Masculinity and Body Dysmorphia

Not too long ago, I reviewed a book by Lewis Howes titled The Mask of Masculinity.  This book was a look into the different masks men wear to hide themselves and give the impression of their idea of masculinity. It is a great read for both men and women, and it is a book I look forward to reading again, as it truly spoke to me.

Growing up, I was relentlessly picked on for being smaller or skinnier than everyone else. Even to this day, people comment on how skinny I am and how “lucky” I am that I can eat whatever I want  and never seem to gain weight. What they do not understand, is that for me, this is not a compliment. I struggle with this, just as someone who struggles to actually lose weight constantly feels every time they look in a mirror or step on  a scale.  After years and years of being picked on, never being able to gain weight, and personally thing sin my life, the last couple years it all came crashing down on me.

I was a high school and collegiate swimmer and was always in great shape. Sure I was skinny, but I was fit. Now I am a father of two and I workout most days of the week, but I do not feel the same. I SEE that when I step on the scale I am near the ideal weight I always wanted. But when I look in the mirror, I have trouble seeing what I am supposed to see. My arms are skinny, my tummy looks like pudge and I just do not like the overall look and form. Because I grew up playing sports and the athletic kids were always the popular ones, I somewhere along the way combined them together and now I struggle with untying my masculinity to strength, physique and athleticism. I often fight the urge to cry when I see myself in the mirror, and just hope that somebody notices how hard I have been working in the gym, or provides a genuine compliment that lifts me up.

I think it is strange for many people to think of body dysmorphia in this way, as for most, it is an issue with trying to lose weight and always seeing themselves as overweight. But the truth is, the ectomorphs (such as myself) struggle with this too. We struggle with how we look. We struggle with our masculinity. We just simply struggle with all aspects of weight gain, loss and muscle.

So the real question is: why am I sharing this. Where is this pointless narrative going and what does it have to do with who I am as a person and bettering myself. Well for one, as one of my daily struggles, I want to share with others that men struggle with this too. And not just overweight people, but skinny people too. Also, I am hoping to inspire others to work their system and find the truth in it all. I know that my masculinity is not tied to this (as hard as that is for me to believe), but more than anything I do not want my kids to feel the same way. My daughter is 6 and my son is 4 and I want them to always have a positive image of themselves and not let others get to them. I want to show them that even if lacking muscles, I am strong in my heart and strong in my head, and hope to lead by example for them too.

Do you or someone you know struggle with body images, or have a story similar to mine? I would love to hear how toy work on this and steps you take to keep a positive mind. Feel free to share below and help to inspire others who are struggling and want to better themselves too.

Have a great day!

Motivating Myself to Be Motivated

~6 1/2 months. That s roughly how long it has been since my last post. 6 1/2 months.

I know when I started this, there was a very good chance I would not follow through or I would just stop posting (don’t believe me? Go back and read some of my last posts). I could sit here and give you excuses as to how busy I have been. Between a summer chalk full of fun and adventure, both kids being in school and soccer season beginning, for which I am an assistant coach for my daughter, time has been minimized. But those are just excuses.

Over the last 6.5 months, I have written down a handful of different blog post ideas, always with the intention of writing them. But when I sit down to do it, I just cannot find the final push to actually write them. I do not particularly like writing, but that too is just an excuse. The truth is, I am lazy. Ok… maybe lazy is not the right word, because I am always on the go and doing something. But I am just not motivated. Since the middle of the summer, I have been in a funk. Just constant bad moods, high anxiety and trouble staying focused. I find menial tasks difficult to accomplish. No motivation to write or really do anything. So, why now?

As I have discussed many time on this blog, I am a HUGE fan of Lewis Howes and his podcast. Well recently I listed to an AMAZING interview with author and entrepreneur, James Clear. James has a new book out on creating habits, and one of the fundamentals he discusses is breaking it down and just starting somewhere. I decided, if I am going to write, I have to create a habit of it and start somewhere. I broke it down to coming up with idea, and then from there, perhaps just creating a blog title for an article. Maybe just a rough draft…. but not to take on too much at once. Before you can run a mile everyday, you have to show up everyday… so we create a small habit, and build from there.

I have a lot of goals and aspirations, but James also says something else that really resonated with me. James states that “we do not rise to the level of our goals, but fall to the level of our systems.” By this he means that many people have similar goals, but just having a goal does not mean you will reach it, you have to have the systems in place to to work hard and get you there. So as I take a step back, to re-examine my systems, I hope you follow along as I continue my journey to my new career. Detailing my trials and tribulations and sharing with you my thoughts and feelings as well as a little about me along the way.

What are some of the steps you do to stay motivated and keep after your goals. Please share those with me below and hopefully we can all learn something new! Also, if you are interested in hearing more from me, please subscribe to future posts and maybe that will help me to stay motivated to share with you all as well!

Have a great day!