When people hear the words "Grecian Formula", they usually think of hair oil, but there is another Grecian formula or ideal; a set of proportions for the "ideal physique." Body builders try to achieve the perfect balance of size and symmetry. Some of them calculate this by using their wrist circumference, which in turn determines what their other measurements should be. For a person who is 6' 2" like myself with 7 inch wrists, the software says my ideal measurements should be a 46" chest, 17" biceps, 32" waist, 24 " thighs, and 16" calves. Apparently my body measurements are not ideal. The Greek sculptors would be ashamed of me, but I don't think I'm alone. The average man in the US is 5 ft. 9 and weighs 190 lbs. and doesn't fit that ideal either.
The average American woman is 5' 4" and weighs 150 lbs. Compare that with the average female model who is 5 ft. 10, weighs between 110-120 lbs. and has measurements of 34-24-34. If you think those are tough measurements to live up to, check out the Barbie doll. If she were life size, her measurements would be 39-18-33. Don't feel picked on if you are a girl. These impossible expectations carry over to boys too. The average action figure is apparently on steroids with proportions that would make Mr. Olympia jealous. Is it any wonder so many people have eating disorders and body image issues?
My point is that not everyone can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or (insert celebrity). Maybe you are big boned and will never have a frame like Angelina Jolie. You shouldn't stress out about this because, odds are, your husband doesn't look like Brad Pitt either. Don't fall for the hype. Measure your success against yourself not a model or celebrity who's body represents less than 1% of the population. If they are famous for their physique, then staying in amazing shape is probably their full time job. Remember that the model in the picture you may want to look like has genetics, extensive photo shoots, cosmetic surgery, and airbrushing on their side.
Please don't think this is a sour grapes post, or that I'm implying it's not important to get into shape. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of reaching for their fitness goals or getting into the shape they have always dreamed of. I'm just saying to be realistic about it. I believe that everyone can improve their own physique and make progress from where ever they currently are. If a picture of someone motivates you to get in better shape, then that's fine, but don't let society tell you what you should look like. As you adopt a healthy lifestyle, you can get into great shape, and if you work hard enough, you can eventually reach your personal physical potential.