Hmmm…I seem to have men on the mind lately don’t I? Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve always had men on my mind!! I’m just talking about them more lately for some reason. But who am I to question the random thoughts in my mind? Although now the theme song to Two and A Half Men is running through my head…
I woke up this morning thinking about a very specific group of men…those working on fitness. As some of you know I’m currently enmeshed in a full on lifestyle redevelopment. Fancy way of saying diet, but it’s so much more than just a diet. I’m literally changing the way I live. My method of choice is old fashioned calorie restriction combined with exercise. No fad. No gimmick. Nothing other than the tried and true expend-more-calories-than-you-consume method of weight loss. It may not be fast, but it sure is effective. I’m down 28 pounds in the last 6 months, and statistically this slow and steady method tends to be more permanent, so I’ll take it.
Anyhoo, my main motivation comes from a website that I joined. Totally FREE (my favorite kind of program) and incredibly friendly. It’s called My Fitness Pal. It’s basically a community where you share a food diary, share tips and support other people. I love it. I started out with just a couple of friends, all of whom I actually know in real life and who joined it largely to help me on my mission. But after a few months I began adding “stranger friends” (and yes, for those who read this site routinely, it is the same site where I met Mr. Mystery Man).
The vast majority of these friends are female. But there are a good number of men on the site as well. Out of my current friends, a little over 10% are male. It’s the men that are on my mind today. I suddenly was hit with the realization that boy are we unfair to men in this society.
OK, some of you just did a spit take. You really shouldn’t eat or drink while reading this site…come on, you know better. Wipe off the monitor. I’ll wait.
Think about it. We talk about the unrealistic standards the fashion industry and society in general put on women and their physical appearance, but is the same not true of men? And in some ways even more so? Men get harshly criticized for being drawn to model-type of pencil thin women (aka Skinny Bitches) and ignoring their more Rubenesque counterparts. Women assume that men only want really skinny women, which frankly a lot of the times derives from our own insecurity. ß OK, yes, another broad generalization…work with me people. I am never speaking about EVERY person and EVERY situation in the world.
But are we any better? When women are asked to identify what’s attractive in a man, we hold up Brad Pitt, Taye Diggs, Tyrese Gibson, Antonio Banderas…hang on…need a minute to drool…
On Facebook there are any number of pages dedicated to pictures of sexy men…not that I know *any* of them…
When do we think of the chubby sidekick to any of the stunningly hot leading men? We don’t. We are just as shallow as guys are. But even worse, women can be INCREDIBLY harsh about men.
A guy who is not physically attracted to a woman will often just not call or say he’s not interested. Sure it doesn’t feel good and sure we are likely to assume it’s because we don’t look like Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba.
Women, on the other hand, can be downright cruel. I’ve actually watched women rip men to shreds in public because they weren’t fit enough or good looking enough. When you take the cattiness that we women seem to be inherently capable of towards each other, then apply it to shunning a not-perfect man, holy carp! It’s not a pretty sight to see.
Fitness videos are usually geared towards women. Diets, until recently, all woman focused. But what about our fellas? They don’t come born with some inherent knowledge of how to get chiseled and perfect. They fall victim to the same fast food lifestyle that is our doom. Now, granted, I can’t stand their ability to lose at times. My dearest dad can just cut out desert for a week and drop 5 pounds. Ok, fine. But that man has a crazy metabolism anyway. There are plenty of men who struggle with weight and health just as we women do, but they are a lot less supported in their efforts.
The exception I’ve found is the men on the MFP website. They receive SO much support, not only from the women on the site, but also from the other men. It’s an amazing camaraderie. And they also GIVE some of the best support. They encourage, sometimes with tough love, sometimes just concerned words. Sure, there are fellas on the site that are trolling for women. I’m not going to lie to you about that. But they are in the minority. Most of the men there are truly trying to better themselves and also support others on a journey to health.
That is awesome.
So to my male readers, I want to say I know you struggle too. Your struggle is different, but it still takes hard work, commitment and dedication. For your willingness to improve yourselves, and for your support of us women that are on the journey too, I say THANK YOU!
And to my female readers, try to remember when you are working on your own health and fitness goals that the men in your life may be able to use some support – not nagging – incentivizing…cheerleading if you will. And I’ve yet to meet the man who didn’t like pom-poms.
I’m just sayin’…