So it’s officially Summer! We’ve even had a few days of sunshine too! Women the world over are crash dieting, wrapping themselves in clingfilm and drinking shakes to get that perfect bikini body. Men on the other hand are carrying on as normal, happy with their Dad bods!
It’s almost impossible to avoid advertising showing scantily clad women. TV, Print and Billboards are covered in them. Not to mention movies and TV shows. Then there are the celebrity magazines, poking fun at any celeb that dares put on a few pounds whilst celebrating the stick thin ones. This is only part of the problem though.
The Diet & Weight loss Industries
Are worth BILLIONS of dollars every year. From books to fitness programs, shakes to counting calories or ditching carbs. You name it there is a diet or weight loss program that covers it. From January onward we(mainly women) are sold the New Year New Me idea. In a world of ever-increasing obesity this would be a good thing, you’d think. Sadly not the case. Most of these diets will only give a short-term weight loss. Handy for someone bombarded with, time to get your bikini body ready for summer advertising. Not for someone who needs a lifestyle change in order for them to lose and stay at a lower weight.
What about men though? We are getting obese at the same rates as women. Why aren’t we joining up to weight loss programs and crash diets on the same scale as women?
Simply because society doesn’t deem it necessary for men to remain constantly youthful and slim. We can gain a few pounds, have our hair go grey and still be classed as attractive, in some cases considered more attractive.
That’s me in the picture top right. Having a great time with the kids on the lake. We swam, body boarded and went flying over the waves in a speedboat. Not once did I feel the need to keep my expanding waistline covered up. Etiquette and decency dictated that when going to the shops or inside the house/public areas in the hotels I wore a t-shirt.
The slightest bit of sun here in Ireland and I’ll have my top off. Mrs OMG isn’t as keen on my stripping down. Apparently my legs are spindly, knees knobbly and the expanding waistline shouldn’t be on show. Hey if I’m pushing a petrol mower and sweating buckets the t-shirt is coming off. I would wear shorts too, but that’s maybe a step too far for her. So I keep the legs covered save for holidays or swimming trips!
In the modern world we live ever-increasing sedentary lifestyles. Outside big cities public transport is un-affordable, unreliable and in some cases non existent. Our lives are also busier. School runs, work commutes, after school clubs. Parent/teacher meetings etc. Fresh food is higher in cost than prepackaged ready meals. Many people don’t have time to prepare a fresh wholesome meal from scratch every day. A lot of people aren’t able or confident in their abilities to do this.
Long gone are the days when grown up children would live close to their parents. Families are now spread far and wide. Without a support network in place. We no longer take the kids for a walk to Nanny and Granddads house. It’s too far! We don’t have time to walk the kids to school and fight the rush hour traffic to work. If we let them walk on their own we are judged and told they are too young. Our bosses demand increased productivity so we are skipping a lunch break and eating a shop bought lunch at our desks. Energy drinks full of sugar are what we use to get through the day. All of which is causing us to gain weight. Which in turn leads to increased health issues and more strain on our health services.
Sadly I don’t have all the answers, if any at all. What I do know is that I worry for all my children’s futures. Particularly Little Miss OMG. No matter how much we do our best to bring her up with no body image issues. The media and her peers will be quick to get that message across. You are a woman and must be slim, attractive and remain youthful looking. There are companies spending small fortunes getting that message across. Then there are the millions of women re enforcing this ideal with their crash diets and weight loss programs. Then on the flip side we have men, cracking jokes about their beer bellies. Unless he is unpopular with the public or has fallen out of favour male celebrities aren’t treated the same way! It’s been a long time since I looked like I do in the Sunday Style series picture. I don’t however feel pressure to maintain this look. I am starting to think I should be doing a bit more health wise. This is more out of a desire to make sure I am able to look after my family for many years to come.