Breaking the Silence: Opening up Does Not Diminish Masculinity

In a world where social norms say that men should bottle up their emotions, maintain an impenetrable facade, and suffer in silence, I became a man who embarked on a life-altering journey. Not only did I shed the physical weight of 300 pounds, but I also shed the emotional burden that society imposes on men.

Challenging the stereotypes

I challenge all men to stand up for themselves and shed this burden. I challenge the stereotypes that men shouldn't talk about their feelings, be vulnerable, or seek help.

"As a man, you shouldn't talk about your feelings." "As a man, you shouldn't be vulnerable." "As a man, you shouldn't be so open." "As a man, you should suffer in silence." "As a man, you shouldn't ask for help." We see this mindset painted all over society. These expectations are the shackles I try so hard to break.

Sharing emotions and breaking down stigma

When I started my weight loss journey, I was desperate to find a relatable figure on social media. I searched for someone who would openly discuss the battles men face. I scoured platforms, watched videos, and read articles but found none like me. Faced with this void, I became the person I needed — a beacon of vulnerability and a testament that men could share their struggles openly.

Men grapple with body image issues, life challenges, self-confidence struggles, trust issues, family problems, health concerns, and mental health battles. Prevailing societal mantras like, "man up," "be a man," or "real men don't care about those things," only add to the isolation.

I recognized the desperate need for men to realize they are not alone. The stigma attached to sharing emotions and struggles had to be dismantled. Thus, I chose to be transparent, sharing aspects of my life that many would judge me for. With an unwavering commitment to authenticity, I peeled away the layers, exposing my biggest vulnerabilities on a public platform. Using not just words, but pictures, and videos to broadcast my emotions to the masses.

I didn’t find that person I needed to look up to. I didn’t find that man I could relate to. So I had to become him for others, because I know there are so many men out there like me facing this challenge.

Opening up does not diminish masculinity

My mission was clear — become the person to whom other men could connect, relate, and feel understood. It was uncomfortable shattering the stereotypes. I aimed to let men know that it's okay not to be okay, that opening up doesn't diminish their masculinity, rather, it makes them stronger. In doing this, I began to feel stronger myself.

I did it for me, old me, new me, current me, future me, and for every man who ever felt alone. Because again, you're not alone.

Vulnerability is not a weakness

My experience has been way more than a physical transformation; which is funny because I started this journey with the mindset that it was 100 percent physical, when really it’s a mental game.

My weight loss journey has been a liberation from the emotional shackles that restrained me from expressing my struggles. By speaking out, I realized I provided solace to so many men who resonated with my story. And quickly, other men began to open up to me, break the silence, and discover the strength in vulnerability.

In a world where men are told to be silent, I somehow was able to foster an environment where men can share their thoughts, dreams and insecurities. By sharing our true selves, we can show that vulnerability is not weakness, but a path to resilience and camaraderie.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Obesity.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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