Monday, June 22, 2015

Don't Body Shame Yourself

Don’t Body Shame Yourself

Maybe I’m the only one that does this – maybe not – but the truth is none of us should do this ever, and here's why.

My story – I’m a 54 year old dad of 5 that had been fit most of his life till I put on weight at the worst time (at least in terms of cosmetically having my skin bounce back) – my late 40s. When I started to lose the weight at 50, there was no forgiving youthful skin.

Also at over 50, the metabolism doesn’t crank quite as fast as it did even in my 40s. So, while I see fabulous results from the programs I do and recommend for other folks, I myself see limited benefits – other than being in great health, being stronger than I’ve ever been and being able to embarrass most guys half my age – but I don’t have the fabulous abs that I think I want.

So, I body shame myself.  I think “Dude! You’re a Personal Trainer! You’ve gotten nutrition certification! You should be able to crack the code for all these mid-life crisis baby-boomers to get in phenomenal shape!

And truth, I can. But what I do is different. I like to eat dinner with my family. I don’t like to put pressure on my wife (who home schools my 3 youngest, is one of the co-administrators of the cooperative they attend, does the budget, shops organic, makes most of the meals for the family) to have to cook every meal to meet strict dietary guidelines. I also (because I have five kids) don’t train six times a week. I train 3 days with full body workouts and I get my 10k steps in every day. No half marathon training, no two a days. So, I really train a lot more like a normal 50-something year old guy with a family who wants to stay fit, strong and healthy.

But when I look in the mirror (other than flexing my arms ;-)) there are just some days I get mad. I’m frustrated. I think “DAMN! 10 years ago I would have already been 10 pounds lighter! How come I’m not?! I suck. I’m fat. I’m never going to look good in that bathing suit.”

And that’s wrong. Because, yes, 10 – 20 or even 30 years ago I would have dropped the weight in next to no time, but that’s not the case anymore. And the case is I’m studying for more certifications, getting my marketing strategy set to launch a business, working a full time mentally demanding job, and oh yes, being a husband, dad and general lawn maintenance guy for my household.

Here’s the TRUTH. Instead of being mad. Instead of body shaming myself because I’m not 20, I should be doing back-flips!

  • I can run around with my five year old son and roll on the floor with him, coach his baseball team and play catch.
  • I can intimidate the boys that want to suit my teenage daughters (yes, they’ve told me, and some of the guys have been six foot 200+ pounders).
  • I can carry my youngest girl from the car to the emergency room after she sliced open her leg and needed to get stitches – without getting winded.
  • I can carry all the luggage out to the van for my oldest girls going on a summer vacation.
  • I can motivate my eldest girl to be a fitspiration herself.
The truth is, I’m exactly where I should be for a guy that likes to spend time with his family, likes to have a little chocolate sometimes and doesn’t want to spend his life in the gym.

So today, I’m not going to body shame myself, I’m going to rejoice. I’m going to celebrate four years of turning my life around and being in great shape. I’m going to celebrate that I just ran my 3rd Warrior Dash, and did it in my best time and it had the most obstacles. I'm going to celebrate that I'm in good health, I'm not injured and I can enjoy every blessing I've been given, including time with my family.

Join me in the celebration!