This is a question focusing on the mental side to fitness

I've been working out for the last 6 months - primarily on a squat, deadlift, benchpress routine - and I'm quite enjoying it. I've seen some results and I'm more motivated than ever to continue pushing through.

The thing is, I'm a 5"3 male at 58 kgs. A little above underweight and quite ashamedly short.

While I'm not one for social settings, I'm aware that any gains I make, at least in the next few years, are not going to come even close to being socially redeemable enough.

It's a lot like making an investment: if someone starts out with an initial capital $100 and you start out with $10, a measly two 20% gain on their part still dwarfs a large 100% on yours. It sucks, but that's life.

How do I harden myself so that I don't let such deprecating thoughts detract me from my fitness goals?

  • You should be kind to yourself. Growth is very hard in any domain if you're constantly being criticized by yourself or others. Perhaps training with a friend to act as a sort of hype man for times when you get down on yourself (which happens to even the hardest, baddest mf out there), may be helpful to you. Practice speaking kindly to yourself too. Constructive criticism only, no need for this "ashamedly short" type of stuff, especially about things you cannot change.
    – E.Aigle
    Apr 21, 2021 at 6:03
  • Jeff Nippard is 5'5". I look up to him.
    – C. Lange
    Apr 22, 2021 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


"ashamedly short"

"not...even close to being socially redeemable enough"

WTF? Don't allow your brain to insult you like that. Being short is nothing to be ashamed of and people at parties are more interested in your conversation skills than whether you squat three wheels yet.

Focus on swimming in your own lane. Progress is progress and people respect that. Self-deprecation, less so. Let such thoughts arise and depart of their own accord. Don't beat yourself up about having such thoughts, but in the meantime pay them no mind. Stay consistent, get strong, and que sera sera.


I am also a short man. It is true that some people will look at you as a lesser person because of your height. Some woman will not even consider you as a partner, just because of height. However, there is much more that most people will look at, and you should, too. These all add up to the most important thing, which is confidence.

Working on your strength and fitness is a great start. Add to that personal grooming, dress, humor, being good at your job, ambition, etc. I once read (but unfortunately, can not find the reference) a study that showed people with confidence are perceived to be taller. Anecdotally, I asked my friends how tall they think I am and they all thought that I (an over-confident jerk if you ask anyone here), was 2-3 inches taller than I actually am. They thought I was taller than another person in the room, with low self-confidence, who was more than 4 inches taller than me!

In any case, if you are just starting out with strength, you are more likely to see 100% returns than 20%. The first year can be very dramatic.

  • It sucks. I have a very bad skinny fat physqiue. The pain on the mental health is unbearable. It really makes me considering ending it all...
    – user33409
    Apr 25, 2021 at 22:45
  • suicidepreventionlifeline.org
    – michael
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:17

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