3. October 2013 by swissfitchick
Hey guys! I’m Arman and I blog over at thebigmansworld.com– My blog is a bit of this and a bit of that- My perspective on healthy living, my kitchen creations and rants ranging from the serious to the not so serious. I was skeptical at first about blogging in a female dominated community, but with every blog post, every comment, and every new friendship formed over this social platform- I have grown to love it more and more everyday and hope to continue for a long time coming! I feel so honoured that Lucie has asked me to guest post for her while she’s vacationing (what I’d give to be in her shoes right about now- damn study!) so I hope you enjoy!
Today’s post is about an issue which often goes under the radar and considered taboo to many- The ideal body image amongst males. Through my own personal experience and with some scary statistics out there, it is becoming more and more common place.
- 1 on 10 people with Anorexia are male
- 20% of males who exercise are addicted, either physiologically or physically
- At least 3% of Australian teenage males use muscle enhancing drugs like steroids and prohormones
- 1 in 3 men said they would trade one year of their lives if it meant they could achieve their ideal body weight and shape
- 78% of men wish they were more muscular
- 1 in 6 men fear everyday that they might gain weight
Harrowing, isn’t it?
There is always this perception that its only females who suffer from extreme body bashing, desires to be rail thin or have issues with food but recent statistics and research is indicating more and more males are showing signs or are misdiagnosed of potential eating disorders.
The media (both print and television) constantly paint this ideal body that, unless genetically gifted, is near impossible to attain long term. Well, impossible to attain long term without serious consequences both physically and mentally.
Coming up to Summer now here in Australia, already magazines like Mens Health, Mens Fitness, Muscle and Strength and other fitness related publications have all the same theme going on- Lose the flab for Summer. Get shredded in 6 weeks. Get that ideal body.
Wait. What IS the ideal body? Is it Taylor Lautner? Is it Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or maybe it is Ryan Reynolds. Three different guys. Three different body types. Which one is ideal?
I fell victim to all of this. Growing up, I was picked on for being slightly overweight and was never the sporty kid. As I moved into highschool and saw the ‘cool guys’ all seemed carbon copies of one another- muscular, thin and tall. This became ingrained in my head as what the ‘ideal’ body type epitomised.
To cut a long story short- Once I began university I decided to lose some weight. I set a goal weight in the healthy weight range and exercised and ate a relatively healthy diet to get there. I got to that weight, yet still didn’t look like any of the guys at school. So what happened? It must mean lose more weight. This spiralled into an obsession which resulted in me resembling a skeleton. Was this my ‘ideal body’? No. Far from it. I was lost. I had no idea what I had do, nor what serious implications I had done to myself. I had changed- and not for the better.
Being in this mess, I knew something had to change. Back to my initial goal. I was going to look like those high school guys. I had done solely cardio for weight loss to the answer had to be in lifting weights and living off protein. So what did I do?
Spent 3 years trying to follow these magazines/media/internet trying to ‘bulk up’ and have a body that exemplifies a fitness model.
What did I achieve from all of this? Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Back to square one. I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t gain weight. Just stayed skinny. Skinny with no muscular definition whatsoever.
So it brings it up to current day. What did I learn from all of this? Well, I’d like to say its continuing to be a learning process but one which I am embracing. I’m looking forward to started an individualised muscle building program (via Tara!) once I’m done with exams and actually focus more on ensuring I’m meeting my nutritional needs- All this dieting, protein overloading and other jargon has left me subconsciously under eating for my activity and goals.
The biggest lesson? There is no such thing as the ideal body. What’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander. What works for X does not work for Y. At days end I’m not going to look like Taylor Lautner. I’m not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger and already my complexion rules out Ryan Gosling. But you know who I will look like? Me. Arman. And its time for me to embrace that. Its time for all of us to embrace ourselves. Male or Female.
Thank you once again Lucie for letting me take the reigns of your blog today! I hope you got some insight and pop by my blog for abit of serious banter, my attempts of creativity in the kitchen and some randomness thrown in.