A Healthy Dad Denial

Reebok high tops, rolled jeans, fanny pack- Yep is 1989.

Reebok high tops, rolled jeans, fanny pack- Yep it is 1989.

You can call this opening line confession or disclosure. If you want you can say I am writing this post because I was compensated (are you listening FTC) or you can take the more noble approach and call it one father’s confession.

That’s because the point of the post is to talk about the importance of being a healthy dad and it is why I am using the picture above…again.

This time around it is to point out that the handsome devil on the far right would try to kill me for letting us get so…soft. I can make a ton of excuses, some of them almost reasonable for why 25 years later the hard body with the six pack abs is more like a soft body with a case of abs.

That kid in the photo above had no responsibilities and could hit the gym daily without any regard for anyone else. He grew into a man who watched two grandfathers and  grandmother live into their nineties and figured that between genetics and the fact he exercises more than his own father or grandfather convince him that having to loosen a belt buckle or two was ok.

You can and should call it denial of a growing problem and you can even say that talking about myself in the third person is representative of some of that.

Ten years ago I stood in hospital room and looked at my father and promised that wouldn’t happen to me. I swore I wasn’t going to end up on a ventilator and started a healthier diet and increased the amount of exercise I got.

For a long while it worked well and then at some point I fell off of that wagon and the weight I lost found me. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t take me completely by surprise, hell I fought back and I dropped it again.

But that sneaky bastard denial lulled me to sleep again and I didn’t wake up until my son out ran me.  He didn’t beat me in a foot race but his endurance surpassed mine.

An Ongoing Battle

My old frenemie denial helped me write that race off because I went to the gym that night and beat a bunch of younger guys across the basketball court and after 90 minutes of running on the court with them we went to lift and I out worked most of them. Lifted more weight, did more reps and outlasted them or so I told myself.

It took three days to recover.

Three days of being sore and feeling like I had been worked over but my stubborn nature and my frenemie denial convinced me that if I powered through all would be well.

For a while it was and then I took a harder look at old pictures and new. Took a look at the guy in the mirror and in the video and decided it was time to make a significant effort to change.

Some of it came because I heard stories about people I knew dying young from a variety of terminal illnesses. One night I watched my kids sleep and decided that at 45 I simply can’t fool myself into believing I can just shrug it off any more so I made a promise to myself to find tools and resources I could use to help live a healthier life.

There Are Lots Of Resources Available Now

We live during a time when there are a ton of resources available for us. You can find help in a variety of places online.

Anthem Blue Cross wants to help you address your most basic health needs and questions through online initiatives such as Live Online Health and their new mobile app for Google and iOS phones.

If that doesn’t work for you do yourself and your family a favor and find one that does. Take the time to figure out how to make your health plan work for you.

Help Your Family With Extra Cash!!

XY Media is sponsoring a contest to celebrate dads living a healthy lifestyle. All you have to do is submit a family-friendly video to https://www.facebook.com/healthydads and you could win a $100 Amazon giftcard just in time for the holidays. Be a #HealthyDad . For the official rules, go here.

Don’t be shy about participating, get goofy like the knucklehead in the video below. It is for a good cause. Your health is worth it.

Disclosure: Thanks to WellPoint, Inc., which compensated me for this post, for including dads in this important discussion about family health care. My views are based solely on my experience as a parent, and not as a medical professional.

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  1. Nina Badzin October 16, 2014 at 5:36 am

    My husband works hard to stay healthy . . . now if I could just get him to do a picture of some kind I would hashtag it!

  2. Brandon Billinger October 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I was in the same boat. I never believed that the pounds I was gaining was actually making me look like I had a beer gut despite only drinking occasionally. Lately, I have taken an approach that I want to stick around long enough to see my grandkids. If I don’t take care of myself, that might not happen.

    It is great to be a healthy dad.

    • Josh October 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      @therookiedad:disqus It took a bit of doing to look in the mirror and not make excuses, at least it did for me. I am with you about the importance of taking care of ourselves, not just for our kids/grandkids but for us. It just feels better.

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