Glamorizing the “Dad Bod”

You’ve probably seen the “Dad Bod” meme online, whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog. I’ve seen people joking about how awesome a Dad Bod is. If you don’t know what that means, the Dad Bod is defined by The Urban Dictionary as:

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.

Budapest 2014 238
Rockin’ my Dad Bod Deluxe in Hungary in 2014.

I guess I had a Dad Bod Deluxe as I had an epic belly and could eat an entire pizza in one sitting. My arms were decent (but in retrospect, they looked bigger than they really were due to the layer of fat surrounding my arms).

It’s easy to celebrate and make fun of those things we are not happy with about ourselves. It’s the easier option to make light of a situation when contemplating the effort into changing our situation is untenable due to perceived hardships. I get that. But it’s not doing us any favors.

So, you say that you feel better in your fat suit. But do you really, though? I know I used to tell people all the time that I felt fine; I was doing great! I would tell people that I knew how to lose weight, and that one of these days, I’d just do it, but that day hadn’t come yet. I was coming up with every excuse in the book to avoid the unsavory truth that I was unhealthy and that I was leading a lifestyle that wasn’t sustainable or conducive to living a long life. I would poke fun at my “Buddha belly” and tell people to rub it for good luck.

Whatever it took for me to look past the real problem of my lifestyle, I would do it or say it. The problem was, eventually, I realized that I was lying to myself and actually killing myself in doing so.

Something’s gotta give

At some point, we reach a breaking point. Whether it’s the marathon runner who hits the wall or someone pulling an all-nighter studying for tests reaches the point where they pass out. I finally reached that point one day in July last year after my 48th birthday. I stood in the shower and looked into the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw. More to the point, I was horrified. I had become something I never wanted to be: obese. I stared at my stomach, and felt empty inside. There was no rationale nor joke that could make this okay. I had to do something drastic and immediate.

Eventually, I found Whole30 and Paleo and have lost over 101.5 lbs in ten months and I am no longer obese. I still have a ways to go (another 23 lbs or so) until I reach my final goal, but at least when I look in the mirror, I like what I see. I’ve made astounding progress in less than a year, and I did so while eating well and enjoying all the foods along the way. There are some behavioral issues I still contend with, but I’m learning every day about dealing with them and conquering them.

I have a sense of humor when it comes to all things. Sherry knows that I’m really sick or something is very wrong when I lose my sense of humor. It’s a great defense mechanism and keeps our ability to persevere intact. When I stopped joking about my weight, Sherry knew that there was a real problem. We need to be aware that sometimes, our automatic defense mechanism is doing us harm, especially when making light of our unhealthy lifestyles or heavy weight. At some point, we need to drop the humor and get serious and do what it takes to get healthy. Our lives literally depend on it.

As for daily status, I lost another .9 lbs last night! The last plateau was a long one, but it looks like the ledge after it is a steep one. I’ll take it!

Current stats:
Weight: 185.8 lbs (Started 289.9 lbs on 9/1/15)
Body fat: 19.7% (Started 47% on 9/1/15)
BMI: 29.2 (Started 45.4 on 9/1/15)

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