One of these things is not like the other. One of these thins are not the same. Anybody who knows me is all too familiar with my desire to get my weight under control. Being a blogger, working late nights, and constantly surrounded by all sorts of libations and food, the battle against obesity is even more difficult than in the real world. If you look at the pic above you’ll see a bevy of physically fit men. Some older some younger, but what can’t be missed is my Big Bird looking self. SMH. Yet the connection amongst most men –that’s almost never spoken– is our desire to keep it right and keep it tight.
While I have made 2012 the year of dieting and getting back in shape, there’s not much conversation amongst my fellow males about the taboo topic. Typically when it comes to males and dieting there’s not much conversation. Oftentimes the unspokenness of it all can be deafening.
CNN.com’s Emma and Gavin explore this topic in a well written article on CNN.com.And tap yours truly to join the discussion.
Men face the issue at the same rate as women, but until recently, ads for weight loss products mostly featured female faces and voices. According to ad industry watchers, the female-centric advertising had the inadvertent effect of scaring men away.
Enter a slew of new ads from the biggest names in dieting: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.
Weight Watchers took a direct approach, with television spots that explicitly tell men it’s OK to diet. One commercial proclaims “Weight Watchers online is for men, too,” and, as a nod to the brand’s more feminine advertising of yore: “It’s not all rainbows and lollipops.”
“Women really appreciate the fact that we are recognizing it as a widespread societal problem,” said David Burwick, president of Weight Watchers North America.
Beyond the multimillion-dollar campaign lies the hope for company expansion. Burwick estimated that only one-quarter of men who have weight problems actively seek to lose weight. That means plenty aren’t spending money on weight loss products and programs, at least not yet.
Aside from the attention paid by Madison Avenue, some men said they’re learning they need more than just a plan; they need people to hold them accountable and to relate to their struggles.
I chime in..
Lloyd Dinwiddie, an entertainment correspondent who goes by the name Gyant, said men don’t often talk about their diets with other men, something he said he wishes would change. Though his nickname comes from his 6-foot-8-inch frame, Dinwiddie said not everyone appreciates his desire to slim down, and after years of diets, he’s trying new techniques.
“Women look at me like I’m crazy. They say, ‘You’re just big, Gyant,’” he said. “At 310 pounds, every book in the world is telling me I need to lose weight.”
Dinwiddie said he applauds Weight Watchers and other companies that focus on men’s health, but an “average Joe”-style spokesman would work better than a Charles Barkley or Mariah Carey, who have trainers and chefs to keep them focused.
Dinwiddie’s current dieting effort includes a lot more chicken salads and outdoor activities, with a goal of losing 80 pounds. He has turned to an online community, hoping the discussion will serve as communal motivation.
“It’s actually been a collective support system in a roundabout way ’cause in six months, if I’m not following it, they are going to be like, ‘Yo, what’s going on?’”[Source]
If you get some time run on over to CNN.com and listen to the audio portion of this interview. There’s tons more to this discussion. Special shouts to Emma and Gavin.
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