Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Living Large . . .

I want to talk to all the men out there for one quick post. NOT that women can't read this - to the contrary - they are encouraged to BUT, this is "for" the fellas.

As you heavy men know - it is very hard to find resources out there that are catered to helping and inspiring men to fight the battle of the bulge. Sure, The Biggest Loser has men and women (love that show - can't wait for it to start back up - will blog about it weekly) and Al Roker is the poster child for men who have had gastric bypass too but - by and large - there is very "little" for us out there in terms of resources and encouragement.

Excercise DVDs are almost all designed for smaller sized and more agile and more feminine people. Excercise equipment is largely more feminine too (pay attention next time you are at Target to just how few men are pictured on the boxes for those stretchy bands and blow up balls that help you work it on out).

The special issues of People magazine almost always profile women who are now "Half Their Size" and the self-help books and testimonials and websites are almost all for, by and of the (female) people.

So what are we supposed to do? Most of us men don't want to have to cry out for help (we won't even cry out for directions, right?) and we don't always know it all on our own either.

NOT that I am some sort of mysoginist or that I don't think I can learn from or be inspired by a woman (my wife and my daughter each teach me and inspire me daily, I think of Techia at the hospital as a true friend and trusted advisor who has played a large role in my success to date, etc.) BUT - this is different. It just is.

I want to hear from other big men. I want to know they share MY struggles. I want to know that while they know they need to lose weight for their health, they are, at the end of the day - okay with being a big man.

ONE great resource I have found (have now read it twice) is Mike Berman's book "Living Large: A Big Man's Ideas on Weight, Success and Acceptance". It is a great read. Mike, like me and many of us (I presume) has struggled with his weight his entire life. He's had tried every fad diet in the world. He joined overpriced gyms. He starved himself at in-clinic facilities, etc. etc. etc. And - he still wound out heavier than before. ONE DAY he finally figured out that it's not just about "weight" - it is about feeling good. It is about lifestyle changes. It is about the commitment to try harder and the self confidence of loving yourself if you fail.

The book reminds me so very much of my own life (hiding food, being shy with girls, falling madly in love at first sight with the woman you will spend your life with, putting yourself in harm's way to avoid the harm of life, etc.) and I hope that - when my journey on this earth is said and done - I have the peace that Berman seems to have and the self love that the book tries to promote and instill.

If you are a big guy or if you love and worry about a big guy (having the surgery, already had surgery, not even interested in surgery, etc.) - check this book out. It is an easy read, it is well written and it is wonderful.

Mike's website can be found at . . .

and his book is available just about anywhere (including a link on his site to buy it). Mike Berman can be one of my inspirations and guides. I'm looking for more though and I hope that I can help other people through this struggle too.

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