I have become more and more engrossed with the bodybuilding and fitness industry, and with it has come watching videos of Arnold, discussing his past and how his vision lead him to set his eyes on a goal and never give up- to keep pushing when others told him he was crazy or would never achieve it- and allowed every barrier to strengthen him and fuel his desire. His life is truly inspiring, and his videos are motivating. I would truly recommend watching them all because he is a martyr for setting your eyes on a goal- WHATEVER that may be- and not giving up until you reach it. I believe that is what makes a champion.
I started thinking about my own experience and how far I had come. One thought in particular was to do with me being an anomaly of my family- casual thought of the day. Now my great-uncle used to do bodybuilding competitions in Malta (something i didn't learn until recently), now other than that ONE RELATION, no other family member- close or distant- has a faint interest in exercise, nutrition, or having a healthy lifestyle. I come from a maltese family who believe eating in abundance is a sign of health, and gaining weight (albeit not huge amounts) is actually a good thing. My grandma on my mum side loved to cook, and was always in the kitchen setting up 3 course meals for them all, and so my mum recalls this as being the norm. All her siblings are overweight- 2 had anorexia as teens, and the other had bullimia. My dad used to be skinny, but in his 20's was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 and thereafter the weight has piled on. This has not been helped by his carbohydrate-laden meals, and sedentary lifestyle. My whole extended family are sedentary- no exercise AT ALL. Me, my sister, my mum and dad live in England whilst the rest of our family live in malta so i will stick to just discussing us.
My family set their meals around eating carbohydrates. The portions are excessive, and it is normal for my dad (who does the cooking) to make huge amounts so that they (i don't eat his food- never have) can go back for more servings. My dad loves cooking- particularly baking and bakes loafs of bread every day including home-made pizzas.Now i have always been different. From a young age i took a real interest in health, and wanted to be slim and lean. I loved exercise and i liked looking a certain way. I have always been the anomaly of the house- even in my personality i can often be introverted and after a day out, i do love to have some "me time", so often at home you'll find me in my room with my macbook. Now in terms of eating habits, i have always cooked or prepared my own meals. My family are so amazingly supportive of everything that i do that they never made any comment or anything. In fact my mum would ask me to make a list of "my foods" and she would do the food shopping for "my foods". It was always obvious in the kitchen fridge or cupboard which foods were mine and which was the rest of the family's.
My main point is that despite my kitchen smelling of a bakery 24/7, or the treats that i see around the house i have never been tempted. In fact, it actually fuels my desire because i LIKE and ENJOY being different. I know that my will power is exceptionally strong- always has been. I always did what i wanted- more in a focused way rather than a spoilt-brat/princess way. During ALevels my friends would still go out to clubs etc, but for me and my goals i knew i needed 3As in my Alevels and that meant making sacrifices. I used to have comments made my friends about this but it didn't phase me. I am very all or nothing, and with my 'all' mentality comes tunnel vision
I do believe if you want something enough, and are in-tune with what exactly is required of you and what you must sacrifice, then temptation won’t phase you. Psychology plays a huge part- i always said "i want to achieve *this* so i must do *that*" as opposed to "i can't do *this* because i have to do *that*". If you are looking for an excuse to break away from a goal- i.e. it is one you don't really care about or that was inflicted on you by your parents, friends, peer pressure etc, then the willpower you can force will only take you so far.
When people asked me about why i was so healthy and never used to indulge, I found the easiest way to answer that was to tell people i was “brought up around health”. The truth is i wasn’t- my family sometimes resembles "fat families"- as much as i do love them, they have zero care in the world for nutrition or exercise. No one would understand why i made the decisions i did, chose to put workouts as a priority, and chose to ate the way i did, so It was a lot easier to tell that lie, because then suddenly people understood. I think the strength comes from within, because my goals are different to my family's- my vision is to do with turning my body into a personification of my mental strength. I overcame a lot of demons in my past, and each made me stronger.
I hope this motivates at least one person to stick to their goals and find the strength within. Everyone has their struggles, and not everything comes easily- i would love to have a family that ate the way i did and would even go to the gym with me- but that is life, and you have to face whatever challenges or rocky paths are set forth. They will only build your character and strength, so embrace it and congratulate yourself on your achievements wherever you are in your journey/path towards your goal.