Recently I started a journey to improve my health and physical fitness, and by extension, my overall appearance. This has been a journey I’ve taken before and have had obstacles jump in the way. Some physical ailments, some injuries, and some mental/emotional roadblocks. I’ve struggled with my appearance most of my life; “you’re too skinny”, “you’re not skinny enough”, “you’re too short”, “you’re balding”. And none of those are as critical as my own self-talk. For all the discussions of “body positivity”, there is a surprising lack of leeway for men. Men are supposed to be strong, unemotional, big biceps, six-pack abs, and chiseled jawline. Then again, men are supposed to be emotional enough not to be an a$$hole, total “dad-bod”, nurturing enough to be a good father, and still need that chiseled jawline. This is separate of the requirements related to masculinity.
So what is the average guy, with a sensitive side and less than large biceps supposed to do? If you’re like me you struggle on the daily comparing yourself to the IG influencers who sport rock-hard bods and millions of followers, and then berate yourself for not being them. Or, you listen to the girls and guys shouting to the heavens that they like “dads”. This is the same thing we–guys–have done to women for decades. (none of what I am expressing here is meant to discount the struggle women go through)
This is where I am at today; I will focus on me and the parts of my life that I can control. My nutritional eating habits, my exercise regime, my mental assessment of myself, my self-talk, and my own body. Goals are challenges and challenges are worthy of accepting when the results are better health and a stronger body. So instead of worry about whether my jawline is carved from marble or my abs are worthy of laundry, I will focus on the one goal that has been absent from my other attempts at improving my health and fitness; Self-Worth. I am worthy of health, I am worthy of achieving the highest standards of physical fitness my genetics will allow, I am worthy of LOVING myself and every aspect of myself. (still not giving up smoking just yet though. I have to keep at least one of my comfort vices.)
The Challenge; The Goal! Take time everyday to recognize that your record for making it through struggles is 100%. You Are Here Now! Focus on the things that you actually can control. Don’t set goals that compare you to others, instead set goals that challenge you and your personal best. Put the positive energy of achieving that goal out into the Universe.
Thank You for letting me get this off my chest.