Somewhere in my attic I have boxes and boxes of Men’s Fitness Magazine. I was an avid reader, I cannot remember how many of the workouts I have tried. Those not familiar with that particular magazine, it about what it says the fitness of Men, had some diet information, always a workout, an interview with some athlete and or actor and their diet and workout and other Men related information. After getting this magazine for year and years, one day I did not renew.

Now the renewal had nothing to do with the internet, nothing to do with the #metoo movement, nothing to do with the BLM movement other. In fact I stopped subscribing to it over 15 years ago. Those are recent things, and nothing to do with why I dropped it.

So, let get some background. I am not the tallest person in the world (5’7) and always had a self conscious about myself. As confident as I may seem now, but years being a short teen etc. does do wonders on the brain. As I got older and in college i found working out and needed a workout. Well I discovered Mens Health Magazine, I swear it came out just when I was looking for it (I think 1988) And started with the first workouts thinking I could look like the dewd on the cover. Sorry I don’t remember who he was, or the workout. But the idea of looking like the man on the cover was a 19 year olds dream.

Well I eventually subscribed and read it religiously. Followed many of the diets, and did the workouts of the month. It let me to take a Exercise and Fitness class in college. But alas years of exercising never got my chiseled like the guys on the cover. And to make it worse, the added a section of normal people who got theirselves in shape in a new section. This of course made the rest of us think there was something wrong with us who couldn’t do it.

I continued to get it and read it thru my 20s, getting married and having my twins. But somehow I ignored it was not working. But something clicked. How can 10+ years (12 issues a year) give you the “new workout” or “new diet” and each be the best. I always made fun of the new improved tide for giving me a bad one the previous year, why was I not doing the same thing. Why isn’t there “one perfect workout”.

Well about the same time workout DVDs came out, and in droves. Workouts had been on VHS, but some reason DVDs kicked it into gear. I got a hold of P90x and dang may world was changed. It was the most amazing workout/diet program and got me into fantastic shape. I was never going to be ripped, but I was definitely almost the best shape of my life. The internet was starting to also get a ton of information, and without a doubt it was loaded with it. But all this didn’t sour me.

What did sour me was my brain. It said to me what benefit are you getting from reading this. You aren’t going to look like the guy on the cover, the material in it for the last 10+ years was interesting and helped me gain insight to my health. But what it didn’t do was educate me enough. What i realized and each cover is the same (pattern)it has some fit guy, some catchy phrases like “get fit by summer” or “shred the winter pounds” etc. But all along I kinda had the answer. I knew it was simplifying my diet, not eating crap, and doing a workout I enjoy. One that would keep my going to my basement gym.

I had to abandon p90x as I didn’t have 1 hour plus a day when i took a job in the city, found other workouts that I like, I have gained weight/lost it for one reason or another. But what I realized was the little boy in me couldn’t seem to see the facts in front of my. My blind belief I could look like a fitness cover model killed overshadowed the facts. I wanted to be like them, wanted to be in the club, and the belief anyone could be there really wasn’t true. What is true is that we have to be the best self we can be, find the diet we can stick to, and a workout routine we look forward to doing. If its the crazy soup diet, the 8 min abs, Keto, Paleo, Peleton…. It honestly does not matter, if it works for you, and makes you feel good you will keep doing it. The results will be there.

Today I have a 1000sq foot gym in my basement after 15 years of building it. I use it almost daily, my kids also us it. I have a serious of workouts i like, I will never be ripped and I am fine with that. But I found my style, the workouts that keep me going downstairs to the gym, the workouts the keep me relatively healthy, and the workouts that don’t need me to look at a magazine cover and wonder why I don’t look like that. I enjoy food prepping and know when I need to drop weight i know what diet to follow. I create weekly workout memes to entertain myself. It is my routine, my plan.. I stopped subscribing to the magazine to follow someone else’s. And my advice to many people who ask me is often try different diets, different workouts, and find what works for you. As you are the key.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site, to keep it add free and use wordpress, and try to spend any time on the usability on the site (I apologize for that)