I wanted to start running this year in an effort to get into shape, but my wife and our friends knew that wasn’t going to be a thing I did. I suffer from an affliction of being out of shape and unmotivated to find a new and better one. My shape? …Dad Bod.
What is Dad Bod?
The body of a dad, right? Not quite. It’s rather specific and a Google search comes up with a legit definition: “a male physique that is relatively slim but not lean or toned.” Urbandictionary.com has some more entertaining takes on it like, “Having a “dad bod” is a nice balance between working out and keeping a beer gut.” I guess I’ve had dad bod since my mid twenties.
I think it’s starting to move beyond dad bod, though. It’s like double dad bod. Now that I’m actually someone’s dad I don’t think I want the body that comes with the job. It definitely doesn’t help with the day to day daddy activities.
My body is a temple; a run down and abandoned temple that no one worships at.
I grew up naturally skinny, like so many kids. I attribute it to being half Asian and having a killer metabolism. The truth is that I was taken care of. I had a healthy diet with home cooked meals. We ate dinner as a family without the TV on. We didn’t have cell phones to distract us from real face to face conversations and if someone called the landline, well, everyone looked up with a different reaction. My dad would get pissed at the world for having been interrupted. My mom looked excited that it might be one of her friends calling to give her a reprieve from whatever nonsense I was spouting. My brother and sister had different reactions depending on what age they were and how many friends they had; ambivalence mainly because it was usually someone calling for my mom to give her a reprieve from whatever nonsense I was spouting. I didn’t care because no one calls a child and I was more into toys and cartoons than boring old phone calls. That was the 80’s. I loved the 80’s. I didn’t have to try to be in shape in the 80’s. My meals were healthy and made for me. I exercised in the form of play. My temple was good. All I had to do was be smart and get good grades- my dad was Asian and that particular stereotype of strict Asian parents wanting you to be a doctor or lawyer or getting some high paying job held true in my family. I’m sure my dad was a little defeated when I went to school for art.
And that’s when I stopped really taking care of myself- college. College life was life on the go- parties, fast food, waking up in different places not knowing how I got there, and no one to tell me to slow down and hit the gym. But my body was fine. I had an unnaturally low percentage of body fat, could eat what I wanted, and my temple was still good. Then I stopped paying the mortgage on it. My metabolism just quit at around twenty five. I was still just as hungry as ever, but all that crap started to stick to me and ultimately bad habits became a lifestyle. That lifestyle turned my temple into dad bod.
Oh the pain.
Now everything hurts. From my head to my toes. Every. Thing. Hurts. Last week I wrote about how we moved into our new home. Ever since I started hauling our stuff over from the old apartment I’ve been racked with pains. Pains in my joints. Pains in my muscles. Pains in my brain. I’m pretty sure I gave myself full body arthritis or kick started some sort of degenerative syndrome that laid dormant in my beer gut for the last 12 years.
I was expecting some sort of “dad strength” to kick in by now after carrying Emma everywhere for the past 4 months, but nope. I’m still stuck with normal strength. Dad strength, if you’re curious, is when you see a dad who’s usually out of shape, perform some amazing feat of physical prowess. For example, I used to work for a crappy company, that’s not important, I just wanted to say it out loud. It was a crappy company. There. That felt good. Anywho, there was a programmer there, a big dude, no stranger to donuts, a father of 2 or 3 kids, and he was moving a giant metal cabinet which I’m sure was full of crap. After 3 or 4 guys in their mid-twenties had trouble getting this monstrosity to scooch, he just waddles over and picks it up like some sort of Baby Hooey. That’s dad strength.
19 weeks and counting…
The point of this week’s rant is that I want to be able to keep up with my kid. I want to be there for her as long as I can. Is it because I have dad bod? No. It’s because I’m generally out of shape. I went to school to work a very stationary job. I don’t play like I used to. And I eat like my metabolism didn’t give up and die years ago. Why? Because food is good and working out sucks. I’m determined, though, to be a better dad than I think I can be with my temple in ruins. PEOPLE WILL WORSHIP AT MY TEMPLE AGAIN!!! (“I wish this dude would stop calling his body a temple.”)
That’s why I’ve decided to get into shape. Emma’s 19 weeks old now, almost crawling, definitely rolling over and getting stuck, and I’m already having trouble keeping up with her. For being mainly immobile, she can be pretty sneaky. If I turn my back for a second she’s flipped over and become stuck somewhere. Or she’s scooted around in a circle and she’s a few inches closer to me. Just looking at me. Creeping up on me when my back is turned. She might be out to get me.
She really might be. At her 4 month check-up the doc said she was “advanced” because her stranger danger instinct is in full swing. Normally, from what we were told, babies are cool with strangers until about 6 months. Emma, at 4 months, is very wary of… well, her doctor. Advanced? Maybe secluded, because it’s just me and her all day. But the doctor says advanced, so, I’ll go with “advanced.”
Because of her nefarious scooching I’ve resorted to locking her up in baby jail. One day, out of absolute desperation, I went through 2 different baby bouncers. The first was the type that hangs in the doorway and dangles your kid like some sort of bait. To my dismay, the doorways in our apartment were too damn tall. It was a “luxury” apartment so I guess that means you have 9 ft doorways. She would have just hung there in the middle of the air slowly spinning in place like a lonely tether ball. That crap wouldn’t have worked so I went back to Target, baby in tow, and decided on a wicked baby bouncer that will eventually become a play table. Her little prison is loaded with toys that can be suction-cupped to anywhere on the surface and should last us till she’s about 4 yrs old. If you don’t have a bouncer yet and you’re in the market, I think this one is pretty nice.
So here I am resorting to locking up my advanced child in solitary while personally, I’m feeling pretty un-advanced. If I’m already racked with pain at 19 weeks, I’ll be stuck in an iron lung or a bubble by the time Emma’s two if I don’t do anything to fix my situation. On top of that, I want my daughter to look at her father and think that he can do anything. It’s not an ego thing, I just want her to feel secure. I’m sure one day she’ll get into an argument with kids at school and someone will say, “My dad can beat up your dad”.
Now, I’m not a violent guy. I’m not a fighter by any means, but I don’t want to make my daughter a liar either. I’d like to be able to beat up other dads if I’m called to action. That’s just my giving nature.
How do you get rid of the flab? KILL IT WITH FIRE!
So I’m looking for advice on how to get into shape. I’m sure I need to get a little cardio burn going on. I’ll need to fix my diet, too. I’ve had success in the past, but damn… food. It’s so good. All in all, I need healthy habits to pass on to my daughter.
What do you guys do to get in shape and keep in shape? What’s your motivation? How do you stay accountable?
Got my back?
For my daughter’s sake, so she has a dad she can be proud to say can beat up other kids’ dads, I’m putting it out there to the world, that I’m going to get into shape… right after I eat these bags of Halloween candy, since we had zero trick-or-treaters this year. I’ll post little updates on my progress and hopefully one of my five readers will keep razzing me on to do better (Abiel!).
Be sure to hit me up in the comments or on Facebook about what you do to keep in shape. Or just troll me, but as always, happy parenting.