Father’s Day is nearly upon us. A time to celebrate you for being you. More importantly, it’s a time to remember all the great things you’ve given up, so you could be the great dad you are today. Things like Friday beers with the boys, your standing Saturday tee time, spontaneous weekend trips with your special lady and of course your once svelte physique.
Long gone are the times when we could pump iron at the gym 5 days a week. Now, we’re stuck holding a screaming, twisting, twirling kid in one arm and endless bags of crap in the other. Our biceps may get a good workout, but our waistline takes a serious hit. Alas, our bodies are in a tenuous balance between a party animal with beer gut and a guy who used to take care of himself. To add insult to injury, our metabolism slows down with age, just as our responsibilities steadily increase. Alas, life is not fair.
But, it’s not entirely our fault. Perhaps our dad bod is unique to fathers and can be traced to simply having kids. A recent study that tracked the weight of 10,000 males over 20 years from adolescence into their early 30s finds the average 6-foot tall, first-time father gains 4.4 pounds if they live with their child after birth and about 3.3 pounds if they live separately. That equals a 2.6% and 2% jump in a man’s BMI, respectively, according to a Northwestern University release. Your childless wonder-friends actually lost weight in the same period: about 1.4 pounds. Which gives you even more reason to hate them.
How is it that we still put on weight when all we do is chase our kids around the house and taxi them from one sporting event to another? Shoddy eating habits are the likely culprit. Aside from cleaning your kids’ plate after every meal so nothing goes to waste, having kids around changes not only the food you have in the house for meals, but also for snacks. Which explains all the pizzas and chips and cookies and all the other junk food with the half-life of plutonium that sits on your counter and never seems to go bad. It also changes whether you are able to find time to get out and exercise and get enough sleep and take care of yourself. Unfortunately, none of these helpful facts were covered in the “so you’re thinking of having a baby” manual.
If you’re worried about your weight, strike up a conversation with your GP about your health. After all, the more weight you gain and the higher your BMI, the greater risk you have for developing heart disease as well as diabetes and cancer.
So, you’ve got that to look forward to.
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