BY ELIZABETH FIEND LIVING EDITOR The holiday season is fast approaching, and I know a lot of you men are starting to worry about how you’ll keep your figure through all that festive, stressful, eating- and holiday-related gathering. It’s football season, too. With games on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, and Monday night too, that’s a lot of beer. Go Eagles! (Why do I even bother?) Body-image problems are usually considered a women’s issue. But nowadays, men are concerned with their bodies and lookin’ good too. And men have to worry not just about their weight, but things women don’t have to fret over, like back hair (which, sorry, I’m not covering in this article).
Personally, I think our body-image problems stem from the fact that we don’t see enough real people naked.
You can’t hide anything when you’re naked – except everything about you as an individual personality. I’ve been around enough naked people to discover that when everybody’s naked you can’t tell who’s a Republican (disturbing).
But your body? You can’t hide a thing about that when you’re naked.
I believe that instead of censoring nudity, we should have more. If we were comfortable with the human body, if we saw more people naked, we’d all feel better about our own bodies. I’d also like to take a gamble on my theory that we’d take better care of our bodies if we had more opportunities to be naked in public. I’m sure this is one idea of mine that will never get tested, so instead, I’ll provide you with some manly tips on how to keep your weight at a reasonable, healthy level through the holidays.
If you think everyone’s against you, you’re right.
More than ever advertisers, are objectifying the male image, they’re increasingly showing us body images which are unattainable fo regular Joe’s. Know this, boyfriends: Those bodies are unattainable because a lot of the times they’re fake. They’re airbrushed, slimmed down in PhotoShop, waxed-up in real life.
Men, if you just stay at a reasonable weight, the battle to look good is basically over. You don’t have to do that much more. Really, I’m glad the whole metrosexual thingy is over. Who wants a man with more grooming items in the medicine chest then I have? Yeah, I want my guy to look nice, but nice like a man.
Stay within the guidelines for weight. If you’re 5’10” you should weight 149-188 lbs. But don’t kid yourself; the upper end is for men with lots of muscles (muscles weigh more than fat). A medium-framed man of 5’10” should weigh between 154 and 166 lbs. That’s pretty specific. Are you there? If you don’t own a scale, get one. Step on it once a week. And look at your self, naked, in a full length mirror every day (No, it doesn’t make you gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that). Knowing what your body really looks like is an important step in improving it – and coming to love it.
The Holiday Season.
Your slow slide downhill starts at Halloween. You convince yourself there’ll be more trick-or-treaters this year so you buy an extra bag of candy, your favorite kind of course. (I’m on to you Mr. Fiend…)
Soon it’s Thanksgiving, a whole national holiday centered on eating. Then holiday office parties, happy hours with the friends, baking, cookie making, and it’s not even Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa yet!
Yeah, you could go Muslim — they fast for Ramadan. Or you could try some of my techniques to hold it together in this most fattening of all seasons.
Start NOW. Don’t think that things are hopeless and you’ll have no choice but to deal with a weight-loss issue after the New Year. Find out how after the jump…
You have a few weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Keep your belt tight. Don’t indulge. Get a head start on the holidays by increasing your exercise and decreasing your caloric intake. Start today.
Rule No. 1:
Do not eat bad snax at the office just because they’re there. If you wouldn’t normally eat a pound of caramel covered popcorn during the day, don’t succumb to temptation just because some enabler at work brought some in.
At the party.
Eat a salad. I’m not kidding. Start and fill up with a big plate of salad and raw vegetables (go light on the dressing.) Eating salad, it’s sexy I tell you. I love to see a man eating salad. Especially fruit salad. It means they’re thinking outside the box, they care about themselves, they have self control, they like something sweet that’s not a donut. It’s sexy because it tells us you’re not Homer Simpson.
You love meatballs right? There they are on the buffet. You’re supposed to take one of those rolls and make a sandwich. Don’t do it. Skip the bread and just have a few meatballs. You’ll get the same sense of satisfaction and hardly any of the carbs. It’s eating what you love, but eating smart.
It’s okay to have a piece of cake. But you don’t need to have three. There will be other parties. There will be another piece of your favorite cake some other day. Remind yourself of this. This party is not your only chance to eat a brownie.
Think ahead. Check out all the desserts before eating any. Pick the best. Eat it. Stop.
The cardinal rule.
Be mindful of what you’re eating. Overeating often stems from just not paying enough attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. Portion control, portion control, portion control. This is truly THE key to weight management. (This applies in all seasons.)
If you eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, don’t smoke cigarettes, limit alcohol intake and avoid suntans, you’ll look better and feel better about yourself, and I would be so happy for you.
For More Information:
Guidelines for healthy weight:
Serving sizes / portion control tips: http://www.webmd.com/diet/control-portion-size
I HAVE AN EVENT THIS WEEKEND IF YOU WANT TO COME:
BiG TeA PaRtY screens H2YO! an environmental video at Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center.
Four showings: Saturday November 16 & Sunday November 17 at 1:30pm & 3:30pm
Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center
Is behind the Art Museum along the Schuylkill river
640 Waterworks Drive, center door, downstairs
ABOUT THIS COLUMN: At no time in recorded history have we possessed so much knowledge about health and nutrition, nor have we ever had such vast and effective machinery for disseminating that knowledge — and yet, for all intents and purposes, we live in hi-tech Dark Age with the vast majority of the global population essentially ignorant or confused about the basic facts of their own biology. How did this happen? Well, that’s a whole six-part mini-series in and of itself, but the short answer is that the bottom line of many a multi-national corporation is dependent on that ignorance, and vast sums of money are expended to maintain it. The global warming argument is a classic example. When scientific fact did not favor Big Oil, they hired their own scientists to to conduct and publish studies that contradicted the peer-reviewed facts about the environmental impact of carbon-based emissions. As a result, whenever the latest global warming news is relayed to the public, it always comes with the caveat that “some dispute these findings.” There was time when newspapers saw it as their duty to truth squad these debates, but that’s long since become a luxury most papers can no longer afford — better to hire another gossip columnist and give the people what they want. To fill this crucial gap, Phawker began publishing the JUNK SCIENCE column by Elizabeth Fiend, beloved host of Big Tea Party. Every week, Miss Fiend connects the dots to reveal a constellation of scientific facts that have been hiding in plain sight — scattered across the vast, cold reaches of the Internet. With a background in punk rock and underground comics, and longstanding employment as a library researcher, Miss Fiend doesn’t pretend to be a scientist or an expert. She does, however, know how scientific facts become diluted by corporate-sponsored non-facts, and every week she separates the smoke from the mirrors. Why? Because she loves you.