Dad Bod? Really?

I was sent an email by fitness expert Rusty Moore this week. In the article, he mentioned something called the Dad Bod. This relates to an article that went viral earlier this week on social media. The premise behind it is that women are attracted to a particular look where the man’s body is basically overweight. Some of the reasons listed include these men being more cuddly, more relaxed about their eating and fitness pursuits, and someone more likely to skip the gym and sink a few beers with friends.

Now let me preface the rest of this by saying that I have no issue with someone being overweight. I have been overweight in the past and I am not judging. However, the person who wrote the article clearly has insecurity issues because the reason given for finding this particular type of person attractive were very shallow and were more about how someone who had a better physique would make her feel.

From the article: ‘We don’t want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is. We don’t need a perfectly sculpted guy standing next to us to make us feel worse.’

‘we still like being the center of attention. We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture.’

There are other nuggets of non-sense in the article that expose the authors immaturity and lack of confidence. Basically, she is saying that she finds the dad bod attractive because of the way that person makes her feel about her own body. I don’t usually talk about relationships on here, but I have been with my wife for near 11 years so in this area I know what I’m talking about. Physical attraction is essential for a healthy relationship to thrive. There is no doubt about it. However, the physical attraction needs to be genuinely about that person. A relationship has next to no chance of surviving if your attraction to others is more about what you can get out of the other (money, confidence or status and the list goes on)

In the case of the author, she clearly is looking to get her sense of confidence from the appearance of her partner. This is a shaky foundation for self-esteem and will not work. What if Mr Dad Bod decides he wants to get into awesome shape? How would that work for the relationship from that point?

I am also slightly puzzled by the phrase dad bod. I think what she is really describing is sedentary bod or can’t be bothered bod. This does not represent the best fathers and what they show the world through their physical pursuits. I know many dads who treat their bodies with the care and respect it deserves because it is the foundation of their good health and energy levels. Great dads serve as role models for their children and pass on worthy virtues including having good health and vitality. I perform some of my strength training in front of my son deliberately so that it sparks his interest and so that he sees working out as a normal part of life.

I don’t intend on saying too much more about this, it worries me how something like this could go viral, when I see so many more worthy articles that deliver far more wisdom that many people never get the chance to read. Obviously, the subject matter touched a nerve with the public. It certainly did with me. Or maybe it just got on my nerves I haven’t quite decided.

Live and let live is what I believe, but sometimes you have to call someone out when you detect the smell of bulls**t in the air. To all the guys out there, being the strongest version of yourself will lead to the relationship and partner that you want. Whatever your body looks like, if we develop our characters and have a positive aura about us you will be attractive to others.

I wish you the best.

Post 021: Don’t kid yourself

I’m exhausted today. I have been up all night with the little one and she is currently having a sleep whilst I get on with my day. I know this means I will make slight changes to how I do my workout later on today. I used to be someone who would religiously follow the plan given to me. This could lead to a mindset where nothing would happen if everything wasn’t just right. This use to lead to missed workouts and disappointment that I was creating for myself by not taking action on my goals. The problem was, I was setting myself up for failure with expectations that were not in alignment with how much I could realistically commit to.

I sketched out what my training is going to look like for the next few months last night. I got very excited when I penciled in all my strength training workouts, and got even more excited when I wrote out my cardio programme as well. Yes, it looked all well and good. Loads of opportunities to train were crammed into my week. There would be no doubt that if I followed the routine, I would make amazing progress.

Just then, I felt myself being slapped in the face very hard by reality and started laughing out loud. My wife Annemarie asked what I was laughing at and I told her the training programme I had planned for myself. She laughed heartily as well.

You see, I had forgotten that I’m not a fitness model and don’t have to train like one. I had myself down for 5 strength sessions a week and an additional 4 cardio sessions in the same week. This level of training, coupled with my hectic schedule at home and work would have led to burnout, fatigue, and stress and injury.

This is an error in judgement I’ve made before. When I adopt the mentality of more is better, it doesn’t work out too well. I become to rigid and dogmatic with my endeavors and sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture.

Also, if you throw everything and the kitchen sink at a fitness strategy, it’s difficult to then make tweaks for additional improvements. For example, I am going to start with three cardio sessions a week and increase it only if I have to. Starting with the foundation and then building on that is far more effective than building a house on weak undeveloped foundations.

The optimal training for me right now, is a schedule where I am working hard without burning myself out. I will strive for quality not quantity. The body sees all stress in the same way. With my sleep deprivation at full whack, my body is simply not operating at it’s best so hammering it with more stress will probably do the opposite to what I want and deliver no results.

So I cut my strength training down to three sessions a week. These sessions are much shorter, but focused on pushing my levels of intensity and increasing my fitness by beating my personal bests for repetitions in a certain time frame. This is known as density training. Density work is great if you enjoy working at beating your previous best, and also works well with kettlebells when you might not have a massive range of different bells to use at home. You simply take an exercise and perform it for time not reps. You then try to beat your score the next time. Simple yet effective.

I feel much better about the new routine I have sketched out for the next few months. The positive feelings about my training mean I am far more likely to keep up with the training without getting annoyed at myself and others around me when I miss a session.

I am trying to extend this thinking into other areas of my life. I’ve had the epiphany that I don’t need to be superman, superteacher, and superdad all day every day. I’ve got one life of which to make the most of. I don’t want to spend it stressing about my weight, how I look and workouts. It’s just not healthy mentally and it drains the spirit. I have embraced the idea that I am not perfect. Therefore, having hiccups with consistency or having some lower belly fat doesn’t mean that all is lost.

I’m trying to be the best version of myself that I can. That will be more than enough for me.

How do you manage to strike up a balance between setting goals that are attainable and yet really exciting?

Have you ever found yourself creating grand plans that were not in alignment with your true desires?

I find that questions help me. I ask a few that help me decide if something is going to work for me or not.

1. Do I have the time, energy and resources to commit to this?

2. Is there anyone who can help me achieve this goal?

3. Why do I want to achieve this goal? What makes it important?

4. How can I achieve this goal whilst attending to all my responsibilities?

5. Imagine how you will feel when you finally reach your goal?

Get your plans and mentality right, and success will follow. Here’s to yours.