Episode 2: Mike O’Hearn discusses body image and the difference between being happy with how you look versus your actual objective health.

Welcome back to another episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show – brought to you by Generation Iron and Barbend. A weekly podcast and digital video series hosted by Mike O’Hearn breaking down deep explorations into fitness, health, and nutrition – as well as trending topics in the world of bodybuilding and strength sports. This week, Mike O’Hearn discusses preventative health as a 300 pound bodybuilder, obesity and weight loss, and toeing the line between healthy body image and actual objective health.

In 2022, we live in an age of anti-body shaming and embracing different body shapes and sizes. It’s a massive course correction from the 80s and 90s – when billboards and magazines would plaster ultra skinny models as the standard in beauty. However, a person’s weight and their health are very much so tied together. While it’s good to have a healthy body image – it’s also important to ensure that your lifestyle and weight do not contribute to unhealthy outcomes.

That’s why this week, Mike O’Hearn dives deep into many different fitness and health topics such as preventative health and what that really means, weight loss and obesity in the United States of America, and how confident body image can sometimes lead to encouraging unhealthy lifestyles. Let’s jump into it.

Obesity, Body Image, And Objective Health Goals

Looking at Mike O’Hearn’s life story, it’s clear that he puts an extreme effort into not only how he looks but also his health. O’Hearn has been obsessed with fitness and bodybuilding since he was 17 years old. Nearly 40 decades later, and he is still actively maintaining a massive bodybuilding physique while also keeping himself healthy. He has maintained that he is an all-natural bodybuilder. He has also put extreme effort into finding the healthiest diets to maintain muscle without missing out on vital essential nutrients for long term health.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Mike O’Hearn is a supporter of picking a fitness goal and working towards transforming your physique. In this week’s podcast, O’Hearn dives into the struggle many average Americans have with losing weight. He believes that this is due to not fully hitting “rock bottom” regarding health and body image – so to speak.

“A person doesn’t change until they are completely fed up with how they are,” Mike states during the podcast conversation with Vlad Yudin. 

Unfortunately, some people never get fed up until it’s too late. Either from a heart attack, diabetes, or some other dangerous health crisis. If they survive it, they may change. But sadly some won’t survive.

Vlad Yudin also brings up the modern culture of embracing all body types and sizes. This includes embracing people who would be scientifically classified as obese. Does this actually encourage people to stick with unhealthy lifestyle choices? Is it making it harder for individuals to get “fed up with how they are?”

Mike O’Hearn believes that body positivity, as a whole, is a good thing. It’s important to not feel pressure to look how the culture at large expects you to look. However, there is a line. O’Hearn believes that line comes down to objective health. O’Hearn explains, if you are overweight and happy with how you look – that’s great. But if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, then it’s time for a lifestyle change and to drop some pounds. It’s no longer about what body image makes you happy, it’s about whether you will live a long happy life. You only life once after all.

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Preventative Care & Cardiovascular Health

Mike O’Hearn also dives deep into preventative care. As a man who is near 300 pounds, albeit mostly muscle, he takes extra care to ensure that his health is always on point. In fact, he believes that most individuals should be doing more than what is commonly prescribed in terms of yearly doctor checkups.

O’Hearn goes into detail about getting regular heart scans and bloodwork done. In fact, he states that after speaking with a medical professional – he was told that in a perfect world, men would get a heart scan every six months.

He also believes that while it’s common practice to go to the doctor less often when you are a young adult – it would likely be best to get a checkup bi-yearly even in your twenties and thirties.

In addition to this, Mike O’Hearn talked in detail about heart health and cardiovascular training. He believes that most individuals do cardio not to lose weight – but because they are actually in fear for their heart health. O’Hearn believes that culture today believes the heart is far more fragile than it really is.

If a person was to eat completely health and be mildly active – they would most likely have a perfectly health heart (genetic disorders and predisposed diseases not withstanding). Today’s culture is so fearful of heart health due to heart attack and disease statistics. This makes them believe the heart is super fragile if you don’t do cardio every single day.

But Mike O’Hearn explains that this is only due to the systemic unhealthy eating habits we are largely engaging into. O’Hearn is personally not worried about cardio in regards to his heart health. In fact, he only does cardio when he needs to get more lean and shredded for a movie role, photo shoot, or guest posing performance.

It should be stated that Mike O’Hearn is not a doctor. But he is someone who has dedicated his entire life to being healthy. This is not meant to be medical advice – but perhaps simply an eye opener for those to do more research and look into their lifestyle choices. The heart can be a very powerful muscle if you take care of it – in more ways than one.

Wrap Up

You can watch Mike O’Hearn’s full comments in our latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show above. He goes into far more detail about his personal regimen for preventative care, cardio, and body image. And don’t forget to visit Generation Iron every Friday for new episodes each week!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.