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Man up! Take responsibility for your health today

By: Adam MacDougall | In: Losing the Gut, Headspace

Man up! Take responsibility for your health today
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DENNIS seemed to have it all — a beautiful wife and three daughters, a great house overlooking Sydney Harbour, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari — but unfortunately he was also fat and unhealthy.

I could see that his health was slipping and really wanted to help, but it was hard to know what to say. Girls can happily sit around talking about the size of their bums, but you don’t hear guys ask each other, ‘Does my gut look big in this shirt?’ I didn’t want to preach at Dennis, but I knew I had to say something.

One day I told him he wasn’t looking well and said, ‘You’re not being fair to yourself or to your family. You could lose all of this.’ Dennis tried to fob it off and have a joke about it, but he admitted that he hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks and had been having pains in his arms. He promised to go and see his doctor.

We met up a couple of weeks later for lunch. His lunch was full of crap like most guys eat these days, and he didn’t look any better. He’d been to the doctor and he told me excitedly that the doctor had said there was nothing wrong with him; he was just fat. Wow. That was a real wake-up call for me. ‘Is that what people really think now?’ I wondered. So, if we don’t have a label for what’s wrong with you - except for being fat - that’s okay, and you’re healthy? That seemed crazy to me.

Dennis just laughed off what the doctor said, but he promised to start on the diet I’d drawn up for him and to start on the Man Shakes (my healthy meal replacement shakes) once the January holidays were over and he was back at work. He was about to head off on a cruise with his family so we agreed to meet up after that.

Two weeks later I was sitting around at home in Newcastle when I got a call from Dennis at 10pm. I was excited to see his name on the screen. Dennis was the sort of guy who lit up the room every time he walked in. He started all the fun and made sure everyone was having a great time. So I was keen to see what funny story he had to tell or what event he had planned for us. But he wasn’t on the other end. It was his dad. He told me that Dennis had just died.

My wife Belinda, and I drove to Sydney that night to see his wife. The whole family was there and as you can imagine everyone was devastated. How could someone who was only 44 have died? I’ll never forget Dennis’s six-year-old daughter - she came straight up to me and said, ‘Dad said he was going to start on his diet this week when we got back from holidays and he was really excited about it.’

That hit me hard. I felt like I’d failed; I had let him down.

Too many men like Dennis are leaving this earth too quickly because they keep putting off looking after their health with the old ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. Well, I’m sorry but this attitude is downright stupid and selfish. Man up! Take responsibility for your health, stop putting off what you fix today, and start living your best possible life.

(Extract taken from 'The Man Plan' by Adam MacDougall)

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Tagged with: Losing the Gut, Headspace