Episode Highlights

00:00:45 Confidence and self esteem
00:02:46 48% of men in the UK suffered from confidence issues
00:03:27 What causes us to gain weight
00:06:27 How mental health awareness is being raised
00:11:08 Possible body issues that you encounter
00:15:14 Why you need to speak to an expert



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their forties who want to improve their health through nutrition and fitness. This is episode 117, and on today’s episode I’m going to be talking about the topic of confidence and self-esteem and what we can do to acknowledge when we have confidence, issues and self-esteem and also what we can do to improve and overcome issues surrounding it. Thanks very much for joining me on today’s episode.

So as I mentioned in the intro, today’s topic is going to be it’s quite sensitive, to be honest. For many different reasons and the topic which is starting to be spoken about in a lot more depth now due to the awareness of mental health. And really, I want to talk about confidence and self-esteem because it’s not something which you generally associate men with or men having issues with it, particularly confidence, body confidence. Self-esteem is generally associated with ladies and is, like I said, it is being spoken about a lot more. And the reason I want to talk about it today on today’s episode is because increasingly now, as I’m speaking to a lot more people who are joining the online program, we always have a conversation with them before they join the Six Week Foundation program, and they always fill out an application form and fill out the reasons why they want to start improving their their health and their fitness.

And you’ll be surprised how many people either put in the form or when we’re on a conversation with them. Talk about body confidence issues, just confidence issues in general and self-esteem and generally in the past. It’s it’s not been don’t no, it’s not really been spoken about that much. And that’s not to say that it’s not an issue. I think it’s just not been spoken about, but those issues are there and men have those conversations internally with themselves. But unfortunately, they think that they are the only people that have those conversations. And I read an article the other day that said that over I think it was 48 percent of men in the UK suffer with body confidence issues.

And what they mean by that is that maybe when they look in the mirror, they don’t like what’s looking back at them. They don’t like maybe the additional weight that they carry in the guts that they’re carrying. And I’m not saying any of this in any way, judging anybody in any way, shape or form. What I’m trying to do in today’s episode is just kind of highlight that those issues are there and really to talk about the fact that it’s OK in the first instance. If you do have those issues, I think the first thing is really about talking or at least acknowledging them yourself, right? And don’t think that you are the only person with these issues. A lot of us have these issues.

I think in the past, I’ve probably had those issues. I think particularly in younger men, in your early twenties, when you’re single and things like that, then obviously body confidence is a big, big thing when you’re when you’re out enjoying yourself, socializing and things like that. And then as you get older, I think the general kind of social norm has been accepted that as you get older, as you get married, as you’re in a relationship, that you know your body composition changes and you kind of relax a little bit, you enjoy life, maybe you enjoy life a little bit too much. And therefore, you know, you put on weight, you gain excessive weight and. Yeah, but that’s not to say that when you do that, that you in yourself feel okay with that, and many people that we talk to and deal with are not OK with it and they want to change it and they want to make positive change because they feel themselves that they will feel from a, I guess, from a feelings perspective, from a mental health perspective that they will feel better in themselves if they are able to improve their body confidence. And then the other side of it is really self-esteem. So it’s this internal dialog we have with ourselves, you know, about whether you’re good enough, whether you’re, you know, physically, you look good enough or whether you’re mentally, you’re strong enough.

Mentally, you can cope with all the the challenges that life throws at us. And there’s this misconception that, you know, when you look outside and you look at other people maybe who are more successful, whether that’s career wise, whether that’s family wise, whether that’s financial wise. There is a perception that they have it all right, that they’ve they’ve worked out the secret as it is to an amazing life. And the real truth in that is that they haven’t. They still have the same confidence and self-esteem issues that we all have. So, you know, it’s it’s kind of irrespective to your status in life, to where you are in life, to what you’ve done in life. We all have the confidence issues, some self-esteem issues. We all have them at various different levels and nobody walks around with a big label on them to say that they’ve got these issues. We’re all mulling them over in our heads and the internal kind of dialog that we have in our in our head. So I want today really just to talk about that and just to say that it’s OK, it’s OK to, first of all, have those issues, but then the next steps are really to deal with those issues now. Again, growing up, you know, it was very much man up. Shut up, get on with it, you know, masculinity and all the rest of it. But the truth is, you know, now more and more people are coming out and speaking about it.

Mental health awareness is being raised, particularly around men. It doesn’t mean to say that you are crazy, that you are mental, you know, like physical health, right? We will have physical health good or bad. Same with mental health, right, we all have mental health, good or bad. It’s all health. It’s all a part of health, your mental health and much like you. You know, if you do work out in the gym or if you do exercise, that’s no different to your mental health. And by exercising, i.e. talking about the issues that you’re having with somebody, either a friend or family member or your partner, that helps to kind of work that out to get that out of your head and often. When we talk about it, it actually becomes less of a burden, so maybe the enormity of the situation, whether that’s body confidence, whether that self esteem is not as bad as what you are making it out to be when you’re playing that that kind of conversation in your head, when you’re having that dialog in your head, when you talk to somebody and get somebody else’s perspective actually might help a great deal in working that out for yourself. And I know when I speak to people about various different things, it doesn’t have to be about confidence, about self-esteem. B many different things that you’re trying to mull over and work out and you had when you talk to somebody else about it who you know, like and trust, then it becomes you get their perspective and it becomes less of a burden on you.

And it’s an easier way to deal with whatever it is that you’re trying to deal with, right? And there’s a lot of fear around talking to others about your personal circumstances, your personal issues, your personal dialog, because the perception is that people will think you’re crazy. People will think you’re weird, mad, whatever you want to frame it as they don’t. If, particularly if they’re people who you know, like and trust. Okay, make sense, right? If you can talk to them about issues that you’re facing. They’re far more able to just see it from a different perspective. They know you differently than, you know, yourself, OK, rather than you just trying to mull it over in your head. But what I want to say is that life is not perfect. Nothing’s perfect throughout your entire life. You will have challenges. That’s life. Nothing is perfect. You can be the richest fittest. I don’t know what Everest person in the world. You’ll still have issues. There is not one part of life, regardless of where you are in life, where you won’t have issues. And so yeah, it’s. Understanding that that is the case, but then like I said, there’s talking to people about it which will help you work through it. And then there’s the next side of it is making that change, right? So once you’re consciously aware of it, you can make a change.

So if we’re talking about confidence, right, and you know that in certain areas of your life, you’re not confident that could be in an area of your career, that could be an area of your relationship. That could be as a parent, you’re not confident in certain areas. So once you’re aware of that and you’ve spoken to somebody about that and got their views and opinions, you can then work on that, right? You know, it’s not there’s no rulebook. There’s no hard and fast rules on how we deal with this stuff. But the important thing is is that you can change it, you can get better, you can improve on things. You can move away from things that are not serving you, that are not good for you, but you can make that change. But particularly around. I want to hone in now on body image issues because, like I said at the beginning of this episode. That’s not normally associated with men. That’s not normally a thing that you would maybe anticipate men having. But like I said, forty eight percent of UK males have that issue between the ages of think it was twenty five and forty. So if it is a body issue that you have and that could be, you could be not just overweight, you could be underweight, you could have no muscle definition, you could be very skinny.

You can make that change. And like I said previously, the first thing is becoming aware of it. The second thing is then either doing some research or talking to somebody about it, how you can change. And really, it’s understanding where you want to get to. So it could well be you want to gain muscle mass. Ok. And so how do you do that? Well, you can speak to a professional. You can speak to somebody who knows a lot about nutrition so that you can understand what the body needs in order to build muscle. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you just gravitate towards eating stacks of food. Or taking supplements, because that’s not that’s a sledgehammer to crack a nut, so to speak. You need to understand what the body needs and what muscles need it in order to grow. So they need exercise one right and they need to tear down the muscle fibers. But once you’ve toned down the muscle fibers during exercise, you then need to build them back up again. So how are you going to do that? You’re going to do that through nutrition. What part of nutrition would do that? It’s having protein in your diet. Ok, and some fats as well. So once you understand and you know the change you want to make and where you want to get to, then you can start to research and speak to people and put plans in place to actually make that change.

Equally, if it’s losing fat, if it’s losing belly fat, which the majority of guys that we speak to want to do. Generally, the first port of call is that they’ll go out and try and and exercise it off. But that’s not possible if your diet is bad. If your nutrition isn’t on point for where for the goal that you want to achieve. You can go out and run your 5k, 10k, whatever you want to do, go out and smash a gym workout. Go to CrossFit or whatever it is. You won’t necessarily burn that off. And so it’s making sure that you’ve got all sides of of the picture, so to speak, and you know what nutrition you either need to have in your diet or what you need to cut out of your diet or how you need to readdress that balance, OK? And a lot of people that we work with when they start to get to their body composition, place that they want to get to, like I said, whether that’s building muscle, whether that’s losing fat, they then find that the confidence builds because they’ve been able to achieve something that which which has been with them for quite some time that they wanted to change for some time. Then when the confidence comes, the self-esteem comes because they can then internalize that and talk to themselves internally in a better way that they are good enough and that they can achieve stuff they set out to do.

And you know, a lot of a lot of people talk about they, they start to notice they’ve got confidence issues and body image issues when clothes stop fitting. Ok, so those those t shirts or those jeans that used to wear that no longer fit or are getting a bit tight? And then over over a period of time, once you mull that over and you go over that you become frustrated because that’s not where you want to be. That’s not where you want was, but you don’t know how to change it. So I’m dying around a lot there, but I want to make sure that I cover the areas that we’re seeing, that we’re talking to men about when we have these, these conversations for our foundational coaching programs because I think it’s not unique. And that’s why I wanted to record this episode today just to make everybody aware that listens to the podcast that you’re not in the minority, you’re in the majority. Forty eight percent of UK males have this issue. Body image issues, confidence, self-esteem and really, the message for today is that you’re not alone. You can change it. Becoming aware of it is one of the first key factors, but they’re not trying to do this all on your own because nine times out of 10, you can’t do it all on your own.

You will lack an area of skill or knowledge in order to make that change. And by speaking to a friend or by speaking to an expert or by speaking to us. We can help you make that change and that they those are what I’ve been talking about for some time. Are there unintended consequences of improving your health and fitness? You know, body bombing, body image issues, confidence, self-esteem all start to get built back up when you make that change. So I really, really hope that that’s valuable today. I really, really hope that you’ve got some golden nuggets from it, and you can hopefully become aware. Reach out to somebody. Speak to somebody. Start making a plans to make that change. Do your research. Speak to experts. Speak to us. And yeah, don’t don’t do it. Don’t do this all alone. There are people out there exactly like you who are in the same position of you who have already changed and got better, and you can too. So I hope that’s hope. That’s helpful, and I look forward to speaking to you on the next episode.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe. And I would really appreciate if you could leave a review on iTunes. Other things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes, and a full transcription is over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.