Paradoxical Nature of the Perfect Body

Essay by davidpimpUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, July 2006

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In today's society, a common attitude that surrounds many people is that they must achieve the "Perfect Body" in order to gain acceptance, control and success in their lives. The perfect body is fantasized to be young, slim and lean with virtually no fat. However, even though the attitude surrounding this ideal body is strong, this lean machine frame is extremely hard to reach. And this is exactly the problem that persists throughout today's society. The media has played a primary role to help shape the ideal body, since one does not have to keep his eyes open for very long to see it. Just wait for a bus, open a magazine, turn on a television, or merely walk down the street. The inescapable presence of this ideal body literally haunts us day in and day out. If our vision is constantly being bombarded by the perfect body, then why is it so difficult to obtain for the average, hard-working individual? Simply stated, the two physiological processes of decreasing body fat and gaining lean muscle, which are the key ingredients that help achieve the perfect body, cannot be accomplished simultaneously with nutrition or exercise despite their interrelatedness.

Nutrition is the factor that requires the greatest amount of thought and dedication when going on any sort of dieting program. It is the factor that separates you from the rest of the crowd because without proper nutrition, you might as well pack your bag and go home. First off, it is important to realize that the two main goals of decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass impose opposite nutritional demands on the body. However, by closely examining the details of nutrition, one can see that fat and muscle tissue ironically complement each other despite these opposite demands.