There are a lot of fitness people out there, and that’s great. There should be. I hate looking at their Instagram feeds, but that’s on me. Frankly, you should do what they say. I am in no position to tell anyone how to be fit.
Eating less and working out more is the limit of my knowledge. I just want whoever started the phrase “dad-bod” to know that I really appreciate it. Finally, a word that describes reality. If I was single without kids, or even married without kids; I would have so much time to care about how my body looks in the mirror. Dads have more important things to do rather than take mirror selfies and pick a filter. We don’t need to work on our six-pack because we have already got the girl. FYI, I got the girl while you were at the gym. Boom.
Realistically, I have gained 50lbs. I do need to take better care of myself. I’ve gone too far to the other side. That is the burden of being both a dad of three and a business owner., but damn, life is busy. I don’t prioritize time at the gym ahead of the business or time with my family. Yes, I could wake up earlier and run or I could work out in the middle of the day or the mornings, I just haven’t made it a high enough priority.
As of right now, I just don’t care that much. In the same way, I don’t care about fashion. I don’t care if my clothes match or clash. I don’t care if my shoes are in style. I just don’t care. I dress in a way I think society finds acceptable. No one confuses me for a homeless guy and no one confuses me for an eccentric. Also, no one thinks my fashion sense is on point. I just dress normally because I want to. I will concede that there have been plenty of times Rhyan has made me change to protect me from humiliation. Apparently, wearing cowboy boots and shorts is never acceptable.
I also have a bit of an exception for gym owners. Of course you’re in shape, jerks. Your job is to be in shape. If I owned a gym, I would be in shape too (that’s actually not a bad idea, a gym for families. Children and parents workout simultaneously, with an on-sight daycare and it’s not crappy super cheap daycare. Kids actually enjoy going there and they could incorporate kid-friendly workout classes). Every gym owner should be ripped. They have literally no excuse. Those jokers are actually paid to be in shape. The rest of us …. we have lives.
Some people are genetically in shape. I find that quite irritating. They eat like crap, never work out, and still they look fit. If you fit that description, I don’t like you either.
Some dads hold working out to a really high standard and incorporate it in their lives. Listen I’m okay with that. As long as the family is not being deprived and falling apart while you work out, it’s all good. Honestly, I probably need to cut back on work a bit and start moving my ass. It would be nice to live past 60 without having a massive stroke or heart attack.
Other dads, you look down and know what you need to do. It can be small steps. Minor food adjustments or to start walking a mile a day. Build up to a good work out routine. If you can afford it, the trainers are great. They do all the thinking, planning, and they listen to you complain about everything that they are telling you to do. My personal belief is, I really don’t care about having a six-pack. I got the girl and she loves me regardless. I’m not trying to impress anyone, besides her of course.
My reasons for wanting to be in better shape are as follows:
What sucks is our family eats really well. Rhyan cooks most of our meals. She is into the clean foods, organic, that free — this free, oh it’s triple-the- price-that-must-be-good-for-you type of foods. The amount we spend on fruit alone is enough to make a tear fall from my sad baby blues.
Working out and being a good dad and husband often clash. Everything is competing for your time. If you really like working out you should and if you really need to work out you should. It might not be daily. It might not be regularly. Just do what works for you and your family. In reality, every dad can go for a walk with his family. Some dads can run alongside their bicycling kids. You can run with older kids. Everyone can get on a bicycle and go on a family ride. Everyone can have a pushup competition at home, a wall sit competition, or a body squat competition.
My point being, if you want to you can find a way to take care of your body and spend time with family, you’re smart enough to figure out a way. Go do it.
I think working out sets a good example for kids. There are solid life lessons that come from working out. You’re pushing boundaries, accepting failure, striving to be better, achieving goals, and taking care of yourself.
If you’re a crazy fit, and the intense family thing is just your lifestyle, I get it. I think dads, being super competitive, could take working out with their kids too far and try to build an elite athlete at a young age. All so that dad feels better about himself. You risk burning the kid out, injury, and even growth issues. Make it enjoyable, not a chore. Peaking young is typically not a good thing for an athletic career anyways.
The reality is that time is limited. We have to work, we have to spend time alone with our wives, we have to spend time alone with our kids, we have to spend time with the family, we have friends, and we have to work out. There is only so much time, so do what you can. Do what fits in with your life. In the same way, we should not neglect our family, and we shouldn’t neglect ourselves either. That might mean sometimes there is more time spent working on getting in shape than with family, however, other times more time is spent with family than getting in shape. I do not believe that anyone can have balance in their day. That’s complete BS (baloney sandwiches) I think you have to have a balance over the course of a few months, not every day or every week.
There are times in a man’s life when he needs to work a lot and barely see his family. Then, he can dial it back and spend more time with family than work. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to bring daily balance, and I’ve failed at every single one. I can get prayer time, workout time, work time, social time, financial time, family time, and educational time all in the same day. Certainly not effectively. I might be able to check the box, but it won’t be meaningful.
I like the term seasonal. Sometimes we focus and spend more time and effort on different aspects of our lives. Then, we switch those aspects around. That makes sense to me. That works for me. Pretty soon I’m going to have to focus on taking care of my body and my health and I’m going to have to give up spending time in another area of my life.
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I’m Townsend Russell with 100% Dad – The Dad Group
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