Thinking of my “dad bod” epiphany (Dad Bod) the other day I started to look long and hard at my friends who have retained their body as they aged. Some have good genetics, you can see it in their family. But others have made serious prioritization on their health and physical appearance and the result is they look like they did in their 20’s no matter what age they are now. So what are THOSE people doing? What does truly prioritizing your health and physical appearance look like?

I had to look no further than Instructor Lynn. Have you seen her?! She looks AMAZING. Her six pack is still clearly defined year after year. No matter what is going on in her life she looks incredible. She is smoking hot and strong. In my mind, I should look like my version of her. So what does she do to have this body? She makes a ton of hard choices daily to retain it.

Lynn was injured a few years ago. Hamstring tear which kept her less “badass” than her usual. She had to be careful for a period of time. She was beyond frustrated (yes, I got her permission to share this with you). So what did she do while injured? Worked on other things! She still trained daily, she just changed what she was training on to avoid her injured area. I remember watching her through that time and thinking how absolutely motivated and amazing she was. How impressed I was that she didn’t let her injury stop her. Me? I’ve had a slew of injuries in the past six years and I let every one of them stop me. I didn’t train my legs harder when I was recovering from shoulder surgery, I instead did very little and figured I’d “catch up” when I was healthy. The cold hard truth is that there isn’t a “catch up”. All I did was delay my own goals and set myself further from the ideal I had in my head. I made the road to recovery longer by not training what I could during the injury. And since I’m now pushing 40, it is harder and harder to get my body to move. So Lynn doing what she could with her injury was a huge learning experience for me; if I want to retain my body I have to put in the work even when I can’t do it in the ways I would have preferred. She pivoted; I took my injury as an excuse to rest. She looks amazing; I made my road to healthy longer.

Then I was thinking about food choices. Lynn is the most disciplined person I have ever met. She has a very strict diet and she sticks to it. When we have meetings in a restaurant Lynn rarely eats and instead waits until she is home to eat as that aligns better with her goals; I always eat when in a restaurant and usually what will taste best in the moment. She meal preps and sticks to the actual meal prep; I fail more often then not meal prepping, I hate doing it. She turns down cake when it’s someones birthday; I eat the cake, always. She doesn’t drink alcohol, ever; I drink a glass (or two) of wine almost daily. She is the most consistent person I have ever seen and she has built her life to support that consistency. When she doesn’t have time to do the weekly food prep, her husband does it. He makes meals for when she gets home late at night. They have a beautiful common goal and work towards it together daily. Lynn is committed to her health and is consistent in her choices; I am all over the board in my choices.

Part of me looks at Lynn’s consistency and I’m jealous. It seems so effortless, but I KNOW it isn’t. I know it is a million and six choices that she makes daily and keeps making daily to keep the habit and life style going. Plain and simple, I don’t want it enough to make those same choices daily. I make the choices about 80% (ok, fine, more like 60%) of the time. So I don’t have my six pack any more and she retains hers.

It’s easy to just throw up my hands and be annoyed at how I look but when I really think about my body as “I didn’t want the six pack bad enough” and the choices I would have had to make to have it some of the sting is taken out. I am not willing to put in the time and make the consistent choices Lynn does. I am not. I applaud her for her choices, but I know that I choose to eat the cake. I choose to drink the wine. I choose to have my social time with friends over food. It is about choices. And I like my choices. So now I need to figure out how to like the body the comes with them.