Thinking about my body image isn’t something I do often. It isn’t a constant throb in the back of my mind. Issues with it flare up in the most unpredictable and uncomfortable places. For example: Last summer I was at the beach with some friends. I had stopped working out and had been eating delicious (read: bad for you) food. As you can imagine, I grew a “food baby.” The molehill of a gut didn’t bother me at first, but when I casually glanced down at my feet as I was walking along the beach, the alarms went off in my head. I learnt from the experience that men have body image issues, and I need to work out more.
“What the hell is that?” I thought to myself, panicking.
That was a gut, plain and simple. It wasn’t “padding” or any other, less harsh, words I could find in a thesaurus to explain the bulge away — I had put on weight, and not the good kind.
For a fleeting moment I was worried about what others would think. I thought people would ask me to leave the beach. In reality hardly anyone cared. Yes, a few people might snicker and laugh, but in the end most are too busy with their own lives to pay attention. The bulge is still there and I’m working it off, because I would feel more comfortable without it.
The experience made me realize that men, as well as women, have body image issues. Maybe I was naïve or immature, but in the past I seldom thought about my body at all.
I guess the life lesson has been learnt — you have to stop worrying