The Dad Body: Fit. For. Life.

My story

I’ve always been one to take the leap first.

Out of all my friends, I was the first to:

  • Make the first major move post-college.
  • Land a big boy job.
  • Get married.
  • Go bald.
  • Become a dad.

Each of them has come along with its own unique set of challenges and lessons learned, but it’s that last one that’s been the most difficult/incredible/exhausting/fulfilling.

After my first kid was born, life has been a messy blend of chaos and laughs. Every day, thoughts of “I have no idea what the hell I’m doing,” … “Nah, I got this,” and “What bodily fluid is that?” run rampant.

More than anything, though, in the early going I was always thinking about how tired and unfit for this I felt.

I came to the realization that, oh, yeah … of course “dad bods” exist. This whole parenting thing while also taking care of yourself is … super hard and kind of a logistical nightmare with no apparent roadmap.

On paper, the actual parenting side of it sounds easy enough.

  • Guide.
  • Listen.
  • Feed them good food.
  • Be attentive.
  • Limit screen time.
  • Try not to drop them on the floor, etc.

For the most part, dads don’t need much help there.

Now try, however, to hit all those marks on four hours of broken-up sleep, fueled by nothing but cold, leftover mac and cheese, a full pot of stale coffee and (Do-do-do-do-da) Dora the Explorer running on a loop in your brain whether it’s currently on the TV or not.

It’s a recipe for disaster … but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Having the energy, mental capacity, patience and strength necessary to succeed as a father while also keeping up with being your own, healthy individual is crucial, yet feels near-impossible at times.

It isn’t.

That’s where this site comes in.

Health, wellness and fitness have all been of deep interest to me over the past decade, but things really ramped up in those areas after my kids were born. I quickly realized I needed to step my game up just to be at the baseline of what it means to be an acceptable parent.

And I, like you I’m guessing, aren’t just striving for “acceptable,” particularly in this area.

I knew I had to get better in order to be better, so I’ve done everything possible over the past few years to achieve health from every tangible aspect, learn as much as I can about life and meaning, and aim for consistent, persistent growth.

To me, there was no other choice.

So I’ve compiled a set of tips, tricks, techniques and general NOTES and advice on how to live better — so I can dad better.

If you’re already a parent, some or all of this has likely resonated with you on some level so far.

Hopefully, you’ve figured out some systems that work to keep yourself running optimally so that you can parent effectively — if not, I’d love to offer some assistance.

If you’re a soon-to-be parent or it’s in the plans for you down the road, trust me when I say: you might think you’re prepared, but you’re not.

My advice is to put down the cliché baby books (don’t worry — you’ll figure it out), take a look in the mirror and determine what you can do to put yourself in the best position possible to glide into parenthood with as much positive momentum, mental clarity and physical energy you can — and then roll with the punches from there.

The key to being a good parent is being a good you.

Be the best version of yourself and the results will follow. Really.

I’ve found that when I’m maintaining “me” to the best of my ability, the rest tends to fall into place.

  • My relationship with my wife and kids improve.
  • There’s a more palpable sense of calm in the house.
  • Everything tends to flow as it’s supposed to.
  • And when — not if — things go off the rails, I have the mental space, clarity and energy to tackle obstacles appropriately and swiftly.

As many of my friends and connections begin to venture into the wonderful world of parenting over the next few years, my hope is that this site becomes a resource for both information and inspiration on how to be a better you and, in turn, a better dad (or mom or person in the world, in general. Much of this will be broad advice that applies to many individuals.)

Think of less as a site to get parenting tips and more as a site for tips on how to unveil the great parent already inside of you waiting to be awoken.

(You know, because you’re tired AF.)

If you’ve made it this far, good on you. You’re serious about getting serious.

We owe it to our kids to be the superheroes they see us as.

Goodbye “dad bod,” hello, The Dad Body.

Let’s get fit for life, together.

– PD

One Comment

  1. TasView

    As a parent of two girls now graduating Uni, you are right to say look after yourself first – to a point of course. If you keep yourself in reasonable physical shape, it improves your mental state and usually that of those around you. I think it’s important to find an activity you really enjoy, so that you keep wanting to do it and then exercise isn’t a chore. Mix it up with some activities the whole family will enjoy too to get everyone moving and loving life away from their screens 😀

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