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Fatherhood: 3 Tips to help with weight management

With Father's Day in the books, I wanted to share 3 tips that have helped me with weight management. When I knew I was going to be a father, I didn't want the "dad bod," where the midsection protrudes in an unflattering way. So I had to come up with a plan and here it is.

First, I changed my eating habits. As a personal trainer, my days are early and late. Tuesdays and Thursdays I work until 8 PM and would come home and eat dinner at 8:30 PM. Consequently, I was gaining weight. I knew I had to change something quickly. I shifted my dinner early to 2:30-3 PM. It was a learning curve at first, but I trained my body to not eat during the night. Let's just say your body adapts. Mind over matter.

Secondly, I stopped chasing perfection. Before my son was born, I used to work out 3 times a week. I did that for 25 years consistently. Now, I don't know if I have time to exercise if my son gets sick. My priority shifted to being a father and I had to hold off my needs. As selfish as this sound, this was the hardest thing to adapt to. I was used to having my way for 36 years and exercise was a part of me that allowed me to de-stress and something that I enjoyed. I had to let go of this expectation and be fine with exercising less, even if it was just once a week.

Lastly, I started incorporating core bracing throughout my day. This is a very subtle movement where you tighten the abdominals so if you press on the sides, your fingers would bounce off. Imagine doing a plank while seated, standing, or anything else. Now, you are exercising for hours! However, this doesn't replace weights but it does help me be more active while I work. When you are gaining weight, the easy solution would be to increase your frequency. However, I know this isn't the answer because I know time will be limited and I would be playing catch-up if I needed to lose weight. So I thought, why not be more efficient during my day without adding hours and hours of exercise.

The wonderful thing about fitness is that there are many ways to achieve results. Being a father has taught me to be adaptable on any given day. There are certain weeks that go by as usual and I am able to exercise 3 times. Then, there are weeks when my son is sick and I cannot exercise at all. I learned to let go of the expectations and focus on other things such as nutrition and mindset.

Hope you enjoyed this month's blog. Stay tuned for more next month -Kei

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