Becoming a 'Swan'…Is it all Really Necessary?

author : Ron
comments : 0

What we see is that people want to look good – in a bad way. Our society paints a picture of beauty. But nobody wants to really go back to basics of diet and exercise as the fountain of youth.

By Ron

Veneers, breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, butt lift, eyebrow lift, nose-job, Botox, face-lift, hair transplant, chemical peels and chin augmentation. Well, these are just a few of all the procedures involved in making a ‘Swan’ or an ‘Extreme Makeover’ girl. But are they all really necessary?


Here are some shocking statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for 2003:

  • More than 8.7 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2003, up 33 percent from 2002.
  • Botox® injection was the overall top cosmetic plastic surgery procedure with more than 2.8 million procedures performed in 2003, up 157 percent from 2002 and up 267 percent from 2000.
  • More than 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed in 2003, up 5 percent from 2002.
  • The five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures were nose reshaping (356,554), liposuction (320,022), breast augmentation (254,140), eyelid surgery (246,633), and facelift (128,667).
  • Breast augmentations increased 7 percent from 2002 and 20 percent from 2000.
  • Buttock lifts increased 74 percent from 2002 – the most significant increase in surgical procedures.
  • 7 million minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures were performed in 2003, up 43 percent from 2002.
  • The five most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures were Botox® injection (2,891,390), chemical peel (995,238), microdermabrasion (935,984), laser hair removal (623,297), and collagen injection (576,255).

What we see is that people want to look good – in a bad way. Hollywood, advertising and our general culture paints a particular picture of beauty. But nobody wants to really go back to the basics of diet and exercise as the fountain of youth to achieve it – oh no, we need quick fixes these days. We are an ever growing impatient lot. We have not the time for diet and exercise.
 
Reality show?
 
Shocking. If any of you have ever watched any of these reality shows, you will note that the importance of ‘exercise and diet’ is highly over-rated. I do have to give a little kudos to ABC’s Extreme Makeover though, they at least gave some proper credence to the importance of diet and exercise in achieving the makeover. FOX’s 'The Swan' hardly gave mention to fitness – what kind of message are they trying send? 
 
You will see that ABC’s show host Michael Thurmond, author of the ‘6 Week Body Makeover,’ is the fitness guru for this show. Although his 6-week diet plan is not without criticism, you will see that in-between chemical peels and butt tucks, Michael does have some REAL advice for dropping some pounds. Have you noticed the frequent small meals for the diet program? The strength training and cardio? Does this make any sense?
 
Buried amongst all the plastic
 
A critic of the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet, the basic premise to Thurmond’s advice is that conventional fad dieting reduces calories too much inducing a ‘starvation’ state in the body thus slowing your metabolism making you feel weak and sluggish. This is especially no-good for blossoming endurance athletes. Sure, you will lose bunches of pounds in the beginning but a few months into the program, you will only realize a few pounds a month and finally quit the diet in frustration. Cutting carbs is not the answer he says, it will reduce the body into a catabolic state thus consuming your muscle mass – that’s no good either. Frequent small meals will constantly fuel the body keeping you energetic without sacrificing muscle mass.
 
You will also note that these ladies are working out frequently - besides looking good at the end of the show. Weight training and cardio work such as the treadmill or running along with their diet drops the pounds. I especially like the way ABC highlights the importance of proper diet and exercise - but do we really need all the other procedures?
 
I think that a grand transformation can happen only with the diet, exercise, a hairstylist and a better wardrobe. Sure, a few of the cosmetic procedures are necessary such as fixing misshapen teeth, scars, and breast reduction (let this one go guys). And yes, a lot of these people have let it all go. Life gets tough, you quickly aren’t #1 anymore. You have a job, kids, family and other obligations piling up. Your time to take care of yourself is squeezed out from amongst all your other priorities. 
 
You should be number one
 
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to eat and live healthily. It does sound selfish though. You now have to make time to exercise and plan your healthy meals. This may take several hours away from your family per week. Is it worth it? What are the benefits? Increased confidence, more energy…a better sex life? Yes, one component of a healthy relationship is built upon beauty and remaining attracted to your mate. I’m not here to define beauty – for all intents and purposes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But really, keeping fit and looking good to your significant other goes a long way in a relationship.
 
A pro-active fitness lifestyle will allow you to ‘glow.’ People will want to know your success, your newfound confidence and overall happiness. If you have a family, your spouse and/or kids will hopefully take part in your new lifestyle, cheering you at your races – then even racing with you. Health will soon become a natural part of your family’s lifestyle – as well it should. Your family depends on you.  I'm sure you would like to be around when your children become parents right?  Let’s not even get into child obesity here. An epidemic is growing fellow parents. You can tell your kids all you want about the reasons why they should eat their greens and forgo the Nintendo to go outside to play but if you’re not setting and example, then what you’re preaching will fall on deaf ears.
 
Ok, so how can I become a ‘Swan’? Natural Beauty?
 
Easy. All you have to do is stick around the site, pick out a training plan and check out the forums. There are so many helpful members here that have started at about the place you are today. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Caution though!!! Real beauty comes with some hard work and self-restraint. It will take months or even years to transform yourself to your fullest potential. But I am sure it has taken you much more time than that to get to where your're at now. Take it one workout at a time, one pound at a time. 
 
We will be cheering for you at the finish-line.

If you have a natural personal transformation and pictures to boot, post them here at the bottom.  Show us your transformation, your new-found beauty.  Guys and Girls both are welcome.  Comments welcome too.

Rating

Click on star to vote
13811 Total Views  |  18 Views last 30 days  |  6 Views last 7 days
date: November 29, 2004

Ron

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

avatarRon

I started this site 10 years ago after doing my first triathlon in 2001. My goal for this site is to get people healthy and happy. I firmly believe that triathlon is the best 'sport' for your body as it has less impact then the more popular single sport(running) while incorporating your upper body from swimming allows for a balanced-body approach to fitness.

View all 118 articles