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Friday, 6 January 2012

Men Worry Too

It comes as no surprise that according to an article in the Times today, men talk about diets and worry about their weight. It's not just the young ones either. Most of the men I know who are old enough to be grandfathers are trying to control their weight. More than half of them are trying to exercise more. Is this really a dangerous decline in body acceptance or is it more about trying to stave off ageing. After all, now that we aren't all dying young from smallpox or famine, we have the challenge of trying to stay active and keep up with others as we grow older. The best way of doing that is to take responsibility for our health.

The Times tells us that a minority of men are trying to manage their weight by vomiting or by taking laxatives. I knew that when I started counselling over 30 years ago, so it doesn't come as a surprise either. Many men do not come for help because they don't view purging as a dangerous psychological problem or feel ashamed to have " a woman's illness".

Dieting doesn't cause eating problems but will lead to some people developing a very toxic relationship with food. Also, obesity is a clear health risk that shortens life. It makes sense to take stock of your lifestyle if you are overweight or very sedentary. The question is; how do we get the balance right and live a flourishing life?


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