Once upon a time, I had a fat belly like far too many other men do. And like most men do, I built that belly with beer, pizza, hot wings and other junk foods including cookies, cake and ice cream. Additionally, like others I pretended to be proud of my gastronomical creation. Instead of six pack abs, I was carrying a full beer keg underneath my shirts that I didn’t always tuck in, in order to hide how fat I had become. Guys, you know you do this too. We put on loose shirts, wear overalls, and anything else that does not display how fat and out of shape we are – as we walk around with a swagger in order to fool others into thinking we are in better condition than we are. Unless it is obvious that you carry a lot of hard muscle underneath all that fat, you can strut around like a peacock all day long – but anyone who is paying attention knows that you are actually as soft as a marshmallow.
Just drop the sweet treats for once!
I have had a lot of men ask for my advice on how to lose weight, and just like women are won’t to do, they balk at giving up their sweet treats. What a bunch of wimps, they cling to their cookies just like a six year old who was just told to share with their little sister.
Some of these weight loss conversations have occurred when I was still driving semi trucks for a living. I could spend an hour or better talking to a fellow driver about healthy weight loss and the importance of giving up sugar and other processed foods. Sometimes these guys would just outright say that they were not giving up their junk foods. Other times they would act as if they understood and agreed with my premise in how to lose weight and get better control over their type 2 diabetes. But as soon as I would retire to the sleeper berth when it was their turn to drive, I could often smell the sickly sweet aroma of Zebra Cakes wafting through the air.
If you do not know what Zebra Cakes are, these snack cakes consist of little octagon shaped vanilla cakes with a sickening sweet cream filling, and topped with white frosting with little chocolate lines drizzled across the tops to supposedly look like zebra stripes. Knowing what awful animals that zebras can be around humans, I guess the name fits Zebra Cakes quite well. They are also awful to have around humans. Even though they taste good to a lot of people, they really should not be considered safe for consumption. But I digress…
Fellows, by God become manly again!
Most men are fixit types. It is in our nature to fix things, yet many of us can’t even fix ourselves.
Guy’s, how long do you think that you will properly be able to take care of your families and other responsibilities when it is painful to attempt to bend your gut over far enough to tie your own shoes? If you have a fat belly, you know what I am talking about – you bend over to tie your shoes but it is uncomfortable and makes you short of breath when you do. Because your fat belly gets into the way, you either wear boots or shoes without laces. And if you do wear lace up shoes, the bow will almost always be to the inside instead of centered over the tongue. Since you can’t bend yourself over, you hoist your foot onto your knee or some other elevated object and tie your shoe off to the side. I have been there too, this is how I know about these things.
Now for me get back on track here, guys it is incumbent upon us to be positive roll models to the boys and young men in our lives. If you think otherwise, hand your man card off to your mama and slink back down to her basement where your video games await you. Seriously now, what kind of example are we setting for youngsters, when we become all hemmed up at too young an age with “Old Man” issues? Simply because we only live in the moment when we sit about feeding our faces all day, everyday.
As men, we should be taking care of our bodies and our health in order to be someone our boys want to emulate in life.
What kind of example are you when you are looking like a fat slob?
Did that statement anger you?
If it did, just get over it already.
If you have a son, you should be able to go out and do physical things with them. You should be able to bicycle ride with them – take them on adventurous hikes in the woods. Teach them how to survive in a mean and cruel world. Give them life lessons on what it actually means to be a man since they will be one someday. Face it, if your fat belly makes you resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy, you know that you are not going to be able to do outdoor things with your boys. It sets a bad precedent when Dad is so out of shape that he cannot even jog around the block without fear of a heart attack.
Yes fat boy’s, I am calling you out!
Over the last couple of decades, men have developed fat bellies and have become soft. Too many do not know what it actually means to put in a day of hard work anymore. While we may be physically present in our son’s lives, we are actually absent when we can not do things with them. It is even worse when we have boys that we have allowed to become fat and saddled up with metabolic issues because of how we feed them and do not encourage them to be physically active. If you have a son saddled up with metabolic health issues as a result of poor nutrition and lack of exercise you have failed as a father and a man.
For those who do know not what I am referring to as metabolic issues, I am talking about Metabolic Syndrome which encompasses many serious health problems. Metabolic syndrome is a group of medical problems that put some children older than 10 years old at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes as adults – that is if they do not already have these.
These metabolic problems are:
- too much belly fat (high waist measurement)
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- high triglycerides
- low HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”)
- high blood sugar
Do you still think it is okay for Little Johnny to gorge on cookies while sitting in front of the television?
Being overweight is the main reason that people, including children, get metabolic syndrome. Being overweight or obese causes insulin resistance. There is nothing cute about a child with insulin resistance as insulin is what helps glucose to enter the body’s cells. Insulin resistance happens when the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells. Insulin resistance and inflammation add to the problems linked to metabolic syndrome.
In kids, as obesity gets worse, metabolic syndrome becomes more likely.
Obesity and the problems associated with metabolic syndrome tend to run in families. Other things that put someone at risk for metabolic syndrome include:
- not being physically active
- a high-carbohydrate diet
Children with metabolic syndrome may have:
- high body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
- blood test results that show high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, or high fasting blood sugar
- acanthosis nigricans. This darkening of the skin in folds and creases, like the neck and armpits, is a sign of insulin resistance.
Other medical problems associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity include:
- fatty liver
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS for your daughters)
- obstructive sleep apnea
Metabolic syndrome is treated by making positive lifestyle changes. When lifestyle changes aren’t enough, children may need treatment for the medical problems, like hypertension. Doctors might recommend weight loss surgery for some teens with metabolic syndrome and severe obesity who do not respond to lifestyle changes.
Guy’s, if this article ruffled your feathers, it was intended to. Next time you look into a mirror, ask yourself how positive of an influence are you to the boys and young men in your life. As you tuck your little boy into bed tonight, look at him and think about what kind of life that you are setting him up for. Is it going to be good or bad?
Take a manly stand today and ditch your fat belly!
Reference: Kids Health