It is in the news, on television and in every magazine I pick up.   The ideal male has abs and is not afraid to show  them to anyone who wants to take a look.   I am over 50 and my body has not changed much since I was 30.   I exercise on a regular basis, try to eat properly, and enjoy a variety of sports.  While my stomach is relatively flat, there are no abs in site.  I am taking the stand that I don’t have abs and never will.  The thing is, abs will not make me a better person, help me perform better at work or in sports, and do not make me any less of a man.  In order to get abs, a man has to restrict food intake while performing exercises that isolate those muscles on a daily basis.  Then, if you actually get Abs, you can never stop what you did to make them appear or they will quickly be covered by a layer of donut, pie and cake, commonly known as fat. 

I honestly don’t see the point.  

My activities include; hiking, running, tennis, racquetball, rock climbing and cycling.  None of these sports will give you abs.  They will give you pleasure and overall body fitness and strength.  I completely agree that strong stomach muscles will help reduce the risk of back problems.  Getting a six pack will not improve your odds.  If I could get something really important, my boney butt would increase to a size where I could comfortably sit on a wood surface for more than five minutes.  That to me would be important.  Abs do not serve a function and appear to be strictly for show.

It used to be that if you had a measure of success, could carry on an intelligent conversation, nice eyes and a great butt, women found you attractive.   When did it become so important and the focus change to needing your stomach be flat and have ripples in addition to everything else. 

For centuries males have placed a high importance on women’s physical appearance.  We evoked a tremendous pressure on women to not only run a household, raise out children but maintain a wonderful and perfect appearance.  This expectation was passed from generation to generation.  As women achieved equality, it appears that they have started to evoke the same expectation on males

I would like to think that a man who works hard, has some intelligence and a sense of humor is taken seriously.  We all need to have a reasonable level of fitness to maintain our health.  There is nothing wrong with trying to gain more strength and tone your muscle.  This helps you perform better on a daily basis.  What I see is men with all the previous mentioned attributes are no longer satisfied.  They are spending three hours a day, 6 days a week to reach and maintain a level of fitness that may not be necessary.  They have bought into the idea that along with everything else, they need to have abs. 

My message is that I encourage men to realize that we do not have to look like Calvin Kline models.  We don’t have to give up treats, beer and red meat but rather include activity as part of our regular routine .  I do support being strong and active as it helps you perform on many levels.   I believe that we should never stop setting and achieving goals.  However, make them based on your own wants and needs.   Make sure they improve your life and make you happier