Male Fat Shaming

Monday nights are all about aqua fitness.  I swear I’m part mermaid; love love love being in the water. There’s something about jumping into a pool that just bring out the kid in me.  Bobbing and floating with the greatest of ease is so much fun.

My friend and I must have worked out harder than we realized because last night we were both really sore.  Pretty much everything hurts right now.  I think my eyelashes might be hurting too.

Let’s be honest here, the reason most (heavier) people enjoy aqua fitness is because of the zero impact on knees and feet when splashing about.  Ok, fiiiine, it’s also about feeling light as a feather.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that.

Out of the corner of our eyes, we saw one of the few males in our class.  He was having a grand old time, splashing and making others laugh.  He was sporting a big porn star era ‘stach, aviator style prescription glasses and a big big belly.  You know the look, I’m sure.

That’s when I realized that I hold men to a higher standard when it comes to physical fitness.  Crazy, right?  For some reason, I think it’s more “acceptable” for women to be fat.

Trust me, I know how awful this sounds.  When I see a woman who is heavy, I assume a couple things along the line of : post baby fat, eating disorder, low self esteem.  It’s not unlike me to look at a woman carrying extra weight who is nicely dressed, made up and coiffed and think “wow, she looks amazing”.

When I look at a man who is too heavy, I think “dude, you’ve just totally given up on yourself.  You’re a mess.  Do something about that, stat.”  I’d even go as far as saying I tend not to take him seriously as a man.  I see him as weak, borderline effeminate.  If he can’t take care of himself, how could I ever count on him to be my rock when I need his strength?”

Woah…..where did this type of thinking originate from?

Now, before anyone starts throwing rocks at me, consider the following.  Could it be that I have lower standards for women (especially myself) as opposed to higher standards for men?  Maybe that is why I have always had difficulty sticking to a weight loss program.

My friend’s hubby lost 100 pounds this past year.  He looks absolutely fantastic.  I’m so happy for him. Think about it – 100 pounds.  That is super hard work and dedication. He did it.  I knew he could.  When it comes to me and my attempts at losing about 50 pounds, I’m overwhelmed and life’s every day ups and downs set me back.

This transformation journey is more than I expected it to be.  It’s not an easy or quick fix. Everything is changing; my mindset, my routine, my expectations, my limits, my choices. I think this “a-ha!” moment has finally unlocked what’s been holding me back for far too long.

What say you?  Be honest – what goes through your mind when you see a heavyset man vs a woman?  Do you judge one more critically than the other as I have unknowingly done?  Talk to me!

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