The nursery is painted. The hospital is chosen. The house is steadily filling with things to put our baby in and the research into breastfeeding has been undertaken. (There are only 2 things I remember from A Level psychology and one is BF Skinner’s operative therapy experiment involving rats. The way a baby has to nudge the breast with its chin to release milk instantly brought that back to mind. But then, I bet I’m not alone on that…)
The house is ready for our son to arrive in 2 months time and my fiancée is definitely ready to be able to move freely once more. So now… we wait.
But what to do with those spare two months?
Well, losing these spare two tyres would be a start. Bye Bye Dad Bod.
DAD BOD: BACK STORY
Back in 2015 I moved down to Southampton to do a radio breakfast show. The three hours on-air with my co-host always felt brilliant. I had a great time, people got involved; it was fun.
The hours that followed weren’t as much fun. I’d moved to somewhere that was 2 hours away from my fiancée. It was 5 hours away from my family. The job outside the broadcast hours wasn’t like I had imagined and I had a lot of time to kill away from work. A LOT of time.
In short, I was quite lonely. Loneliness is a horrible thing. I feel for anyone who endures it on a day-to-day basis, properly. I was just a bit temporarily away from people. (I appreciate that doing a job I’d wanted from being a teen and doing things like flying helicopters for “work” makes me a very fortunate person; sometimes the brain chemicals don’t follow suit though.)
This is fully intended to be a fun blog and before you read any further, I want you to know it’s going to be. So, let’s not digress and I shall get back to the point, shall I?
So, there I was. With time to kill and a daft head that didn’t react well to my self-imposed circumstances.
(Okay, NOW I’ll get back to the point. Anyway, I’ve talked enough about depression elsewhere and I’m in quite a jolly mood as I type.)
I’d been relatively on the healthy side before the move. I’d go to the gym 4 times a week. I’d got fit previously and enjoyed being able to wear clothes that I hadn’t been able to before. (By the time they did fit they were massively out of fashion… but they fit!)
In daytime Southampton, I’d find company at the local pub instead the local gym. A retired civil servant would regale me with tales of the contracts he’d negotiated in his past career; an old rascal would inform me of the places he’d lived up and down the country (at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, he later shared).
In the evening I’d have some chocolate. Or crisps. Or pastry goods…
I GOT FAT!
You know when people say, “Oh, I only have to look at a chocolate bar and I put on 3 pounds?”
I only had to look at a chocolate bar, buy it, decide that even though it said “Sharing Size” on the side I was going to eat it all myself, and then I’d put on 3 pounds.
I was becoming more and more unhealthy and had a Dad Bod without actually being a dad.
At the end of last year, I left my job and came to live with Frankton in our house. But there was Christmas. And doing a late night radio show in a place with a snack machine.
Before I knew it, saying “I might go to the gym tomorrow” had become a catchphrase!
Well no more!
I don’t want to be a Dad Bod that watches from afar as my son runs with a football. (Or whatever physical activity he wants to do.) I want to be around for my son; not a round for my son. (Tenuous wordplay but it sort of works.)
In my wardrobe is a slim-fit suit. Not only can I not get into it, I get out of breath unzipping the carrier.
A fit, active body makes for a fit, active mind. (Coupled with a daily dose of Sertraline, obviously). What is more, a fit, active mind and body makes for a more deserving partner for Frankton.
My fiancée is 7 months pregnant; it’s not right that my waistline has grown more than hers. The other day I hugged her and, though she denies the meaning in this, she said, “Awww, our two bellies collided”.
OUR. TWO. BELLIES. COLLIDED.
It was a fair shout. I have been the boy who cried wolf before. But I have never had a reason to change my lifestyle before. I haven’t had a reason to lose the Dad Bod; until now when I’m about to be a Dad.
TIME TO SELF-SHAME
Not everyone has a supportive partner who wants to be healthy. Not everyone has the opportunity to have a son and to run after them in the garden. Not everyone has just spent a fortune on grass seed to regrow the lawn so that they can run on it with their son.
In the past, I have said “I’m going to start at the gym again” more times than I can actually remember.
So if I post this photo… I can’t not do it. I hate this picture but I love how different it will be in 2 months. Shaming myself into action.
Right, must dash. Well… must amble. I’ve got some ill-fitting gymwear to get into… and a bit of guidance to seek.
Speaking of which, if you have done similar, I’d love to find out how you did it. (And whether it involved chocolate instead of green porridge.)