Arnold Schwarzenegger has made a name for himself as one of the toughest guys in Hollywood and politics, but it turns out he’s not as macho as everyone believed.
The former body builder, and later politician, has opened up about an issue most of us can admit to struggling with: body image.
While the whole world watched on in awe as Arnold won championship after championship in the 60s and 70s, Arnold says he was beating himself up thinking his body wasn’t good enough.
What’s even more surprising is that he admitted he still feels the same way today.
“When I look in the mirror, I throw up,” he told magazine Cigar Aficionado.
He said he’s struggled with body image for most of his life, but is working on it now that his a little older and wiser.
“And I was already so critical of myself, even when I was in top physical shape,” Schwarzenegger said.
“I’d look in the mirror after I won one Mr. Olympia (he’s won seven times) after another and think, ‘How did this pile of s**t win?’
“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.”
His words have come as a surprise to many, not just because he’s so recognised for his fitness and body, but because he is a man.
Body image isn’t something that’s talked about all that openly, but when it is there is a very female-focused agenda. Most women will admit they’ve struggled with their body over the years – a lot of it because of how obsessed the media seems to be with presenting the ‘perfect body’ and telling people how they should look.
For many, it was nice to hear Arnold open up like this and talk so honestly about such a personal issue.
Sadly, he said he still finds it difficult to look in the mirror and like what he sees.
“I don’t feel my age,” he said, “I do everything exactly the same as I did 20 years ago.
“The last thing I ever wanted to do is disappoint myself. I could not look in the mirror and say, ‘You know something, You’re a f**king loser; you cannot even do the kind of sets and exercises and eat the kind of food that you wrote down’. I didn’t want to face that.”
Many have already come forward to thank him for sharing his honest words on an issue so many of us are touchy about and hope it opens the conversation even more.