As a physique sport athlete, you have to grapple with the morphing your body does season to season, year after year, show after show.
You’re never going to be where you “want” to be because you compete with yourself and always see room to be better.
Acceptance of your body in bodybuilding is acceptance of critiques, changes, and challenges.
It’s not the cliché of body acceptance that posits you no longer need to seek change because you “accept” yourself.
It’s the kind of acceptance that says not only do I accept that these are my genetics, that this sport judges based on physique, that the criteria can change, that the art of this sport brings a delicate attention to detail you entrust others and yourself with day after day while demanding the most of your body.
But it’s also the kind that says “I accept this challenge & myself for wanting to pursue it."
Body acceptance in bodybuilding is knowing…
…there will be times of comfort but also times of pain.
…that your best, that you’re absolutely floored by, may place last next to other athletes.
…that as much as you can grow & improve, your physique isn’t the only thing changing…
Rules or Standards for Qualifications Shift.
Life keeps Happening.
You have to commit to the long game, show up to represent your division, & lose or win with grace knowing that just because you had one outcome this week doesn’t mean it’s promised next…for anyone.
Bodybuilding keeps you humble & on your toes.
Champions are rewarded with crowns & targets on their back.
Everyone is working to bring their best & most competitors are working to win.
You learn to celebrate your daily disciplines while expecting more from yourself.
You learn to encourage & cheer others on knowing that everyone else is on their own journey to being their best & could be faced with the elation of the top one day & the bottom of the totem poll the next, & by uplifting the community, you rise as an athlete because you are proclaiming that you want the standard to be high so you can demand more from yourself & every win can be sweeter for you & for everyone else who you stand next to on stage.