Tony here, and to be perfectly honest, I’m surprised I’m even writing you this email.
You see, for a good 20 years of my life I suffered from a full-blown public speaking phobia and crushing social anxiety.
It resulted in me dropping out of college … twice. The first time I walked anxiously up to the classroom, looked into the floor to ceiling window next to the entrance door, felt my heart pound out of my chest, and turned around and went home – never completing a single day’s class.
The second time I showed up to the first day of classes for half my classes. And then I showed up to take 2 mid-term exams – the second of which I walked out in the middle of because I couldn’t handle sitting shoulder to shoulder right next to someone.
These struggles ruled my life. It kept me from socializing. It kept me from pursuing advances in my job. It kept me hating what I saw in the mirror. And it kept me stuck in the diet cycle and trying to feel better about myself by changing my body and molding it into what I thought was acceptable to other people.
I Didn’t Understand the Real Problem
Little did I know at the time that these struggles were actually a symptom of a poor body image. I was so worried about how other people perceived me and my body that it kept me stuck trying to manage the world’s expectations of me.
As anyone who has been through something similar can relate to, you know just how exhausting it is trying to control what everyone else thinks about you and your body. You spend an insane amount of time, and emotional and physical energy trying to mold your body into something you think will make you confident and presentable to everyone around you.
No amount of muscle or leanness fixed things for me. I was lean plenty of times over those 20 years. I received plenty of compliments too. And while it felt good, it never solved the actual problem – my body image.
Your Body and Body Image are Different
I always thought my body and body image were the same thing. As a result, how I felt about my body was 100% dependent on what I looked like. Most people live this way too, which means their confidence, happiness, relationships, and life experiences are dependent on their external appearance.
Here’s the thing – your body and your body image are two very different things. Your body is your physical body. It is what you see. It is factual and objective. On the other hand, your body image is how you perceive your physical body. It is opinion based and subjective. There is emotion involved.
If you feel bad about the way you look, you have a body image problem – not a body problem.
Your body image is what’s making you hate what you see in the mirror. Your body image is what keeps you from wearing the clothes you want to wear, going the places you want to go, and seeing the people you want to see. Your body image is what keeps you obsessing over food, burning out on exercise, and losing motivation.
My life changed, not when I changed my body, but when I changed my body image. The improved body image made me more confident, and it changed how I went about eating and moving my body.
If you remember in yesterday’s lesson I introduced you to the Ideal Body Formula™. The formula shows how your ideal body is the natural side effect of healthy relationships with food, body, exercise, and mind. By improving the relationship I had with my body, I naturally gravitated to my ideal body and started to live and feel my best.
You Can’t Hate Your Way to Transformation
Too many people hate what they see in the mirror. Their body image is poor and it forces them into approaching their eating and activity from a place of self-hate instead of self-love.
Self-hate and body rejection keep you stuck in a lifetime of frustration and give you a small life experience. Self-love and body acceptance break you free from the mental prison and give you a full life experience.
Nowadays I do public speaking all the time. I coach large groups of people. I do live coaching calls. I teach. I co-host an amazing podcast. And most importantly, I put myself out there without fear of judgement, which allows me to help other people put their authentic selves forward too.
Tomorrow we’re going to build on what you’ve been learning about the Ideal Body Formula™ and your body image struggles. Deanna, my wife and co-creator of Built Daily, is going to be sharing her struggle with eating sweets and how she used to spray Windex on her candy to ensure she wouldn’t eat it all.
So if you’ve ever felt afraid of or out of control with food, be sure to check out tomorrow’s email.
- Watch the accompanying video at the top of this page
- Listen to Episode 70 of our podcast, Fitness & Sushi – How to Stop Worrying About People Judging Your Body
- Check out Built Daily Elite when you’re ready to start applying the Ideal Body Formula™ to your own life