All that glitters isn’t gold my mother used to say. I remember she would express this sentiment when I was stuck comparing myself to the lives of others. Although I didn’t quite understand the meaning when I was a child, it would hit me like enormous waves pounding on the shores of a beach during a storm as an adult.
Kermit the frog famously said it’s not easy being green. Well it definitely isn’t easy being a gay man of color either. We walk this life facing a barrage of challenges that include racial discrimination, being viewed as a threat, and sometimes fetishized for not being more than an appendage to name a few. In a bubble where superficiality reigns supreme, the constant obsession with surface level ideals can ignore realities such as the importance of good health. With all the clever mom anecdotes and feel good Sesame Street characters, they can’t gloss over or simplify for some the big little lies same gender loving men are clinging to.
I focus a lot of my posts about social media because I feel that despite it’s flaws, and power to infringe upon actual human interaction, I love it! It is also however, mirroring the pressures and comfortable lies that many men encounter in the real world. As we mature, we can often get caught in a transition of doing what we’ve always done, not being mindful that lifestyle choices that once worked in our twenties, no longer apply. Do you remember the days when you could inhale countless wings, a few beers, and still have flat stomach? Do your remember the feeling of invincibility and like Edward Cullen, felt that you would live forever? These are all thoughts and or dreams that were shattered the moment you gained those extra pounds you couldn’t get rid of, or having a friend who was more like family, pass away as If the countless long deep talks, summer vacations, and shared dating horror stories never happened. My point is we don’t always prepare ourselves physically and emotionally for the changes and challenges that are inevitable. The lie we tell ourselves to avoid digging deeper within, only works but for so long. No one is truly ready when the strobe light stops spinning.
It gets better later is an adage I love and adopted because it’s the truth! This can only be applied to our lives when we are accountable enough to listen to what our bodies are telling us. At some point, poor eating habits, and choosing career over wellness can take its toll. It can also dissolve six packs and have you adopt a sedentary life. It’s all fun and games until you get the news from your doctor about possible health issues that once plagued your father, are now greeting you with open arms.
The Adonis on social media for these posts, but know he, among others, don’t always share their entire truth.
I’m grateful for the real connections I have with my buddies. We are however, at that age where we are still pursuing dreams, but some of us realize that we have neglected so many things such as health that seemed creep up on us and sometimes, sideline us. We are not our father’s generation. We know better, and for most our adult lives, did better. We are also guilty of focusing too much on the exterior while foolishly ignoring what was going on inside. Life has a funny way of letting you know when something is off. You can either listen to the whispers and adjust, or ignore it. The latter can sometimes have severe consequences.
There are so many social media famous men that have many of us (including myself) as loyal followers. We are hanging on to their every word, gym routine, fashion swagger, and overall appearance (illusion) of a spectacular lifestyle. We sometimes see that cheat meal they’ll post on a Saturday that will include Five Guys burgers, fries, and soda! All while sitting at a table in a tank top shrink wrapped to reveal abs of steel. It’s not fair you say to yourself! You’re killing yourself in the gym after adhering to your heart healthy diet, and even if you allow yourself the occasional indulgence, you wonder if it would be worth the spike in cholesterol. You may secretly hate on the Adonis on social media for these posts, but know that he, like many others, don’t always share their entire truth.
You may not be privy to each individual workout, the meal prep, and the level of dedication some of the fittest men on social media endure. You’re witnessing the weekend cheat meal without knowing the hustle and grind throughout the week for months, and even years. I would be remiss if I did not say that just because some of these men are looking amazing living envious lives, doesn’t mean they are healthy and making the best choices in pursuit of the perfect physique. There are however, countless men of a certain age who have managed to either transform or maintain their health and wellness as a result of recognizing the importance of self-care, particularly as we get older and of course, become better version of ourselves!
We can no longer afford to subscribe to the notion that our appearance, events we frequent, and sometimes desire to be seen as who we are in our highlight reels on social media is all there is. It’s imperative that we are giving ourselves the level of care we deserve on the inside out. Let’s take care of ourselves f and love US a lot more than we have been. It is far too often that we don’t talk about the things that matter until it’s too late. We can change that narrative to reflect a healthier lifestyle that not only shines, but is as good as gold!