We've heard so much about body image over the last few years. Between #thighgap nonsense, Megan Trainor being "All About That Bass", and a quiet cry for sanity somewhere in the middle, it can be an overwhelming subject for young ladies to deal with on a daily basis. But, fun fact: Men deal with body image issues too!
More and more, men are objectified in the media as well. People's Magazine features the sexiest man alive every year, Ryan Gosling is everywhere, and now we even had to go make muscians hot. And you know what all of these have in common: they don't look like me. I'm 5'4" and almost 200 pounds. Guys like me aren't action heroes or love interests in movies. We are comic relief. Twitter has an entire trending tag about how short guys should die.
I remember being insecure about my body in the 7th grade. Some friends saw a picture of me at the lake, and I was leaning over and they laughed at my "fat rolls" (I was not fat at the time, it was mostly skin from the angle I was leaning). I was embarassed. In high school I played baseball with some guys who were in pretty good shape, and I remember telling my mom I wished I could be tall and skinny like them.
Long story short, this trend continued. Now as I'm trying to get in in shape and eat better, its a struggle to do it with a positive attitude. I don't like looking in the mirror most days. Its hard not to be envious of the Hollywood guys. It can be upsetting that I'm never going to be 6 feet tall and society's ideal. But I have to take a step back and remember who defines beauty.
I was created by God. And God created my body to work and look best while being used in healthy ways and eating healthy things. Health is beauty, not the other way around. There are plenty of ways to get skinny that aren't healthy. But there is one way to get healthy, and that will make my body be what it is supposed to be regardless of cultures definitions.
So I'm going to keep moving, keep being active, keep cooking good food, and keep eating my whole food supplements and shakes. I am going to have the body that God designed for me. Whatever that looks like, nothing could be better!
Harris Waterman, Guest Contributor
This post was written by Harris who is a good friend of our's! Harris is also a Juice Plus representative who is passionate about helping others improve their health. If you would like to find out how Juice Plus can help you please reach out to Harris at: www.harriswaterman.juiceplus.com
As we are well into the first quarter of this year you may already be tempted to give up on your new years resolutions. If those involved eating better and tracking what you eat I have a couple of recommendations for you. I started using both of these apps last year and I still use them on a daily basis. The first app is called “MyFitnessPal”.
MyFitnessPal is a free app with a database of over 5,000,000 different foods! Its primary use is to track what you eat on a daily basis. You can set the app up to track your daily caloric intake goal and then track your progress throughout the day. It also has a great barcode scanning feature so you can track almost any food that has a barcode. Another nice feature is the build in step counter. It takes into account the amount of calories you burn walking and adds back calories to your day based on how many calories you have burned walking. This app was recently purchased by Under Armour and so it syncs with their suite of apps including, MapMyWalk, MapMyRide, MayMyRun, and MapMyFitness. This app is extremely user friendly and I expect with the addition of Under Armour support it will continue to expand its capabilities. I highly recommend this app if you need some additional accountability, want a quick and easy way to track your eating habits, and if you are serious about improving your health.
I don’t remember how I found out about FitMenCook but I am glad I did! This is another app that has great usability. The app separates the food into categories such as “Low Carb”, “Vegetarian”, and “Meat”, to name a few. Once you choose your recipe it not only gives you detailed instructions but it also gives you the nutritional values associated with the meal. The creator of the app also has a website (fitmencook.com) with additional recipes and instructional videos.
There are many apps that are great and worth investigating but these two are a good start and are great tools to help you live a healthy lifestyle.
Please comment on if you use these apps or additional ones you find helpful!
J. Matthew King, Co-founder
It hit me about a quarter of the way through the race last year as I was struggling to run up yet another of the hills in the seemingly endless course. What was I doing? I don't belong out here with these cross country runners, these extreme athletes, or these mountain climbing outdoors types. What I was doing was running my first Spartan Sprint.
The Spartan Sprint is one of the races in the Spartan family that included the Sprint, Super, and Beast. These races are varying distances and intensities and include running, mud, and plenty of obstacles. The Spartan races were founded in 2010 and are the brain child of Joe De Sena a former wall street trader turned extreme race enthusiast who was looking for an escape and for something more rewarding than working 24/7 on the trading floor. Joe originally created what is called the “Death Race” in 2005 which is a race that continues until the last participant is standing which could last as long as 3 days. Although the Death Race was a success, due to the extreme nature of the race it had a limited audience and so he created the Spartan Races for more of a mass appeal.
While the Spartan races are a much tamer version of the death race they still present their own challenges. After each obstacle you not only fight against your body to keep going you also fight against your mind which is telling you to quit altogether or at least slow down. And this is where we get back to me. Why am I doing this? Sitting at a desk 8-10 hours a day can take its toll. Not only are you slowly being removed from the outside world, you can feel you are losing a bit of your physicality, your athleticism, you are becoming less of a person and more of a machine. For me, competing in the Spartan race wasn't a competition against other racers, it was a competition with myself. Can I do this? Can I overcome the physical and mental obstacles to complete the race? Do I still have what it takes?
Although the Spartan race is held in the physical arena I believe when we overcome these types of challenges we can use those wins when we face other challenges in our lives whether they be at home, at work, mental, or physical. Each time we overcome an obstacle we prove to ourselves we still have what it takes, we still can figure our a way to achieve and overcome.
So this is why I ran last year and am training for this years race. To see if I can push myself farther than last year. To see if in a year I have become a better version of myself and if I can beat last years version. To prove only to myself that I can overcome obstacles that are thrown at me and be resilient in the face of challenges.
How about you? How are you challenging yourself to be better today? To zoom by the old version of yourself and leave him in the rear view mirror. Why do you run?
Matthew King, Co-founder