But according to a survey, more than 80% of men talk negatively about their own appearance, more than 38% of men would give up a year of life to achieve the perfect body, and more than 63% of men think they aren't muscular enough.
When it comes to the way you look, everyone is sensitive.
Male or female, old or young, we all have parts of our body that we wish were different.
Especially at this time in your life — when you have a spouse, children, an important job, and seemingly no time for yourself — it can be extremely challenging to see the best in yourself.
After coaching thousands of men in health and fitness, we know that it can take a while to come to accept yourself again. But when you do, it is worth it.
Check out our video below for some nuggets of wisdom that we've come across over the years.
The Problem With Negative Self Image
A negative self image doesn't happen all at once.
It builds up gradually, and becomes something that you barely notice but is always there.
It is your negative self image that prevents you from being confident in sex, keeps you from planning that beach vacation for your spouse, and keeps you from working out at the gym.
Think about it:
- Have you ever wished you looked like someone else?
- Do you wish you looked like you did 20 years ago?
- Do you ever talk badly about your appearance, either aloud or in your thoughts?
- Have you lost confidence with your spouse or at work?
It can be exceedingly difficult for us to accept that we do in fact suffer from a negative self image.
Because as men, we have been taught and reinforced by the media that we shouldn't cry, we should be strong, and we should have a rippling 6 pack at all times.
If you are reading this blog and realizing that you have a negative self image, the most important thing you can do is recognize it and read on to see what you should do about it.
The Benefits of a Positive Self Image
Grappling with a negative self image is one of the most difficult battles you can face.
But let me tell you, it's worthwhile.
First off, it's important to act the second you realize you have a negative self image. If you wait, your negative feelings will only become more ingrained in your life.
Second, you will need to shift your mindset about self image and self worth.
Your self image is about the entirety of you– not just your physical appearance. You must recognize all the other parts that make you “you” before you will start to feel better.
A good way to start that process is by making a list of all the things you're proud of or grateful for in your life. This could include your family, spouse, job, home, awards, accomplishments, places you've traveled to.
Essentially, your self worth should encompass awareness and gratefulness for your whole life, not just your physicality.
Tips to Improve Your Self Image
Turning your negative self image into a positive self image will take some time. Especially if you have been feeling in the dumps for a while.
Here are four steps that are essential to turning your self perception around.
- Ignore the negativity: From magazines to social media to movies, you're surrounded by images you're “supposed” to look like. Ignore them. Focus on your real life and take time away from outlets that make you feel insecure.
- Channel gratefulness: To be grateful is to be happy. We find that keeping a journal by your bed and writing down 3 things you're grateful for every day, then reading them over each morning, is the best way to focus on the positives in your life.
- Recognize areas of improvement: When you start focusing on the positives in your life, you should start to be in a better place. This is when you should be able to recognize ways you should improve yourself physically, like walking or jogging around your neighborhood or going to a gym.
- Focus on healthiness: Mentally and physically, healthiness should be your goal. Improving your self image isn't about getting ripped. It's about improving your everyday mindset about your goals and achievements.
As you work through this, we find that it's easier if you confide in a friend or spouse.
This is because there is nothing better than getting something off of your chest, especially with someone who loves you.
Improving your self image is a marathon, not a sprint.
It's important to stay positive along the way, because it will undoubtedly be a journey filled with ups and downs.
At the Fit Father Project, we like to say that we're in the business of making a difference.
We have helped thousands of fathers realign their self image through coaching, healthy eating and exercise.
As you begin your journey of positive self image, remember that there is a community of like-minded men that you can lean on, right here at the Fit Father Project.
And if your journey inspires you to tackle your physical health, consider joining the men of FF30X, our 30 day program that is filled with self growth and physical change.
Your friend in health,
Dr. Anthony Balduzzi
Founder, The Fit Father Project
Brotherhood Nickname: “Mr. Results”
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 35,000 fathers lose fat, build muscle, & get healthy for their families
P.S. If you haven't seen my FREE 1-Day Meal Plan for Men over 40, I highly recommend you click here to get a free copy sent directly to your email. Remember: nutrition is a core foundation of weight loss for men over 40.
A small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info.