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

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.

Finding a Career

This journey to find suitable, long sustaining, rewarding employment has been a very bumpy one. Over the past 2 years I’ve had 7 jobs that most had potential to become careers. But due to my lack of foresight and discipline, all of those opportunities fell on the way side and I found myself at the bottom again, unsure where I could go or what I would do with my life.

I am by no means an unqualified individual. I feel that I am an intelligent individual, although I have had an incredible record of doing stupid things. I am highly skilled in many different areas, I am a quick learner, very resourceful and can adapt to pretty much any situation. It is a natural talent I’ve used all my life. This “Jack-of-all-trades” scenario has however, made it quite difficult to stay interested in a single vocation. Many of my jobs over the past years I gave up to pursue other interests or positions, I had little regard for the trail I left, only focusing on the next big challenge ahead of me. This seemed like a foolproof system. Just like a frog jumping across a river, keep focusing on the next landing point rather then the one you are already on and eventually you will get to where you need to go. But this is not a sustainable practice. Careers are built on stability, not constant change, and the wishy washy attitude I took towards my positions and the companies I worked for eventually bit me in the ass.

When everything fell apart, I had nothing to fall back on. I had burnt every bridge I ever had and even past employers with whom were never related in my wrong doings, were still unapproachable because of my attitude about switching jobs on a whim. I had created an environment where it was very difficult to find a new job let alone a career path.

Of course, one can always find jobs when one needs to as long as you lower your standards enough. To get through some of the hardest times, I took jobs at places I never thought I would ever work at, just to make sure I could live. It was a humbling experience. I always felt ashamed, and embarrassed at the place I was at, unable to relax and just do my job, and constantly focused on my failures.

I thought it would take years upon years to pull myself out of that whole and I although I wasn’t happy with it, it was my reality and I had to live with it.

Hard work and determination pay off though. Although I did have a foolish attitude about career building in my past, I was always a hard worker and would do whatever I could above and beyond my job descriptions to make my positions more interesting.

This eventually rewarded me the opportunity to apply for a position with my current company that actually has some respectability and long term potential. Throughout the entire hiring process I figured I would be rejected because of my past and at one point almost withdrew my application for fear of rejection. However I continued to focus forward and gave the hiring process my full attention and determination. Eventually, I was hired and am now thriving in my new position. I am enjoying myself everyday and seeing the long term path I can create with this company. I still feel a little insecure about my past, but each passing day I feel more and more confident in my role and as a result, I am improving my performance each and every day.

This job has the potential to become a worthwhile career, and although my mind does wander to other ventures and potential vocations, if I ever do decide to switch, it will be a long thought out process with a well built plan. For now, I am happy, and this job brings me self respect and worth. It is helping me achieve my goals and ensuring a fruitful future.

Finding Home

Of all of the items still outstanding on The List, this is probably one of the first that I should have already crossed off. Almost a year ago, her and I started living together. If you recall from the previous post, I had already moved in with her and things were looking good in the journey to repair the damage I was responsible for in our relationship.  Our relationship grew from there and we found ourselves again, further to that, when I finally brought up the nerve to propose marriage, she said yes and we had a whirlwind of a time laying the foundation for our marriage which will carry us in to the future.

Obviously, when you are married, it is expected that a husband and wife live together, so that proposal to share our lives together also solidified our intentions to always live with each other too. I’ve always had little issue finding places to live, and by moving in with my love, that task was considered completed,  however my focus has always been to find a home, and although we did live together for several months before we were married, it took some work to change our shared living arrangements in to a home that we share.

We share many of the responsibilities associated with keeping a happy and healthy home. We share the cleaning, cooking (some of it anyway), making repairs and planning maintenance and improvements, and having overall pride in in our living space. We are also very mindful that this building that keeps us protected from the elements, is more than just walls and a place for our stuff, it is a safe, nurturing place, where no matter what may happen with life, we have a place to go to that makes us feel welcome, that makes worries subside, not because of a couch, or a paint colour, but because we know that at home we can be together. This place is potential, with what we can do, and what we will do with our future years and future family.

For my entire life, I had just lived in places and kept my stuff out of the rain. Always unsure when something might happen and I would have to pack everything up again and nomadicly find another place to keep my stuff. But now, I don’t look over my shoulder, I don’t hold on to boxes in case I might need them in 6 months. I have found a place where I can feel free and sure of myself. Not the building, but the concept. Home. Home truly is where the heart is.

Behind the Times

In true blog fashion, I have neglected to update my blog in quite some time. 8 months actually. It has been a very busy and productive 8 months and there have been many, many changes in my life. All of which have been moving me closer to my end goal of being able to fully understand who I am and what I am meant to do with this life. Because it has been so long, I’ll need to revisit The List and see where I stand now, in order to make better laid plans for the future. The next few posts will be recaps of the events that have occurred, and although I regret not documenting them at the time, I still feel many of the emotions and remember the thoughts I had at those times. It will be nice to reflect on the big changes that have happened this year.