{Love Yourself February} {Guest Post} Tina Reale: The "Dream" Physique

Hello Friends!

I have a wonderful post to share for you from Tina Reale who blogs over at Best Body Fitness.

I started reading her blog a few months ago when she was at Faith, Fitness, Fun and I fell in love with her writing.  She is so open and honest about her life and struggles.  I strive to convey that sort of honesty in my writing but often I fall short.

I asked her to write a post for Love Yourself February (first post here)  because she knows first hand what it’s like to achieve the “dream body”, only to realize it is not worth it.

Please enjoy her story!

The “dream” physique.

We can find it on magazine shelves…on that woman we envy at the gym…on that one blog…all over our pin boards on Pinterest. What does it feel like to achieve it, though? Does it, in fact, feel like a dream? I’m here to tell you that NO…it does not.

 How can I say that? Well, about eight years ago I fell in love with Oxygen Magazine. I found the principles of clean eating and exercise so exciting that I dove into them head first. What started as a healthy practice, eventually became an obsession with restriction too much to bear. 
I dropped 30 pounds in 2 months and had what I thought would be a “dream physique”. Yet I lived in the hell of binge eating, suicidal tendencies, depression, and hating myself more than I thought possible.
Fast forward a couple of years. I discovered new life within me through the love and support of others and developing my personal faith. I was a much happier person, but still felt the allure of a “dream physique”.

This time, I began training for a fitness competition with a coach. In my mind, it meant safely and justifiably reaching towards this illusive body. Did it work? Let’s just say I lost weight but couldn’t compete thanks to passing out all the time with no warning. After realizing I could not physically compete, I immediately swing back to binge eating and gained 30 pounds in 2 months. That’s healthy, right? Ummm…no.

The following year, I finally decided to make a change. I started shooting for balance and fully respecting myself. Then, I got pregnant, and learned how to care for my body properly even more. After the birth of my daughter, I continued to live without food rules and simply striving for health and to love myself. I ended up in better shape than I expected and feeling wonderful. Yet, I still had that “dream physique” and fitness competition goal looming over me.

I entered one. I told myself, “this time…THIS time…it will be different”. I made it to the stage in one piece. I had fun competing. I had that “dream physique”.

I also had no time…no energy…no LIFE!

The “dream physique” robbed all my dreams.

I didn’t have the energy to play with my daughter because I had to fit in the twice daily workouts. I didn’t have the desire to go out with friends because it sparked anxiety with how it would fit my meal plan. I didn’t have the confidence I expected to have because I could always think of ways to improve more, more, more. I didn’t have love or patience with my husband, family, and friends because I was moody, emotional, cranky, and hungry.

I was farther from living a “dream” with my “dream physique” than I was before the competition when I simply hoped to live with balance and health.

My last binge was 2.5 years ago after that fitness competition – on THREE full sized bags of fun-size halloween candy. Yes. Three. In about 8 hours. That last binge scared me more than ever because I hadn’t had the urge to binge so recklessly in a long time. I knew right then and there that those “dream bodies” are not necessarily happy bodies. The closer I would get to the “dream” the further I got from living a truly beautiful life – from loving myself, loving others, and experiencing life.

I urge you to set aside the “dream physique” goals and instead shoot for the stars by living the life of your dreams. A life revolving around treating your body kindly with quality foods and regular activity. A life including positive self-affirmation and loving words shared with others. A life to the full. It’s yours for the taking. And it’s more of a dream than any six pack of abs can give you. Ever.

Tina Reale is a NASM certified personal trainer who loves to share her story and help others achieve healthier, happier lives. Feel free to stop by Best Body Fitness, where Tina offers fitness tips, affordable online training programs, motivational topics, and good fun!


Friends I urge you to take these words to heart!  They are from someone who has been in that “perfect” body you long for.  Stop striving for perfection and start loving yourself. Please take the 21 day challenge.  21 days of loving yourself.  Mark your calendar, write it on your mirror.  21 days of loving who you are right now..even if you don’t have your “dream” body.

Will you take the challenge?

*~Amanda aka Semi-Health Nut~*

Can you relate to striving for the “perfect” body?  Have you overcome that notion, or are you still struggling?

(If you have a story you would like to share, or have already posted one, let me know!  You can e-mail me at semihealthnut AT yahoo DOT com.  I may have a post this month with links of other bloggers’ success stories.)


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  1. says

    This was such an incredible post! I felt tears welling in my eyes by the end. Tina-you are such an inspiration! I like so many other woman long for that perfect body. You are right though, it isn’t what I think it will be and it isn’t going to make life better, in fact, it may make life that much harder. Thank you for reminding me to love myself just the way I am. I want to do the 21 Day Challenge :-)

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