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​My Thoughts on Having A Dad Bod

When I was young, I could literally eat anything and not gain a single ounce. Whole pizzas, ice cream, candy, sodas galore. Nothing would stay on me, and I was also blessed with a few other attributes, such as naturally decent skin and hair that didn’t get too greasy with the consumption of all that junk.

By the time I hit my late-20’s, that started to change. I found myself packing on the pounds, especially around the holidays. The physical activities, like biking and snowboarding, weren’t coming quite as easy for me. I was even getting zits for the first time in my life.

Cue fatherhood and it got worse. “You’re just softer,” my wife would tell me. “Like a big teddy bear. I love your dad bod.”

Dad bod. It was a term I would come to loathe, feeling that creeping insecurity every time I looked in the mirror. Which just made me eat more, so I gained more and so on.

Making Healthy Changes In My Life

The day I went in for a checkup and they told me I was on the verge of becoming prediabetic was a big wake up call. How had things gotten so bad? But it wasn’t too late to change it.

I started working out regularly. I made physical hobbies a priority and got my wife and kids involved. I cut out the junk (most of the time) and started eating whole foods that properly regulated blood sugar. I stopped eating cereal and bagels in the morning and started eating egg whites, and avocado toast washed down with a green power protein smoothie.

I was on a mission, and I was kicking my flab right in the butt.

The Acceptance of Myself and My Body

Or so I thought. I did lose weight, as you would expect. But I didn’t lose as much as I thought. Try as I might, that pooch in my belly just wasn’t going away. Neither was the little man-breasts that had sprouted sometime in my early 30’s and stayed stubbornly jiggly.

Thinking I was doing something wrong, I went to my doctor for advice. He told me the truth: that while I could work on gaining muscle and cutting fat, many men have trouble when they reach my age shedding the lard.

At first, I was discouraged. Would I always have that middle-age spread? Was a cursed to never again look good in a swimsuit?

That is when I realized that I DID look good. I had worked hard, gotten fit and I was healthy. My prediabetes scare was behind me, and I was in the best shape of my life. My wife was thrilled, my kids loved the energy I had, and I no longer felt like a failure when I looked in the mirror.

So now I say to you: embrace the dad bod but never stop working to improve yourself. You can work hard on being healthy and love yourself at the same time.


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Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere.

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