Today I feel better than I ever have before. I completed a 30 minute jog and was not winded at all by the end of it. After spending half an hour jogging at a speed of 12 kph I walked back to the change room of the gym feeling stronger than ever. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this fit and healthy. I weighed myself today and came in at 215, which is the lowest weight I’ve been in three years. I’m still 15 away from my goal, but I’ve already lost 18 pounds, and the rest of the way does not seem so difficult. While I was lifting weights this morning, I saw the same father and son that I see every day working out on another machine close by. I have a strong respect for them as they come to the gym every day (early in the morning) and work out together. That is something I really hope to share with my son. I was a little surprised today though. The father and son look a lot like me, glasses, a little lanky, geeky looking, usually wearing sweatshirts and track pants. I thought it was great that they are trying to stay healthy together. Today however, the father was just wearing a t-shirt and wowza, he was ripped. Like solid muscle. I was completely taken aback. Here is a father of who looks like a 20 year old, cut and fit like he was 20 himself. It motivated me, it inspired me to continue this journey, to not give up even when its tough. I want to be that fit, strong dad that my kids can feel safe around no matter what happens. I’ll keep at it, this feels great!
It’s no secret that men gain weight in the first year of your marriage. Or maybe it is, and if so then try to eat more vegetables. It’s also no secret that men tend to gain weight when their wife is pregnant. They call it “Sympathy Weight” I call it an easy excuse to snack at 2am because my wife (and baby) wants pizza and ice cream.
Compound both of those lovely times in to the same year and you have yourself a full blown case of #Dadbod in no time. I’ve gained a surprising 30 pounds in the past year and it’s finally become noticeable. For a while I saw the number on the scale moving up, however it wasn’t until a pair of pants I was wearing (a pair of pants I’ve been wearing for years) finally couldn’t take the strain and the little button that finally couldn’t gave up and flew off in a mass exodus of freedom. To where it has gone, I shall never know, but I thank that little button for doing what it had to do.
Stress has always been a factor in keeping weight off a person. And over the past few years I’ve had truckloads of it. This past year, and the year preceding it have been pretty much stress free. Just the excitement of building a life together with my love, and that’s more exciting than stressful. I’m also getting up in years so that metabolism that would let me eat a large cheese pizza every day doesn’t just work itself off anymore. I’ve developed what is recently been coined a #Dadbod.
At first I wasn’t too concerned about it, actually I was pretty offended by the term. However after struggling with other tight fitting clothes and seeing my image in pictures today versus 2 years ago, I’ve come to understand, and represent the term quite well. Not that I am proud of it, but becoming a father and suddenly sporting a #Dadbod did bring a little realization that I’ve reached a new stage in my life. A stage I didn’t think I’d ever get to.
Being a father, preparing to be a father for the first time, I envision all the things I will need to do, to say, to teach to my little one. Picking up my child, carrying them around, running with them, teaching them how to be healthy and active, yep, I’m not going to be very helpful if I’m winded after climbing a set of stairs. There is a serious need for me to shape up. Fortunately, babies are small and just need to be picked up and held for the first little while so I’ve got some time before that running around that I keep hearing so much about.
Getting rid of the #Dadbod is necessary to ensure that I can be there for my child. If we were out living in the wild, the father is the protector, the hulking beast that defends and scares away predators and other threats. A big belly is not going to scare away anything other than flirtatious women (and I don’t have to worry about that anyway). But I also pictured my dad as that big strong guy that was always there for me, the invincible giant that could move mountains and fight bears. I want my kids to see me like that, not some blob that can make waves with their belly.
The time has come to fight the #Dadbod and start becoming the strong guy that my children should be able to feel safe and rely on on the instinctual level. More running, more weights, (let’s be honest, let’s just actually start doing these things again. Though more than nothing is still more). The battle against #Dadbod has begone and this new journey will ensure a longer, more enjoyable lifetime for both myself, my wife, and my children. #DadBodNoMore
It seems that every time I think of my blog, it’s literally been months since my last posting then I feel I need to expel an entire lifetime of experiences in one bloated post that really just removes my guilt from not writing anything during that time period. Again, I have come to this point. Life is just so busy lately, so much going on, so much to prepare for, something as simple as writing down my thoughts just falls to the wayside. I am incredibly behind on my postings and now am viewing this blog as work rather than documentation of my achievements. I need to get back in to the habit of writing, it is cathartic for me. Funny, I’ve always wanted to use the word “cathartic” when I write, and leave it to this particular post to be the one where it shows up.
Life has a habit of getting away from you when you’re not paying attention. When we are younger, we feel like we have all the time in the world. Older people around us say that “time moves so quickly” and that you have to enjoy the time you have. It isn’t until you reach a certain age that you start to feel that yourself. The only problem is, you don’t notice time has passed so quickly. Months, years pass and you take a moment to look back and see what has flown passed you. Did you take time to remember the details? Did you make the most of those experiences? Can you even remember what happened?
I’ve always enjoyed living in the here and now, in the moment at hand, not focused on the future, not focused on the past, just existing and taking it all in. But months later I forget what it was like to triumph over a challenge. This blog is meant to be my documentation of my travels. What is 10 minutes really? It isn’t a big part of the day. I’m sure I spend more time than that wasting it away on social media or sometimes equally as non-contributing.
More time, more writing. There are lots of experiences, lots of life happening, I just want to be able to go back and feel proud about where I’ve come from, and help me to see where I am going.
Let’s do this. (Again).
This morning I woke up with tears in my eyes. I had awoken from a very intense dream, the details of which I’ll be attempting to figure out for weeks, but the ending will be one I shall never forget. The dream ended with me holding my newborn baby girl for the first time. She had dark hair, wore a pink onzie, and still had her hospital bracelet on and couldn’t quite keep her eyes open at the late hour. For some reason she could talk. She told me she loved me and gave me little kisses on my cheek while I held her close to me.
This is the first time I’ve dreamt something like this before, and certainly the first time since I heard the beautiful news that I felt the true reality that I am going to be a father. 10 weeks ago my wife and I found out that we were pregnant, after we just started trying. It was a powerful and emotional time for both of us. For her, she had been waiting for this for a long time now. She was meant to be a mother and the look in her eyes on the day we found out filled me with so much love and hope for our future. Myself, I can’t believe I am here in this life where I am now.
Not less than 2 years ago, when I first started this blog, my life seemed completely hopeless. And although I was determined to get back on track and make something of my life, I would never have imagined that I’d be where I am now. My future is bright and I am looking forward to being a father. Yes, it’s been a while since I last wrote a post and a lot of things have happened on my journey. I feel like I’ve become a new man for a while now.
When I first started out to change my life by fighting off my immature tendencies, forgiving my past, and doing what it takes to become a real man, I thought I was doing it for myself. I thought I was doing it so she’d (my wife) would be able to look at me and respect me. Now, almost two years since I began my new path, I’ve realized that my changes were meant so that I can be a better man that my child can depend on.
With 2014 right around the corner, my excitement is growing as I start to really reflect on the overall progress I’ve made this past year. There have been a lot….A LOT of changes and I am looking forward to comparing my life to where I was on January 1, 2013 and where I will stand on January 1, 2014. I am already amazed at the changes I have been able to make and look forward to continuing this journey.
I am a better person than I was 12 months ago. And the journey continues.
It is about that time of year where droves of people take a few moments to reflect on their life over the past 365 days and see where they might have gone wrong and where they could change things for the better. It is a time of year filled with hope and anticipation as there is countless opportunities and direction ahead for everyone. I love the spirit and the passion that fills people when they start planning for a successful year.
I’m always confused though, why people wait until right now to do it though.
Planning and goal setting, should be a regularly scheduled task, with checks and rewards to keep you on your path to success. It is most likely the main reason why most people can’t follow through past January, it’s too much to do in such a short while.
I had made my own goals and plans the same way for years and I never found the true success I was looking for. This year, has been quite different. I’ve been working on specific goals, with measurable results and keeping tabs on my progress on almost a weekly basis, and you know what? I’ve achieved more this year and changed so much for the better in the past 365 days than I ever had in the last 10 years combined.
This year, focus on the long term. You don’t need to achieve or be working on ALL of your goals in the first few weeks of the new year. Plan it out, 2, 3, 4 even 5-10 years in advance. Your goal map will never be permanent and you will always be making changes. Have fun with it, and just stay focused. You’ll get there.
The last few weeks I’ve been working with the Og Mandino Scrolls, featured in his book “The Greatest Salesman In The World.” The book is designed to teach you lessons that will help you improve your job performance and your life performance as well. It features 10 ancient scrolls that have been passed down from Mentor to Protege over generations helping people improve to eventually become The Greatest Salesman in the World, which is really a metaphor to becoming The Greatest Person You Can Be, sales performance is just a great side effect.
Anyway, the exercise that is proposed in the book, is to read just one scroll, 3 times a day for an entire month, then when you have mastered that lesson, you can build and move on to the next. The scrolls are full of uplifting messages that should help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
The month of November has been the first scroll for me, which is about forming Good Habits and getting rid of bad habits. Reading the scroll itself is the lesson as I have to read it three times a day, which will form a Good Habit for when the other scrolls are read and new lessons to be learned.
I’ve enjoyed the experience and realized that everything I want, needs to be broken down into a habit so I will do it automatically. I want to be able to wake up early every morning, I need to make that a habit, exercising when I start my day, I need to make that a habit, eating better throughout the day, I need to make that a habit, remembering my yearly vision, I need to make that a habit, feeling grateful for my life as it stands, I need to make that a habit, completing my Man 2.0 tasks and even writing regularly, I need to make them a habit.
Habits drive our lives, especially in today’s world when there seems to be so much going on and so much that could distract you from your goals. But the more your actions become habits, the more they will become natural and the better chance you will succeed.
“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.” – Og Mandino