for all of our SANE friends.

The question that is asked is, what should I look like? The reason this is so important is because when a human being looks in the mirror, and Jonathan you get to be vulnerable in this episode as well. We’re going to talk about human insecurities. When a human looks in the mirror, there is most often, for me it’s every time, there is a discrepancy between how they look currently and how they think they should look. Would you say that’s true?

Jonathan: I would absolutely say that’s true and I’m like Jonesing to say something, so I’ll wait until you finished.

April: That’s the initial question. I’ll add more later. Let’s talk.

Jonathan: April is kind enough. She sends over wonderful show notes before we start to record, and the key question for this episode is, what is a naturally healthy SANE body supposed to look like? This might sound funny, but I think myself, April, everyone who is listening and watching this, would say that’s a great question. What is a natural SANE body supposed to look like?

Let me change that question slightly because I think is the bit right here. If we were to have a show that would say, what is a naturally, healthy, SANE face supposed to look like, most people would say that doesn’t make any sense, everyone’s faces looks different.

My wife thinks that the Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love…is good looking. On some level, I think what we’re saying is absolutely true. We look in the mirror, we’re not necessarily happy with what we see, however, we seem to treat our bodies as totally different from what they “should look like” than we treat our faces. I know this sounds a little bit ridiculous. You can change your life if you can internalize this mindset.

If I were to look in the mirror and think to myself, Jonathan, you need to try harder to make your face look like Ryan Gosling’s face, most people would say, Jonathan, that’s not a fair position to put yourself in. Ryan Gosling has a fundamentally different jaw structure than you have. You have a larger forehead than he has. There are not things you can do about that and I think we know that.

If we’re female and we look and we have someone we think is very beautiful, we don’t beat ourselves up that our face doesn’t look like their face, but we will beat ourselves up that our body doesn’t look like their body and implicit in that is this assumption that our bodies are like clay and we can just make them however we want and our faces are not.

I think that the idea that there is a normal average face, we would say is a ridiculous question because we would say there is no normal average face. Faces are very different. I contend that the statement, what is the normal average body is actually more like the question, what is the normal average face? I’m not even sure there is one.

April: I’m glad you brought that up because I think it’s important for us to acknowledge that everyone is different. I will agree with you on that, however, maybe I’ll treat the question a little differently and ask, how do I know when I’m at my best? This is the question. I was laughing as I was typing out the show notes for you. Let’s get specific here. I want to know, SANE arms, SANE legs, SANE stomach. Women are emailing me, asking me, and saying things, like, I eat totally SANEly and my thighs do not look the way that I think they should look. I’m getting this in emails.

So, this question is out there, but people don’t know who to ask and they’re just randomly feeling frustrated or looking in the mirror and criticizing their arms, stomach, legs.

My sister and I had a whole talk about this last night because she said I want to look beautiful. I want to feel beautiful. What’s beautiful? Let’s define that. How do you define beautiful? If it’s the photo shopped models that are in the magazines, that’s not real, so I’m not going to compare myself to that. I don’t know what to compare myself to and if I just want to compare myself to myself that’s great, but how do I personally know? I’ll ask this questions, because I have this problem.

I look in the mirror and I think is my body the ideal for a naturally SANE person or should I try to be SANEer? How do I assess when I’m there or when I’ve gotten there? I think that’s something we need to talk about.

Jonathan: A totally valid question and I’m going to refine your question just a little bit further. I’m going to talk like you. I, April Perry, want to know if my body looks like the body of a SANE person. I think the question needs to be, I, April Perry, need to know if my body looks like a SANE April Perry’s body.

Being a 65 year old individual, who’s had five children has a different baseline than maybe a 25 year old who has not had any children. If there’s a lot of variation. We have to get really specific on if we think eating, for example, in and of itself, isn’t going to give you toned, defined legs. That requires exercise as well, and a specific form of exercise. If you think about it like a marathon runner and an Olympic marathon runner and an Olympic sprinter, are both very active and they both spend all day exercising, however, their bodies look very different because the way they eat and the way they move their body, is very different. So for us to even talk about SANE arms, SANE legs, SANE stomach, SANE thighs, again, assumes that there is a right way for your legs to look.

April: There’s a lot of options, is that what you’re saying?

Jonathan: There’s a lot of options, but let’s be very clear here. Body fat percentage is very simple. Your body fat percentage. We know body mass index and weight are not good measures, but body fat is a great measure.

April: What’s a good percentage?

Jonathan: What’s a good percentage?

April: You’re not giving me answers here, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Here’s how you know the difference between someone who actually knows what they’re talking about and someone who is trying to scam you. If you had cancer and you went to a cancer doctor and you said, cancer doctor, tell me exactly what I can do today to make this cancer go away. The doctor would say, that’s not how cancer works. That’s the same thing when it comes to your body. I can tell you how to lose body fat. I can tell you what a level of body fat that is too high and that is too low, in terms of all-cause mortality.

April: Okay.

Jonathan: I think from a percentage perspective it depends on whether you’re a man or a woman, but being too thin actually increases your risk of disease and all-cause mortality as does having too much body fat. I don’t have the ranges off the top of my head right now. I think for women, it’s usually like in the low 20s of body fat percentage which is a healthy, fit, maintainable and what human beings had prior to processed food. I think for men, it’s usually in the higher teens. It’s lower for men than it is for women, because women naturally carry more fat on their body, in their breasts, hips and buttocks because that’s just the way women’s bodies are structured. That is the closest thing we can get to an objective measure is your total body fat percentage.

April: I think that even is really helpful knowing what am I shooting for because then depending on the exercise you’re doing and exactly how you’re living SANEly, that will be effective. I think that’s something helpful to be working towards because I find what happens is I’m really good at assessing my success on my number of vegetables, my number of servings of protein. I’m measuring the pounds of weights that I’m able to lower when I do Eccentric exercises. I think humans just naturally just want to have some sort of a number that they’re working towards. Just the fact that you’re spelling out body fat percentage is something to look for and measure. I feel like I can do that and I can work towards that.

I do have a couple of questions on that. Can we talk about how you measure that? I feel like all the little things at the gym that they give me that I hold, they want me to tell them how much I weigh, but I don’t weigh myself so I don’t know how much I weigh. Do you get calipers? How would you suggest somebody make sure they have accurate measurements of that?

Jonathan: My personal recommendation is that you just measure your waist circumference with a tape measure at the same time per month, same day of the week, same time of day because that will also factor things like menstrual cycles, once a month. No more frequently than once a month because you’re not going to find someone if you have 40 percent body fat, your waist circumference is obviously going to be very different than if you have 20 percent body fat and it’s important to note that not all body fat is the same in terms of its impact on your health and visceral fat around your stomach and your waist. That is the fat that leads to disease and problems. That’s more of the apple body type, whereas the pear body type, where the fat is sitting more in the buttocks and the hips, that’s much less damaging from a health perspective. I personally think just measure your waist circumference.

April: Okay. Don’t worry about anything else. I have a question on that because I got an email from a woman who said she is more of the pear body shape. She said, “All right, I have been exercising a lot and I’m eating really SANEly,” and she’s very self-conscious about her legs and she doesn’t know what more she can do. What do you say to someone who’s struggling with that? It’s a really big deal to her.

Jonathan: There’s a couple of ways people could perceive that their legs are not looking good. One is I have cellulite on the back of my legs and I know people who are slim, but they still have cellulite on the back of their legs. I know people who don’t have cellulite, but they have a lot of fat on their legs and I know people who just don’t like the way their legs look and they don’t really know why. Cellulite is not something I’m an expert in. I’m not really sure how you get rid of cellulite. I haven’t seen it in any peer-reviewed research on that. I can certainly say when it comes to area specific body fat loss, there is no such thing as if you do this, it will selectively burn fat here. That does not exist and that is a scientific fact. If any person, program or pill tells you that by doing this, you can selectively burn fat here, that is 100 percent false. Your body does not work that way.

I’m eating so healthfully, my legs should look better than they do, we have to say, okay, we actually need to know what you mean by I’m eating so healthfully. A lot of people eat 11 servings of whole grains, just the food guy at Pyramid told them to do and say, I’m eating super healthfully, I’m eating those 11 servings of whole grains and my legs should look better than they do and I’m not exercising.

So, if someone was exercising Eccentrically, like doing squats and dead lifts, not the little abductor and abductor machines that women are told to do, that’s nonsense. We should be squatting, dead lifting and leg press, eating SANE amounts of protein, SANE amounts of vegetables and avoiding inSANE foods and you were still not losing body fat, then I would certainly have some questions around other medications you’re on, how much are you sleeping, how much water are you taking in, and what are your stress levels. Then I would also say for example, how would your mother’s legs look? How did you father’s legs look? There might be a strong genetic component here that we need to keep in mind as well.

April: One of the things that I’m noticing is as we’re talking about this, I almost feel silly even asking you these questions because at the end of the day, these things don’t matter. I have a hard time talking about things that don’t matter. I’m not a small talk kind of person. When I’m hanging out at a party I may be there for ten minutes because I can’t handle small talk. I can only talk about the weather or paint colors in your bedroom for about five minutes and then I’m done. I don’t want to be a superficial person and I don’t want to be obsessed with my arms, or my knees or my legs or how I look in a swimsuit. I don’t care really, but I know it’s these little insecurities and these little questions and frustrations that people have that are literally stopping them from being able to live their mission and care about anything deeper. I know that because I’m hearing that all of the time and because I’ve experienced it before.

I really appreciate what you’re spelling out, as far as doing what we already know will work as far as Eccentric exercise, the kind of exercise that we’re doing, the vegetables, the protein. This all makes a lot of sense to me. I’m so glad you brought in things like stress and sleep, all of these other factors and genetics. You’re right. There is a ton of factors here. It’s not just like oh, do this one thing and then your legs are going to look just the way that you think that they should look. I really appreciate you reframing the question. I just want to be able to offer hope and offer people a plan knowing that if you are struggling with your physical appearance if you’re feeling insecure looking in the mirror and if you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, continue on this SANE journey. Honestly, just hang out with Jonathan and learn as much as you can. What you’re doing makes a huge difference.

Jonathan: I appreciate your transparency. Sometimes I get tired of talking about this. Here’s the answer. If you want to look like a fitness competitor, pick up a fitness magazine, like a female/male, big muscular people where you see their abs. You can do that. Here is what it takes. That’s your full time job. You count every calorie you consume. You eat chicken breast and broccoli. You eat 1,200 calories of that. You take a huge amount of diuretics, you train two to three times per day in the gym. If you’re a woman, your menstrual cycle will stop. Everything else in your life needs to be put on hold, but you’ll see your abs. That’s not a criticism.

Michael Phelps has this brilliant new commercial out with Under Armour, which shows all of the crazy stuff that Michael Phelps has to do to be Michael Phelps and kudos to him. There is no trick to being Michael Phelps. Here is how you be Michael Phelps. Be genetically blessed as hell and spend every waking hour of your life training. Any human being that is as good at having a low body fat percentage as Michael Phelps is at swimming, puts as much time and effort into having that body fat percentage and keeping it that low as Michael Phelps puts into swimming.

At the end of the day if you say, I’m so tired of having cellulite on my legs, go to like Golds Gym or World’s Gym, find someone who trains fitness competitors and have them put you on a body building diet. If you really want to spend 20 to 40 hours per week on your physique you can look like those people, but that’s what it takes and kudos to them for having that discipline. There isn’t a shortcut, it isn’t easy. It’s like becoming a great pianist or like having a great relationship with the person, or like being a great swimmer. It will consume a huge amount of time. So that’s why it’s not our goal here. Our goal is nutritional serenity and long-term health and wellbeing.

April: I love that Jonathan. You know this intimately well because did you have a three percent body fat at one point in your life?

Jonathan: No, not three percent. I’m a naturally thin person, but what you are recalling I believe is I used to be very much involved in the body building world and in natural body building.

April: I don’t know much about your history with that. Can you just give us a brief overview?

Jonathan: The brief overview is I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, which is where the Arnold Fitness Expo takes place, body building and things like that are very popular around there. I used to be a trainer. I was very interested in becoming unnaturally big and strong. At that time, I had done everything except steroids in an effort to change the way my body looked.

I got up to 220 lbs., which is way bigger than I should ever be, but I blending tuna fish and beans in a blender. I was drinking it. I was doing double shots of olive oil. I weighed 220 and I was muscular and I was like check me out. As soon as I stopped doing all of that crazy stuff that made me feel terrible and spend half my day in the bathroom, I stopped looking that way. It’s not like there was anything wrong with me for doing that. At that point in my life, I wanted to be big and strong and maybe someone wants to be really lean and ripped up and maybe you want to be an Olympic gold medal swimmer.

Having a professional physique, having a professional competency at music, having a professional competency at law, or medicine, it’s like a career. It takes a long time and a lot of work and it’s not a bad thing, but this isn’t the get ripped show. SANE isn’t the be a professional fitness competitor program. It’s you are probably not a fitness competitor, you’re probably a professional with a family who’s awesome and wants to be able to do everything else other than that really well. That’s what we’re here to help you do. I’m getting amp’d up.

April: My favorite part is how your arms wave around when you’re talking about this. It’s fantastic.

Jonathan: I have so many things to say about this. It’s sad.

April: It’s not sad and happy because you’re making changes. You’re helping people. Last night we’re sitting around my mom’s bed. She has Alzheimer’s and she’s in her bed. We have a hospital bed up. I was there with my sisters and two of us were talking and we were talking a little bit about this book I’ve been writing for my mom and there was one part in the book where I talked about she would look at herself in the mirror and think she looked terrible. My sister, Laura, said April, I didn’t realize until reading that a second time, how you commented that has transferred over to you. She said I would never guess that you would look in the mirror and think something negative about yourself. My two sisters and I had a really good talk and I said, I’ll tell you what, SANE is healing me. We talked about it. I just said, I feel like I’m 95 percent there and they were still a little bit concerned. I thought it was so cute that my sisters didn’t want me to be 95 percent there. They wanted me to be 100 percent there. We had a long talk about body image about what we’re supposed to look like, about where we put our time and energy and what it means and it was a really good talk. It gave me the desire to just bring this up today on the podcast because I know there are people listening right now, who looked in the mirror this morning and who thought something negative.

I know they’re going to look in the mirror later and be tempted to say something negative. I just want to shout SANE from the rooftops and let people know there are things you can do to become the healthiest and best version of yourself and you keep doing those things and you get better at doing those things because it’s easier the more you do it. Then you give yourself a break.

Jonathan: That’s exactly right, April and I do think so much of it is mental and the more we can help with that mental aspect of it because for example, you were just like, if a person thought to themselves, I cannot believe I am getting wrinkles as I get older.

April: And gray hair.

Jonathan: That’s going to happen. It’s okay. That’s okay. It’s beautiful and the natural progression of life. If you go to mall and you see a 60 year old that’s trying to look like he’s 20, you’d say, are you kidding me? You’re 60. Rock it. Be an awesome 60 year old. Be an awesome 50 year old. Be an awesome 40 year old and SANE will help you do that and it will help you do that while having a beautiful rest of your life. I think that’s the key thing. Do you want to trade off a beautiful rest of your life for an unnaturally fit body? Because to get an unnaturally fit body, you will have to make tradeoffs that if you’re listening to the show, I don’t think you want to make.

April: Thank you. You are amazing. I love this message. I am hopeful that everyone who is listening will feel thrilled, feel excited, and recognize how wonderful you are. So have a great day. A next-action. I would just say next time you look in the mirror, review what you learned during this show and focus on the beautiful person that you are. Have a great day and remember to stay SANE.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
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