Weight Loss and Body Image

I was relaxing after a long day yesterday with my husband. Both with our feet up, I was telling him about my aches and pains from working out over the past two days and how I curse my co-workers when they bring donuts to work… the usual stuff these days. As I was relaying the events of my day, he quietly nodded at the appropriate moments while polishing off a bowl of popcorn (not the light stuff either). I love my husband to death, but at that moment I had a shiver of resentment run down my spine. Why is it that he never seems to worry about his weight? I mean, he’s overweight too, so why do I struggle and think about losing weight all the time and he doesn’t think about it at all?
Body Image of Men vs Women

This is a funny cartoon I had saved some time ago. I'm sorry that I don't remember the source otherwise I would post that info.

I think it is safe to say that body image and corresponding weight loss efforts are very different between men and women. I’m sure there are people who are exceptions to this generalization, but for the most part I think men have a different view of their body image compared to women and their lack of interest in weight loss corresponds to this.

So, what is perpetuating the differences between body images of men and women? Media? Society? Culture? A difference in our psychology? Whatever it may be, there is strong evidence all around us that there are different standards for “acceptable” body weight between men and women.

And then there is the whole issue of weight loss and body image. How many weight loss advertisements have you seen that only have a woman in it? Almost all of them, right? And it makes sense because there is a much larger percentage of women trying to lose weight.

Body image aside, there are a lot of good reasons to lose weight other than just looking better. Pay attention here guys. If you are overweight, losing weight can help to reduce your risk of developing dangerous health problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease. So even though the male ego may not warrant weight loss, living a long, healthy life should.

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