It takes a brave man to enter what is essentially a ladies’ world in a Slimming World group. I know that Mandy-Lace welcomes everyone equally but I still find some aspects difficult. In the last year I have noticed moves to make us guys more welcome. There is a men’s section in the Slimming World Magazine and there are seemingly more inspirational stories about men on the Website.
The biggest difference for me is that previously I never wanted to talk about myself and my weight loss in group. I didn’t do it anywhere else so why should I do it here? I was happiest sitting in my chair and quietly watching what happened before going home. However, I was expected to share openly what was happening with me each week. This attitude has changed by degrees over the last eighteen months. I admit that writing a book about my Slimming World journey has gone a long way to alleviate this problem but even now I would rather keep my stuff secret.
The other difficulty for men is to drop the competitiveness and bravado. This is what many men in groups do, myself included. We try to be the biggest, the best and the funniest, scoring points against each other. Somehow this doesn’t really work in Slimming World because there are lots of ladies who also want to be seen and heard. If I enter a room of mixed company I always talk to the men. I might spend a short time with any ladies present but I would rather talk to the guys. As a result of being in Slimming World I now behave quite differently. I’m still working this through in my mind.
If I only talked to men in Slimming World then I would have few people to talk to and mingle with and I like to interact and talk to people. I would also be missing out on getting to know some amazing ladies. I like to network with folk as I am genuinely interested in them and like to talk and share and help wherever I can.
Time To Talk About Samson
I have known this man for over 20 years. He is married to the wonderful Ellie who we have known even longer. They have both now started coming to Bluebrook Park Slimming World group. So far, so good. I was chuffed to bits to hear that he was going to try and lose weight. The thing is, he has done so well that it rather puts me and all the other men in the shade.
He has lost more than 3 stones in seven weeks. It is an outrage but I am delighted for him. I saw him the other day after a gap of 3 months and there is already a huge transformation in his appearance. Keep with it mate, you are an inspiration. Just hold off on the jokes.
It was good to briefly catch up with Phillip, Bryn, Tom, Duke, Daniel and Benson last weekend on our trip back to Bracknell.
All this talk about men has made me think about how men approach Slimming World. It is not the same for us blokes. Here are 15 cultural issues that men have with Slimming World.
15 Cultural Issues Men Have With Slimming World
- There are not many other men there
- They really do clap everyone during Image Therapy for any achievement
- You can lose weight a bit faster than the ladies which might lead to resentment on their part
- You have a higher allowance for Syns than most ladies, which most certainly does lead to resentment on their part
- You are completely absorbed with the stats that everyone posts regarding their walking in the hope they are not as good as yours. You want to walk the furthest and the fastest
- You eat far too much and still lose weight – at least for the first ten weeks. After that it gets complicated
- You cook up your bacon and eggs for breakfast and add strawberries for speed because you have nothing else in the fridge and you need to go shopping
- You don’t talk much about your Slimming World journey outside of group because your mates would definitely not understand
- You can get away with wearing your swimming shorts and a vest to group and no one really notices or says anything
- If you even just get out of your armchair it’s called body magic
- You hear a rumour of a new type of sausage and lose a day trying to find if they are in stock anywhere. And you will pay whatever they want for them
- You plan your whole food and drink day around the glass of beer you have promised yourself as Syns for later on that day
- You discover that Burger and Chips is off limits when you are eating out. So… what am I supposed to order? (I do know what to order but I’m in denial)
- You eat something called Quark
- You sing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ because you did a poo just before your group meeting. This is perfectly reasonable behaviour