A Dad Bod Confession

by Michael

Confession: The dad bod has returned in a major frustratingly vengeful way.

For a little background, let’s turn the clock back a bit.

Around 7 years ago, I was horribly out of shape.

I was in my mid-30s, had 5 prescriptions I took daily, and was nearly 280lbs. I ate like trash and rarely did anything physical.

Through different events in life, I lost weight. As one would expect, once the weight started coming off, I started feeling better, physically and mentally.

I started going to the gym.

I began working out, something I hadn’t truly done since high school. Did the thing where I went all in, feet first. I had gotten myself into a rhythm and solid mindset where I would nearly feel guilty if I skipped out on doing “something”. I was doing at least 1 physical activity daily, whether it was riding my bike, lifting weights, or jogging. I started being strict with my diet, including doing 16/8 intermittent fasting.

4 years ago, around this time, I found myself over 50lbs lighter at 220lbs and in the best physical shape of my life. I felt amazing and had a hair of confidence for the first time in a long time.

I told myself then I’d never let myself get back to where I was. That I would never let myself be that heavy again.

Then life stepped up and happened.

When I was working out, I hit it ground running. Doing that eventually leads to a couple of injuries showing up. My body, which hadn’t gone through any type of workout in over a decade, was showing me, rather bluntly, that my 20s were way in the review mirror. A bad back and bad shoulder lead to the visits to the gym becoming more intermittent than constant.

Then COVID hit.

The gym I was going to at the time closed. I took a few months off, but eventually, I did yoga at home.

Nearly a year after my original gym closed its doors to the public, a new 24hr gym opened up, and I slowly got back into the swing of things.

I had the motivation of not only being in shape at 40, but to being in shape for my son. The last thing I wanted was to be unable to keep up with him for be down in my back.

All things were going well. Going steady. My oldest even joined me at the gym on Friday and Saturday evenings when he was up for his weekend.

I found that excitement again. It wasn’t the same as a few years ago when I felt like I was missing something or if I miss the gym for two days, I’d suddenly balloon back up to 280. Not that, but I was getting addicted to the rush and the excitement of feeling stronger and in better shape again.

That was a few months back.

Fast forward to the present. I’ve barely been to the gym in months. Finding a day here or a day there, all with the thought and intention of getting back into the groove of things, but failing to maintain. I find myself past a threshold. I told myself I’d never pass again. I’m over 250lbs.

I feel like I’ve failed myself, my wife, my older kids, and especially my little guy.

Sure, I could make excuses. The stress of the past year. The long, weird hours and the 1,000s of miles on the road. Being too tired for the gym. Eating my feelings. Shoulder and back pain. Sure, they’ve all played a part in how I got here, but they all are still excuses. Ultimately, there is one thing that has led me to where I find myself.

Me, Myself, and I.

And what does that get me?

Mad and frustrated at me.

Pissed at myself because I’m constantly up late, unable to sleep because of heartburn or the latest gout flare-up. Pissed at myself for my back, killing me to the point I can’t carry my son after just a short period.

Embarrassed because too many of my clothes are too tight and don’t fit anymore.

Ashamed over my gut and what I look like without a shirt on.

And if you’ve read to this point, you may wonder why I’m saying all this, why I’m sharing these things and these photos.

It’s because I’ve reached my breaking point.

It’s because this matters to me. That these photos will eventually be “before photos” and matter.

Because to get where I want to be, I have to accept where I am. I have to swallow my pride and take it one step at a time.

This is me. This is all of me.

I’ve got to do better for myself and everyone around me.

I’m now creeping back into the gym on a slightly more regular basis. Eating my feelings less than before. I may still take nights off if our son is being fussy, and I trade in the bench for the recliner to rock and hold him. I’m good with that and will maintain that because while I need to be healthier physically, I know I need to keep myself mentally in the good too.

And yes, I know this process is going to be a LONG one!! I will not have any kind of beach body by the summer. I’m 41 and solidly in the dad mod form.

The Dad Bod Confession isn’t one of acceptance, but one of motivation to move forward. To always move forward and just not accept.


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