Post image for Physicality, Weight, and Being a Man

I fully support the notion of “being your own man” and I think part of being a man is being able to make your own decisions. Technically making your own decision might include deciding you don’t care about how much you weigh or if you are in good shape. However, I firmly believe that part of being a man is maintaining a level of physicality and a reasonable weight. Why? I see part of a man’s responsibility is to be able to do things like: run up a a few flights of stairs if he has to, protect his loved ones (or even random women/children) if it came to it, have sex with his significant other…and in generally be useful both inside and outside the house. If a man is too overweight or too out of shape…OR if he is extremely thin and weak… how can he take care of basic tasks a man should be able to?

Imagine the “the shit hitting the fan”… meaning some sort of emergency that requires survival type activity or the unlikely scenario of being drafted into the military for a ground war… would you be physically ready? If you think that scenario would put you in some real trouble, maybe that is a good reason to think about building some physical prowess and ensuring your weight in an appropriate range. In an even more basic scenario, how about day to day items like removing a lug to change a spare tire, helping push a car that is stuck in the snow, helping a friend move to a new apartment or house, or any physical task. Can you do that without being out of breath or straining?

A man should respect his body, take care of it, and make it useful. If you take care of yourself you will feel better, have more energy at work and at home, you will be more attractive, you will have more confidence… the list goes on and on. The whole point I’m trying to make is that it is part of a man’s responsibility to be useful and that means being in shape and keeping your weight in check. Throughout history there are many cultures that men were built to be warriors and leaders. The training started young and assured that men were training and developed. However when you shift to today, the comfort of modern life and it’s conveniences have made it possible to slide through life without any discipline or work. If you disagree, step back and think about why. Are you just making excuses to yourself? Are you trying to justify laziness or lack of discipline?

With that little rant… let’s talk about what you have to do… and how it really isn’t that complicated…

As much as people pushing fad diets, miracle workouts, and other snake-oil products would like to fool you. The secret to being healthy is pretty easy. Eat real food (if you read the ingredients on something and don’t know what it is, don’t eat it!), move around a little bit everyday, lift some few weights, walk or run most days, play sometimes (basketball, golf, swimming…anything). It really can be simple. If you are doing those things and eating real food, you will feel good and look good. Don’t over indulge and don’t be stagnant, the rest will take care of itself.

Another part of being a man is having some discipline. So don’t eat half a box of Oreos…put them down and have sex with your significant other (if you’re single, go out and meet someone instead)… turn off the internet and go be social. Is sitting in front of your TV or computer really making your life any more worthwhile?

A few simple guidelines…

Food

Eat REAL food. Stuff that was once alive, growing somewhere, and didn’t need to spend too much time in a factory before getting to you.

EAT:

Protein: steak/beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs
Carbs: vegetables, fruits, rice, some beans
Fat: nuts, seeds, olive oil, butter, avocado
Other: Eat dairy (milk, yogurt) if you are not lactose intolerant, avoid fast food and other greasy stuff.

DON’T EAT

(or limit yourself):
sugary snacks (cookies, ice cream, candy bars)
highly processed carbohydrates (sugary cereals, chips, pretzels, etc.)
sugary drinks (soda/pop, coffee loaded with sugar, and actually most fruit juices are missing a lot of the good stuff…skip it in favor of a piece of fruit and some water)

REDUCE

(and eliminate if you can)
bread and pasta – The number of people that tell me they “could never give up bread and/or pasta” is interesting…especially because I have personally seen hundreds of people reduce or give-up bread and pasta and be okay (and far healthier)
beer and wine- I get it, you might not want to give-up beer, but drink it in moderation. Stick to only on weekends and try to limit yourself to 2 or 3 drinks.

Photo Credit: Adam Bautz

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