There are many ways to measure a man.
One means by which a man can be measured is by his commitment to his family. In our society, men are often measured against their financial success in the working world. Some of the most prominent male role models in our country are measured by their unwavering dedication to philanthropic pursuits.
All of these gauges are valid in some shape or form but surely; no single man can be measured by just one aspect of his being. It is not any one part of a man that reflects his true self worth but rather, the sum of his parts.
Or is there?
Is there a sole barometer by which all men can be universally judged?
I believe there is. At least for me…
One of the most brutal moments of self-reflection a man can have, is what I refer to as, “The Thin Red Line.” This is the moment in which a man rises to a standing position after having been seated for a prolonged period of time and notices anywhere from one to four thin red horizontal lines running across his abdomen. These lines, depending upon a man’s girth, can go all the way up to his lower pectorals, otherwise known as, “Man Tits.” When a man notices the Thin Red Line for the first time, he is faced with a choice. He can either accept this or he can fight back.
This past Sunday, I had a BBQ with a couple of friends. This is what I ate for lunch:
One Portobello Mushroom
One serving of Potato Salad
One serving of Seafood Salad
One 12oz Rib Eye Steak
One 8oz Skirt Steak
One Large Seared Tuna Filet
Two Slices of Meatball Pizza
One McDonalds Cheeseburger
One Small Order of McDonalds French Fries
Three Vodka / Cokes
One Glass of Merlot
One Serving of Fruit Salad
One 100 Calorie Pack of Sun Chips
One Homemade Brownie
At the time, this seemed quite reasonable. Then I woke up the next morning and spent about an hour sitting on the toilet bowl. During this time, I had the opportunity to reflect back on my actions. This time of self-reflection made me realize a few things.
1) I am not 21 years old anymore.
2) It is most definitely possible to eat yourself to death.
3) I am smarter than this.
When I was done reflecting, so to speak, I stood up and noticed them; Three, Thin Red Lines. At that exact moment in time, I truly believe that I was able to measure myself as a man. There I stood in the bathroom, in my boxers, staring at myself in the mirror. I was able to see a man that needs to make some changes. I saw a man that needs to practice self-control. A man that needs to take care of himself, so that he can take care of his family. Finally, I saw a man that needs to measure up to a higher standard.
I need to get rid of the Thin Red Lines. I need to get rid of them, one by one, from my fat belly and more importantly, my fat head. I will not be Out-Numbered in my own skin.