There’s a definite baby boom going on as evidenced by all the strollers, slings, and Baby Bjorns populating my sidewalks these days. Heck, most of my friends are on their 2nd are 3rd babies right now which isn’t surprising since I’m a billion years old. What I have noticed however, is how BIG dads are getting these days. Is this something I missed or is it normal for new dads and dads- to- be to carry higher than their pregnant spouses? The complaints about baby weight that I usually get are from new mothers who want to lose or moms-to-be who don’t want to gain. Somewhere in there I forgot all about the poor fathers who find themselves too exhausted and stressed out to shave anymore let alone exercise.
Let’s give the guys a break shall we? becoming and being a father is a joyous and incredibly emotional experience for most men too. It also increases every anxiety they will ever have about manhood. They will have to ask themselves : do I know enough to teach my child? am I good at anything that I want to pass on? do I have enough money for my baby’s’ future? will my wife/girlfriend ever forgive me for the pain of childbirth? will she ever let me touch her again? will I still be one of the boys? Of course, moms know that the answer to all those questions is: Eventually.
Men just know that nothing will ever be the same and so they eat and drink sometimes in an effort to regain the old joie de vivre of the Before Baby days. Truth is, the BB days are long gone and so is the youthful metabolism that hid their dietary sins. In its place is a fountain of the stress hormone cortisol fueled by a lack of sleep due to feedings, burpings, changings, wailings and dwindling savings. Hence the basket ball beneath his t-shirt and the stubble on his chin.We must help them. What does or did your guy do to lose the “daddy weight” ?
Here are some tips to get started:
Hang out with people that encourage your fitness: Yeaaaah, you probably shouldn’t listen when your friend tells you that pizza is a food group. You’re not ten anymore.
Treat fitness like work appointments: Put it in the schedule and keep the appointment. Could you skip a work meeting “just because”? then don’t blow off your workouts either
Do it early when you still have the energy: Take the baby for a run in the stroller while mommy sleeps ( you’re welcome, ladies) or better yet WITH mommy, ride the bike while watching the morning news but don’t postpone it until you’re too tired to move or it won’t happen.
Improve your court/field/rink skills for when your kid needs a coach: Join an intramural team and anticipate how proud you’ll feel when s/he says wow, teach me THAT Daddy!”
Remember, your health is your wealth: Plan on being a burden on your family in your old age or plan on walking someone down the aisle or on a family trek? it isn’t rocket science that prevention is the best medicine.