Getting My #DadBod in Shape

  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

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The Beginning of a New Journey

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.

She Said “YES!”

I could not have ever imagined that one year ago today, I would be in the position I am in today. It is New Year’s Day and I am now engaged to the love of my life!

I have never been so nervous, but it was all worth it. All the mistakes, the challenges, the obstacles, all of them in the past, all of them bringing me to this point today.

Life will get better if you stay focused and go after what you what. Things can get very difficult but stick it through and you will prevail!

Getting Ready for the New Year

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.

Sticking to the Plan

Today is October 1 and it marks for me, an important reminder on where I came from and where I am going. I’ve been very motivated the past few weeks and today I took a hard look at where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am going, and I am more motivated now than I ever have been before. My confidence is returning and my determination to succeed is high. I am following my plans and I am seeing the positive changes they are making. They are small right now, but they are positive, and they have been incremental, but always increasing.

Having a well defined plan is absolutely paramount when trying to make changes in your life. Not only does it give you adequate direction on where you should be and what you need to do to get there, but it also provides you with a track record of your accomplishments so far, and keeps you accountable to continuing.

There have been many times during this journey that I’ve fallen astray from my plan, times when I thought things were hopeless and impossible to change. That damn monkey hanging around leaving banana peels everywhere for me to slip on. But I keep looking back to my plan, and what I want to see myself to be, and it always brings me back, stronger, and more dedicated than before to achieving my goals.

I have definite goals, and a definitely plan on how to get there in my mind, and now, on paper. And all I have to do, is follow the steps that I have laid out for me and success will be inevitable. It seemed impossible at first, but now, it seems silly that I didn’t start this earlier.

Compound interest is not just a financial term. If you make small, incremental changes in your life, they will eventually turn into big changes down the road, just stay focused.

This will be a game changing month, I can feel it, and one that will mark the true turning around point in my life.

Home is where the Heart Is

For the past 8 years I have moved around a lot. For the past 8 years I have moved my belongings in and out of different places. For the past 8 years, I’ve lived with many different people. For the past 8 years, I have not felt like I have had a home.

Constantly changing circumstances in my life over the last 8 years kept me in a state of shelter flux. Where I would find a place to live that suited my current lifestyle, then usually before the year was out, I’d need or want to move on to something else that better suited my new situation. Even before I started living out on my own, my family would move regularly, almost once a year as well, as financial situations changed. I guess I just got used to moving regularly. It continued for so long that I completely lost the feeling of being “home.” I could never plant my feet and start growing roots anywhere because I was never sure what would be happening in the near future.

It made me feel anxious and disconnected all the time. It was like a piece of my identity was missing. I always had a place to live and keep my stuff, but it never felt completely safe, never felt like it was my place, just a temporary spot to sleep until the next thing came along. With every new place I moved in to, I wondered if this might finally be the place where I get to rest and understand what it means to be home again. But every time, just when I thought I was getting comfortable, things would change, and I’d be moving somewhere else.

Near the beginning of this year, I experienced what it meant to truly be homeless. To actually not have a place to keep my own things or even sleep. It was terrible, and after that night, I knew that things had to change. My desire for home became stronger than ever.

I’ve already talked about staying at my friend’s house during the most difficult part of this past year, and although it was shelter, it was not home. I swore to myself that I would find a place, but even when searching for an apartment, I was still looking for a temporary solution, for something that would just get me out of my friend’s house. All that would have changed was that I would be staying with strangers instead of a friend. I thought about moving back in with my parents, several times, but the idea was just too humiliating. I couldn’t regress that much on my journey. Not if I wanted to be able to find myself back on the right path.

When I contemplated leaving this city for a job (and potential career), I envisioned a life there, with my own place, building my identity again, all because I had a place to call my home. Those plans of course changed when her and I started seeing each other again. Then, I started to envision a different life, with a home closer to my love, with thoughts of one day, perhaps building our lives together and merging them into one.

However, that seemed like a pipe dream at that point. I was just fortunate enough that she wanted to talk to me again, let alone think about planning a life with me.

Life has a funny way of working though. After some time, we actually did start planning a life together again and focusing on our future, together. Though I didn’t expect things to move as quickly as they have, I never imagined I would be today where I am now.

For the past 3 weeks, her and I have been living together, officially, and it has been wonderful. She has been terrific in opening up her house to me and sharing her space. Slowly, I am bringing more of myself into her house, and we are building a home together.  Day by day, I am feeling more comfortable living under the same roof, taking care of things that need to be taken care of, feeling more responsible for my surroundings, knowing that this is my living space too. The fear of having to move some place else is fading with each night that we go to bed together and the joy of planting roots greets me every morning when I wake up beside her.

After countless years, I am starting to regain that feeling of warmth and safety of a home. But it is more than the four walls and the roof that make me feel the way I do. It is not the couch that I can sit down on and and relax, nor the bookshelf that holds all of my books. It is not the closet where we hang our clothes, or the bathroom where I make myself pretty every day. She has played a big part in helping me find what I have been missing for so many years. Today I can cross off another item on my list.

She is what is making me feel home.