Men don’t have concerns about their body. Say that sentiment out loud and you will likely be met with what you perceive to be a “typical” image of a “normal” man. That typical image is most likely a rarer image and what you think to be a “normal” man’s body isn’t likely how most men’s bodies look. That “strong”, “chiseled”, muscular look is a look that many men can and do achieve, but a look that many men do not have. Not all men are athletic. Not all men have high metabolisms. Not all men play sports and not all men have well defined physiques. The idealized male physical stereotype of being muscular, thick, and well defined is problematic in the same way that being “thin” and “skinny” is problematic for women. Beauty standards are not exclusive to females. However men want to phrase it whether its sexy, masculine, or “ripped”, the standards created which dictate how men should look and what they should feel about themselves if they don’t look that way create body image issues which can be debilitating.
It is important to understand that male body image issues do not belong only to the men who do not fit the ideals created by male body stereotypes. Many men, who do fit the definition of being “handsome”, “manly”, “sexy”, or “attractive” have these body image issues as well. Often on their quest for fitness and strength men fall into the trap of perfection. Rather than focus their quest on achievements, they focus it on perfection, one achievement which simply cannot be reached. No matter how far they progress in their strength, their endurance, their balance, their looks, it simply isn’t good enough.
Sadly, many men dive into an unending rabbit hole of substance abuse, obsession, and harmful behaviors to remedy their insecurities. Not all men will turn to steroids or restrictive diets. Some men will turn to obsessive diet and nutrition, over exercising, and a distracted mind concerned only with how they look. Problematically men thing these measures will help them achieve that ‘perfect’ body overnight. Any professional trainer or athlete will argue that isn’t true. Building a body type takes time, effort, and discipline, but should not include self harming behaviors. Men must learn that how they feel about themselves is an inside job which can be supported, in part, by fitness, diet, and nutrition.
Thankfully, there is a way to heal. If you have found yourself trapped by the cycle of addiction, there is hope. Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, shows men how to find freedom from addiction. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men reclaim their lives mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474