Not many people can say that they were Mr. Universe, one of the biggest Hollywood action heroes in history, and the governor of California but Arnold Schwarzenegger can. Yet, despite his many successes, the actor and former politician recently revealed that he really struggles with confidence.
The 69-year-old actor said: “When I look in the mirror, I throw up… and I was already so critical of myself, even when I was in top physical shape. I’d look in the mirror after I won one Mr. Olympia after another and think, ‘How did this pile of s— win?’”
It is so sad to imagine anyone describing themselves in this way but, unfortunately, it happens in bedrooms around the world every day. Whether it’s poor self-image or a diagnosable condition such as body dysmorphia, people are struggling with similar issues and it’s important that, in our critical society, we remember this.
Schwarzenegger went on to say: “I never saw perfection. There was always something lacking. I could always find a million things wrong with myself and that’s what got me back into the gym — because I started out with that mentality… My day cannot start without doing something physically and I work out at night before bed — cardio, weight-training. I want to stay in shape as long as I can.”
Surprising many, he said: “I do lack confidence, but I do the reps and do them enough that the thing itself will be doable when it’s time. When I was competing at bodybuilding, I did so many hours of reps — on the weights, practicing the poses — that when I got onstage, I was comfortable and confident. The more reps you do, the more you look smooth and convincing. The more you do it, the better you get. […] That’s how you gain confidence.”
While it’s not necessary to go to extremes, it is a great idea for a man who is nearly 70 years of age (or any age!) to do all he can to stay healthy and build muscle and bone mass. Hopefully, he isn’t being obsessive about it and is genuinely motivated by a healthy amount of self-deprecation which many people turn into a positive.
Either way, he’s a great example of staying in shape well into our golden years!