Recently, I walked in on my grandson doing the unthinkable.
Exercising and working on building a six pack for his abs.
My mind immediately went to the place of exercise in our lives as we age and of course, the ways black, male, aging bodies are seen.
It seems to me that only certain bodies are allowed to be seen.
When people refer to men as having man boobs this can be the ultimate in shaming men who don’t have movie star bodies.
I am guilty of this and only remove my shirt in front of people when I do hot yoga.
During my classes, I am often keenly focused until I start criticizing my body and my self-talk ( when did you get so fat? you will never look like you did ten years ago…) moves into the negative, hurtful zone.
My yoga practice then becomes difficult.
As an aging gay man, I am invited and expected to move into the “daddy” zone.
This means I’m old but should have the body and sex drive of someone 30 years my junior.
Between the internet and your feelings, it is damn near impossible to feel anything but less than.
Is there a difference between being healthy/fit and bringing the hotness?
I know people who are thin and young and unhealthy and I know chunky folks who are fit as fiddles.
I never looked like those guys in the videos and on tv.
I never had a six-pack or rippling muscles (pythons).
As an older married guy, is turning heads all that important?
We all want to feel attractive and desirable.
What constitutes attractiveness continues to change and depending on how you look or your body type, this may or may not be your year or decade.
When I was a boy, men (Burt Reynolds centerfold in Playgirl)with all types of body hair equaled “sexy”.
Fast forward to the 21st century, body waxing, shaving your pubes and all sorts of manscaping are the rage.
Since I have little to no body hair and am not super hyper-masculine as has been pointed out on more than one occasion, where in the hell does this leave me?
At fifty (& fabulous), it is imperative to reinvent.
When we speak of reinvention, the question remains from what to what.
This is where as Jimmy Guterman states: you experiment and refine.
You make a plan based on the type of experience you’d like to have and trust that you can create something truly wonderful.
We often underestimate what’s possible and choose discomfort and bitching as opposed to making changes.
Does society say our only choices are hot stud of a grandpa or couch potato with a dad bod?
Anyone who knows me knows that I always demand/create the 3rd door.
For example, the year I turned 40, my obsession was to get into the best possible physical shape of my life.
I began with plenty of hot yoga, drinking water and eating right.
Within one month, my body completely transformed.
My transformation was so complete that I had friends asking me what pills I was taking and could they have a few.
While I have dabbled in yoga and continue to gain and lose the same forty pounds, my commitment to being healthy remains.
Often times as we age, we make everyone and everything but our health a priority.
After a number of years of self-neglect, the body revolts and sends us all types of signals that change is necessary.
Too often we wait until a doctor starts discussing pills and or physical/sexual performance is affected before we get serious about our health.
Why wait until we are staring death in the face before we do anything.
Start now and make the decision that a healthy body and not a dad or hot body is what’s most important.