By Dirk Smith

It’s always been humorous to me when people see me and expect that I have a super ripped body, only to be a bit let down when they lift up my shirt and realize they have to scrub their laundry elsewhere. With the countless hours of training and exercise I do, it’s a wonder that I am not a walking cover of “Men’s Fitness” but, it’s not my focus or care. I often ask friends, clients, random people what their goals are for fitness, many of them are gay, bi, straight, trans or whatever. The most common response among men, especially gay men is that they want 6 pack abs, they want to be ripped and have that nice body that our culture has come to expect. Like most gay men, I myself suffer from body image issues as well

It is no secret that sex sells, especially in the gay community. Which is why ads and marketing material often contain images of hot people with hot bodies, mostly nude! Every once in a while I will stop myself and look at my body, no matter how it looks to others or where I am at in my training, I often still see my old, 190lb self that I had long shed. Yet this journey has never really been about how I look, it’s been about how I feel about myself and really about what I can do and accomplish.

For most people to get a 6 pack one needs to follow a strict regime of diet and intense exercise, to achieve a body such as that you must rid yourself of all those little treats that life offers you. You sacrifice so much to have the perfect body, but for who? For the guy at the bar that won’t call you back the next day?

I have never had a 6 pack nor do I care to, 80% of my daily diet consists of healthy foods, I eat clean but I am also not afraid to treat myself to some naughty sweets either. I can train up to 5/6 hours a day but as an athlete, training to achieve my goals with each mile I put in, each drop of sweat is for a greater purpose. In the end my body is a reflection of my habits, my goals and my actions, it’s a part of who I am. Instead of trying to please others, it’s important that we think about ourselves. Your goals, your dreams, your passions, it should be about what makes you feel good, not what you think other people want to see. There’s so much I could go on about this subject but for now I think I will end it here.