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.”
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.