I love beer. Any beer, any time, give it to me and I’ll drink it. Ironically, I am drinking a beer whilst writing this.
Unfortunately, drinking beer excessively, along with poor diet choices and a sedentary lifestyle generally results in obesity. This is what occurred when I became an adult and began making my own lifestyle choices. Add the sleep deprivation, time deprivation and sanity deprivation that inevitably accompanies a newborn baby and the excuses to avoid healthy lifestyle choices will manifest by the 21 piece original recipe bucket load.
My worst fears were confirmed recently, not by the fact that I have upsized my clothes;
or the fact that my fast food bill is outweighing the mortgage repayments;
nor the fact that I have rolls appearing underneath my man-boobs;
neither my belly circumference competing with that of my wife’s 7 month pregnant baby belly; but rather by a visit to the doctor.
Again, the excuses come out of me quicker than the food goes in me: “I need this take away food because I’m too tired to cook” or “I can’t go to the gym today because I woke up early for work and the baby kept us up all night” or my personal favourite, “I’ll start working out next week when my life is miraculously less busy and I have no responsibilities”. This justifies the resultant shortness of breath experienced when walking a short distance or groaning like a wounded donkey when reaching for the TV remote because there is now a ball of jibble where my 6-pack used to be. However, when a medical professional tells you that you have a BMI of 30 and sit comfortably within the ‘overweight’ range, it does increase the pressure to start taking some action.
It’s no secret that kids are hard work. Even non-parents can appreciate this. Sometimes it feels as though you are the only two people on the planet who have ever had to deal with the stress of keeping a tiny human alive whilst your own ambitions are forced aside. But the fact is, there is always someone who has it worse than you or has had to deal with more difficult circumstances. Additionally, general health is the responsibility of the individual, so although being a parent adds another layer of difficulty to finding time and motivation to exercise, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse at all.
With this in mind, I have undergone multiple self-initiated ‘restarts’ with the ambition of a complete health overhaul, unsurprising with no success. Upon reflection of my many failures I determined some learnings:
- Previous methods for developing healthy habits weren’t realistic or sustainable
- Habits take time to form and require on more than a sudden burst of motivation
- Blow-outs on the booze destroy my motivation
- Mental health is just as important as physical health, and the two are intrinsically related
- Sleep isn’t optional
- Unfortunately, work isn’t either but that shouldn’t stop me from exercising
- Focus has previously been on restriction rather than focusing on feeling healthier and happier
- Being overweight does affect mood, happiness and self-confidence and therefore, all aspects of life
There is a myriad of resources available for ways I can rid myself of the beer guzzling growth that has made itself comfortable on my abdomen and with it, the Dad Bod stigma. Generally, the consensus on principals for weight loss are fairly simple:
- Weight loss (kg) = Energy Out (kJ ) > Energy in (kJ)
- You can’t out train bad nutrition – even if you exercise daily
- Eat a well balanced, healthy diet consisting of whole foods
- Interval training is proven to support weight loss
- Strength training can stimulate metabolism
In practice however, losing weight is not simple or easy and there is a multitude of factors that influence the outcomes of attempts to lose weight. In the posts to come, I will be delving into details of my experiences with habit forming, motivation, nutrition, goal setting and metric tracking in my quest to lose weight and become healthier and happier.
To sign off, I will gift you some wise words from one of the greatest minds of our time:
“I’ve put on about 6lbs recently, but I have a good reason, which is, I’m a greedy pig who’s been consuming more calories than I burn off. Fucking science. Please fat-shame me to help me to buck my ideas up. Thanks”Ricky Gervais – Instagram (@rickygervais)