Here's something that probably doesn't get spoken about: men suffer from body image issues too.
Take, for example, someone I know quite well - me. Over the past three years, my weight has fluctuated by about 15kg. If you have watched my videos regularly you have probably noticed that, especially over the last 12 months. I wish I could say the times I lost weight was a result of dieting and exercise, but alas, that is not the case.
Pretty much all my weight loss was as a result of depression and anxiety. Ironically, some of that mental unwellness was caused by my low body image.
I'm not quite ready to talk about the details of my mental health struggles from the past few years - it really feels so cliche and I'm not sure that talking about it will really help anyone - but what I can say is this: When it looked like I was at my healthiest, I was probably at my lowest ebb.
As per everything in my life, it was a really upside-down situation. Getting complimented for my looks and waistline is not something I'm used to (I'm not saying that to appear humble. I really just am not that guy), so you would think that during the period of my life when that happened I would feel SUPER amazing.
But...of course I didn't. Being skinny didn't really solve anything - other than giving me the option to wear clothes from few years previously.
Now I'm mentally and emotionally MUCH better. I'm not 100% (are any of us?) but let's just say I'm not walking around wondering what I'm doing being a waste of space and oxygen anymore.
But with this new found and hard fought for mental health comes the addition to my waistline.
And chest. And butt. And chin. And pretty much anywhere else that fat is stored. This is mostly due to the fact that my enjoyment of food came back in a real way, but also because my growth required being more social with people I really like, and who make it clear they like me.
It seems that those people are usually the kind who like burgers and fried chicken and beer and cake and biscuits.
So - am I doomed to choose between anxiety and a good waistline? That is not a rhetorical question. I'm sorry if you were reading this thinking that I've got the answers for you.
I don't like to exercise, I love food unless I'm wracked with constant anxiety attacks, and I have no idea how to find that balance.
Maybe I'm doomed to be the chubby, jolly guy. That being said, right now I'm still able to get down on the floor to play with my boys, and I'm still able to lift them up and spin them around, and run next to them as the speed off on their bikes - and that's all the health and fitness I really need right now.