Who determines what a dad bod is? Does it mean you put having fun as a bigger priority than your health and fitness? Does this allow us to have excuses and blame our kids or being a parent for our declining health and physique?

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I’m a mid-thirties dad, fitness professional, and husband and lately there’s been a lot of buzz around the Dad Bod. The article from Mackenzie Pearson, “Why Girls Love the Dad Bod” basically says girls want someone to co-sign their excuses and don’t want a fit man for a boyfriend. Is this because they’re insecure? Maybe. But have no fear, fitness models don’t want the girl who’d rather go out drinking or eat an entire pizza! The old adage of “opposites attract” is far from true, most people want someone with similar interests and goals. The author of this internet stirring article is young, in fact she’s not set to graduate college until this year, so her opinion may change with time.
My wife and I met in the gym… shocker. We started dating, worked out together regularly, got pregnant and a lot changed. For one, we were bringing another human into the world. Second, due to complications it was very hard for her to exercise and our mutual priorities changed. Spending time together preparing for our son became paramount to exercising, and as a result I gained some weight. Then after my son was born I didn’t sleep for more than 4 hours a night for over 6 months. As a result of not sleeping, not training properly, life’s stresses and hormonal imbalances I went into adrenal fatigue. I had the “dad-bod” or what I felt was a dad-bod without drinking beer or eating pizza and wings. I had to make serious changes to lifestyle, stress, diet, sleep and training to have the health I wanted.
But what do articles like the “Dad Bod” really do? Who determines what a dad bod is? Does it mean you put having fun as a bigger priority than your health and fitness? Does this allow to have excuses and blame our kids or being parents for our declining health and physique? Articles touting the dad or mom bod are in essence a way to give more excuses. Perhaps this wasn’t Pearson’s intent, maybe she just wanted to say girls are imperfect and want an imperfect partner? The main fault of the “Dad-Bod” piece is she talks about young men who aren’t fathers and have no idea what it means to be a dad. The piece suggests all dads are beer swilling, pizza eating lumps… Let’s be honest, real dads work their butts off to support their families and aren’t focused on partying instead of going to the gym.
As a father I balance time with my family, work, working out and living life. No, the way my body looks isn’t my focus, it’s a fantastic side effect, but not the focus! I’m no fitness model and have no desire to be one. I also have no desire to have the Pearson dad-bod, so I train regularly, eat pretty clean, play with my son and work hard. That makes a real dad bod!

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