Friday, November 11, 2011

Don't Die Daddy Initiative: 6 Months to a Healthier Happier Me

I had a horrible realization the other day...I'm not 17 anymore. I was walking past the bathroom mirror and almost tackled the fat balding intruder I thought had broken into our house. As I stepped back and took a good look at the man in the mirror...I have to say I was not happy with what I saw. How the hell did this happen? Wasn't I just that young svelt buck that all the ladies were in love with (at least that it is what I thought when I was 17)? I will admit I have been hard on my body for the last 15 years. I use to proudly say there was not a buffet that I could not take down. And my declaration when it came to drinking was "Who else is in it to win it?". But damned, I didn't think I had let myself go that far.

Sure I always thought I could stand to lose a couple of pounds. Maybe make the next family photo something I could look at and not see my belly. Or make the morning wrestling match with the pants a little easier to win. But now I was looking at a man that had clearly let things go. Now do get me wrong, I am not "I need a Rascal to go shopping" fat, just middle aged fat. The kind of fat where you no longer have time to think about working out, eating right or any other self improvement area because you are focused in on paying bills, wiping butts and worrying about the future.

But now being a father, my thoughts have started to move past the vanity aspect of it and focus more on the long term implications to my health and what that could mean for my kids. I don't want to be a fat dad. I don't want my kid's to be embarrassed when I come waddling into their school. I want to be the healthy and active dad that takes the kids outside and does fun "outdoorsy" activities...not the dad that gets out of breath taking the stairs at the mall.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association; Jan. 7, 2003, Annals of Internal Medicine, people who are overweight (aged 40) are likely to die at least 3 years sooner than those who are normal weight. In terms of life expectancy, being fat during middle age is on a par with smoking. Overweight, non-smokers lost an average of three years and obese male non-smokers lost 5.8 years....almost 6 years. 6 flipping years!!! That is 2190 days. That is 52, 560 hours. That is 3,153,600 minutes. I mean we are talking about 189,216,000 seconds.

And let's be honest folks, I am sure my weight is not the only thing that is not optimal when it comes to my health. I am sure I have done my fair share of damage to my liver over the years. And I am sure that the eye twitch that pops up every now and then is trying to tell me that my stress levels are not in the "good" spectrum.

But be warned, before you go out and try to put a life insurance policy out on me in some sort of get rich scheme, I have been spending the last couple of months trying to get the eye twitch and the liver back in check. About six months ago I started seeing a therapist about my stress and also quit drinking. These are two major pre-emptive victories in my battle to improve my health. These wins have inspired me to embark upon a 6 month's plan that I am calling the Don't Die Daddy Initiative. Over the next 180 days I will be doing everything I can to improve my overall physical and mental health. I will be focusing in on the following areas:
  • The Gut
    My physical health including my weight, my baseline metrics and my physical fitness levels
  • The Strut
    My mental well being and the pursuit of the man I want to be
  • The What
    My understanding and appreciation of what it is I am actually living for
I know that this process will not be easy, but I really need to make an effort to ensure that I am around for my wife and kids. So please join me on this journey and if I motivate you to start your own initiative...even better if.*

*Legal Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a physical therapist, dietician or professional rabbit breeder. All comments, suggestions or general thoughts from this initiative should be viewed as entertainment. Please seek professional advice before starting any initiative.  
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  1. Chad, I'm so proud of you! What a huge step, to actually admit it all. I, too, need to get healthy (and 50 lbs. is my goal) so let's talk and see if we can help each other out...competition is a good motivator!

  2. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am super excited. I agree a competition is a good idea. Let's figure out what we can put on the line.