Content Disclaimer: Dear Reader, I’m not a Doctor, Psychologist or Therapist. This blog is written for inspirational and empowerment purposes and is in no way to be used as a substitute for professional help. Read and use discretion. Keep what works. Leave what doesn’t. (My before and after picture at the bottom of this post is my only proof of what works)
And lastly, for the women reading this. Some of these principles, ideas and challenges shared may be valuable and applicable to you as well. So, please feel free to use the resources provided in this post and the ones to come. Share them them as well as you see fit. Thank you for reading in advance.
Body Shame Hides In Plain Sight
Believe it or not, men struggle with body shame – from their height, to weight, athletic ability and even how their clothes fit. But they won’t call it “body shame”. As a matter of fact, they’ll be silent on the subject and point to their scars, torn ACL or broken-bone surgery and rehab stories to act as if it doesn’t matter. Deep down however, men struggle with their image and the body is one part of that image. Don’t led the loud belching, laugh out loud, rude posturing facades fool you. Men really are concerned about how they look and sometimes undeniably insecure. I would know. Why? This is because I was one of those guys. And I’ve worked in the men’s tailored clothing industry for years and witnessed the subtle cues that men give when they’re not confident about their bodies.
Following Tradition of Transformation Tuesday
So, it’s Tuesday as I’m writing and since I’m on a roll this week with creating traditions, I figured I’d follow one. And I also figured I’d take a risk and share a Transformation Tuesday story and pic. And the Transformation Tuesday seems to be a trend these days along with the Memes I mentioned on Monday – which is now known as Memeday. And along with this tradition, I wanted to take the opportunity to get personal and inspirational by sharing my personal fitness journey with those who share the same struggle and challenges with overcoming body shame and self image challenges.
If you haven’t already scrolled down to my after pick… Yes – that’s me. No Photoshop tricks. My transformation journey kinda started of real ugly and I knew it. I feel so sad for the older version of me in that picture. He was really trying. In my collegiate years I could cover up with pick-up basketball to keep me looking somewhat fit. But after years of excusing myself from a real consistent exercise and workout routine – besides running to and from airports, buses, cabs and to the store for snacks, I ran out of excuses.
Excuses, Body Shame and How They Relate To Self Image
Last Fall, I’d finally settled down and moved to a place where there was a gym. And I knew I couldn’t forgive myself if a year went by and I didn’t use the facility in some capacity.
On the other hand, I had one thought. Who would notice? I mean. Who cares to see me shirtless? I’m not a model, actor etc. trying to entice the world to come and see me on the big screen or a magazine, so what would it matter if I had a gym that I’d never used? Who’s watching?
That last question and other sneaky ones like it could augment the reasons why 80% of Americans don’t exercise enough. The Center for Disease Control study referenced doesn’t say that. But I do. Sometimes we don’t do the things we should do because there’s no one watching and no immediate trouble to get into if we don’t do it. Before you run from a lecture on what you should and shouldn’t be doing, I promise this post and the ones to come aren’t going to be that way at all. They’ll inspire you to go beyond the gym and inward. That’s honestly the first gym I had to go to. It was the gym of the heart and my conscience. And also, I’ll admit I had to deal with the shame that came from feeling I could do better but wasn’t showing it. So, stay tuned to the Transformation Tuesday series posts to come. In the next post I’ll addresshow Self Talk Creates Self image and Its effects on our behavior and actions.
For now, you’re welcome to send me a message on any particular aspects of this subject you would like me cover in my next posts. You’re questions will be received in confidence. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook.com/BuiheMadu
See you in the next post.
Buihe Madu | Creator of The 24 Hour Blueprint Method
Some Before and After Pictures of My Journey
PS: I will say that one of the tools that inspired me back towards meeting my fitness aspirations was found in a exercise manual created by a good friend of mine and fitness trainer, Farai Mash. I’ve left his nutrition and fitness model for you to grab below if you’re looking for a solid manual or guide for your journey without shame.