I cannot speak to what it is to be a man in this world but I can say that as a woman, I personally have been very judgemental about my appearance and my teaching experience tells me that I am not alone.
The above cartoon was given to me by one of my students who has a great sense of humour. It is quite funny to think that a stereotypically fit woman sees herself as fat when she looks in the mirror, while an obviously overweight man, see himself as fit.
Realistically, you need to know that men store their fat viscerally, that is around their organs, while women store their fat subcutaneously, just under their skin. So I have had male clients smack their big bellies and tell me that they have rock hard abs despite their size and therefore they are in great shape and don’t need my personal training services.
What this cartoon tells me is that men can exhibit a wonderful sense of self confidence that I sometimes wish I had myself. No matter what their shape or size, some men can look in the mirror and see a strong, fit individual looking back at them and be happy with that! While the man’s perception of himself in this cartoon is delusional, I see so many women struggling with a low sense of self, that I wish women could feel a bit better about their bodies.
Do not get me wrong. The man in this cartoon is at serious risk for developing many potentially life threatening health problems. The struggle that I face in my work, is men like him, feel so well that it is hard to convince them that they need to get into the gym and shed the weight, while I have many female students, who are fit but pushing themselves to be thinner!
Becoming fit is not just a matter of working with our physical body, it is also a bit of a mind game. My job is to help my students to feel good when they are in my classes so that they continue to work toward achieving optimal health. Please note however that we have to take care of our thoughts about ourselves, just as much as we need to workout our bodies.
Ask yourself what is driving you to workout?
Does the above cartoon have anything to say to you and your situation?
Remember that becoming healthy is not just about getting thin, it is about feeling good in body, mind and soul. Work on all three and you will feel fabulous.
Have a great day everyone!