I am by no means a fitness buff, personal trainer or someone qualified to model Abercrombie cloths. What I am is 30, father of a 1-year old, and someone who ate a lot of pasta as a child. I try to keep myself in good shape, but it isn’t easy.
Before my son was born I weighed 210lbs (not bad for someone who is 6’3″). However shortly after his birth that number began to creep up on the scale. Try as I might to be good, the demands of a career, fatherhood and everything that comes with took its toll on my waist line. I got up to (well I would rather not say) before I decided it was time to stop sliding. I made the typical New Year’s Resolution, ate a bunch of carrot sticks and walked to work a few days a week. But it wasn’t until this spring and a few small changes that I drop the “daddy weight”.
So I thought it appropriate to share them with you so that you can A. point and laugh at me when you see me looking miserable and eating Greek yogurt or B. use my advice to help get you in shape to be able to keep up with your child when they get older.
- Eat what your toddler eats – We have all read the books. We know we aren’t supposed to be feeding our toddlers Doritos and candy bars, so why do we eat those things? My son likes peas, broccoli and a few other vegetables so I am trying to eat more of that. I don’t eat a lot of chips because if he sees me eating them, he will want some too. So by me trying to eat the same things he does is helps solve both issues. Along with this my son isn’t a huge fan of beef or pork yet. So we do a lot of chicken, fish and soy. We both like black bean burgers and bean tacos.
- How do you take your coffee? – If you have a small child, you probably drink coffee. If you are like me you probably drink more coffee than is recommended. If you put a lot of cream and sugar in your coffee it can really add up by the end of the day. I drink my coffee cold and black (there is clearly something wrong with me). I get that drinking something that will burn a hole right through your stomach lining isn’t for everyone so maybe just try using skim milk and a little less sugar. Also for your information a small, regular iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts is 120 calories (and who the hell gets a small?).
- Man up and just use ice as your mixer – This one is pretty self-explanatory.
- Stop eating so much ice cream - I will admit that this has been the most difficult part for me. I understand the pressure and stress that goes with being a parent, having a tough job, a pile of bills, family, blah blah blah. It becomes very easy to make all of that go away with a hot fudge sunday. I’m not saying you can’t ever have ice cream, just you probably shouldn’t be the mayor of the local Dairy Queen on Foursquare (disclaimer: I have, at times, been the mayor of more than 1). Also consider buying a type of ice cream you don’t really care for and sticking it in the freezer. It might help to keep you from eating a whole pint at once.
- Cardio (duh) – Try as you might to eat salad, yogurt and all that healthy shit, you are going to break down and eat pizza and wings every couple of days. It’s ok. You need to do this. It’s this sort of release that keeps us all from going crazy and killing a room full of kittens. I also think you can’t just rely on watching what you eat. You need exercise too. So go for a walk, a hike or whatever it takes to get your heart rate up a few times a week. For me it was running. I have been causally running for the past few years but have gotten a little more dedicated these past few months. What has helped is that my son likes to come too. Not only does he like it but he is starting to let me take him on longer runs. I can now go about 5-6 miles before he starts to get bored with being strapped in his stroller. What else helps is I have a few coworkers that like to run and I recently started running with a group on Friday mornings. If your kid doesn’t like it at first, try starting out slow with brisk walking. Also as the weather gets colder make sure your kiddo is bundled up. Just because you are sweating doesn’t mean they are.