Dissolving the Dad Bod, part 1

Dad Bod

Are you familiar with the term dad bod? According to Urban Dictionary a dad bod is “A guy who has kids and was once in shape and still has guns that can crush beer cans but also with a belly that says I drank those beers and I can eat 6 slices of pizza in one seating.” That’s basically me, accept maybe without the guns that could crush beer cans. The belly was definitely a problem though. My wife calls my dad bod a “papa belly,” but despite the cute name there were some serious health concerns going on.

A few years ago, my wife made me go to the doctor. It’d been a long-ass time since I’d had a check up and, let’s face it, my lifestyle had me looking nearly as big as Violet Beauregarde after she’d chewed the 3-course gum.

Well, maybe I wasn’t that big, but I could have been a stand in for an adult Agustus Gloop.

So I made an appointment and went to see the doctor. The doctor, a guy as old as me with what appeared to be a huge hickey at the base of his neck looked at my stats, did a couple tests, and said “You’re fat. You need to do something about it.” (I’m paraphrasing of course, but that was what it amounted to.) I weighed in at 277 pounds and was looking at a life of cholesterol pills, type 2 diabetes, and all sorts of other scary shit. The doctor ordered blood tests, an ultrasound of my liver, and some other tests I don’t remember. After everything was confirmed and the dangerous road was laid out before me, I was given a couple of options, lose weight or spend the rest of my life using medication to fight the side effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.

After about a 0.5 seconds worth of thought I went with option one. Let me tell you that while option one isn’t easy, and it isn’t fun, it’s a lot better in the long run than option two.

How I Started

I started working out. I thought I would try running because running should burn a lot of calories, right? Turns out, if you’re overweight and you just start running without any kind of buildup, running really sucks. When I first tried, I didn’t think I could run–and not fast at all mind you–for more than a couple minutes without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. Since running was pretty terrible, I went a different route and hopped on an old stationary bike we had out in the garage. That wasn’t as strenuous and it would still get my blood pumping.

At the same time, I started eating less garbage. I said a sad goodbye to honey buns, the aforementioned 6 slices of pizza, sugary pop, and all sorts of delicious goodies. (Although from time to time, we get together for a reunion.) I talked to a nutritionist and she gave me some guidelines for eating better and keeping track of what I was shoving in my mouth (guess what, there’s an app for that).

Over time, I dropped some weight, not a ton, but some, and started to feel healthier. I went back to see the doctor, who was pleased with my progress and told me to keep going. I kept going, and lost a little more, then life happened. My wife was pregnant with our third, I switched jobs, the baby came, I stopped exercising and I put on some weight.

Back At It

I’m back at it again, this time starting to exercise from the weight of 254 and have been working at getting fitter since the beginning of the year. It’s a process, one that doesn’t happen overnight. I’ll will continue to add more posts about my process in dissolving my dad bod into something a little smaller and a little better.

Have you been thinking about working on your own dad bod? What’s your story of dissolving the dad bod?

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