“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” – George H.W. Bush
“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” – I have no idea who said that…
Back in high school writing class the teacher told us if we’re stumped for an opening to a project, start with a quote because it’ll make the teacher happy.
This is the first time I think I have ever taken to heart something a teacher told me in high school, but I think those two quotes, although a bit different, define my personal beliefs in fitness and health and the beliefs I try to bestow on all of my clients.
Before I get into that, I should probably tell you who the heck I am. I am The Fit Dad – a mild mannered personal trainer and proud daddy by day, but when danger strikes and the evil forces of F.A.T. show their might, I transform into my alter ego to strike them down! (Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I read a few too many comic books as a kid, but you have to admit it’s kinda fun).
To be more blunt, and less “artistic”, I am a fitness expert, private personal training studio owner and very proud daddy to a beautiful 3-year old girl and devilishly handsome husband whose main goal in life is to get busy moms and dads off their asses and into better shape.
I believe that all dads are superheroes and have superpowers; some just have a bit more flab covering up their superhero body.
I for instance have the unique superpower to make the “You better stop that, or else” face – although my daughter has the opposite superpower of batting her eyelashes, making a pathetic frown and saying “Sorry daddy” that melts my heart and takes away all of my disciplinary skills just like kryptonite takes away all of Superman’s powers.
Anyway, back to the two quotes I opened up this article with – one is a “you can’t tell me what to do” statement and the other is a “you damn well better take care of yourself, or else” statement and they both fit my philosophy to a “T.”
That may sound like I’m contradicting myself (which I do regularly), but let me explain…
So much of health, fitness and getting rid of the blubber that covers your stomach is about finding something you like, something that fits YOUR schedule and something that you’ll stick to.
It’s silly to attempt to stick with something you don’t like or remotely enjoy spend time doing.
If you don’t enjoy running, don’t run. I HATE running…I hate it with a passion, so I don’t do it and, surprisingly, I tell most of my clients to avoid it.
If you don’t enjoy eating broccoli, don’t eat it. I love it and it’s one of my “Top 5” foods that I think everyone should eat, but if you don’t like it…don’t eat it.
I hate brussel sprouts and beets and don’t really like dark chocolate. There are health benefits of all 3, but I know I hate them…so I don’t even pretend to enjoy them.
There is a catch though, as there’s always a catch. Just because you don’t “like” a healthy food, and just because I tell you that’s okay, doesn’t mean you can totally cut out all healthy foods and try to find “health” in processed and perverted “health foods.”
I just believe you have to find the foods you like, and eat lots of them. Some of my favorite fruits and veggies are apples, pears, broccoli, spinach and pineapple and I eat those foods EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. It’s become a habit.
Another habit is that I start every day off with a homemade smoothie consisting of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, ground flax, all-natural vanilla yogurt and protein powder. It takes 3 minutes to prepare and I drink it in the car on my way to my training studio.
So before I go any further, I want to ask you a question…What fruits and vegetables do you enjoy?
Think about it, buy ‘em and eat ‘em.
What about workouts?
Are you a guy who enjoys an intense workout like boot camps or metabolic circuits? Or maybe you really love getting on your bike and riding for 2 hours.
Whatever it is you like…do it.
That may sound overly simplistic, but truth-be-told most of fitness and weight loss is that simple. I didn’t say easy, but it really is simple…if you find what you enjoy, get off your butt and do it.
Personally I really love metabolic circuits, which basically means I put together about 5 exercises in a circuit that all crank my metabolism and do as many circuits as I can for 10 or 15 minutes. Some days I’m so busy that’s all I do.
Other days, I’ll put two of those metabolic circuits together and do a workout that lasts 20 or 30 minutes, but that’s my limit. I make the workouts intense enough that 20 or 30 minutes is the longest they should last…and honestly 15 minutes is fine and dandy.
Need an example?
I thought you might…
1A) Burpee – 8 reps
1B) Reverse Lunge – 15 reps per leg
1C) Mountain Climber – 20 reps per leg
1D) Forward Lunge – 15 reps per leg
1E) “T” Push-up – 15 reps
NOTE: If you need instructions on any of those exercises, shoot me an email. I didn’t want to fill this post up with boring instructions.
That 5-exercise circuit workout hits virtually every muscle in my body and cranks my metabolism through the roof.
If you’re not an “advanced” exerciser, swapping a couple of the exercises out and doing an easier push-up variation can alter that workout very easily.
You may hate that style of workout and that’s okay.
If you can’t tell, I’m slowly trying to veer into that second quote I gave way back at the beginning of this article about a man being too busy to take care of his health is…an idiot.
You’ll notice that the suggestions I gave you are simple and basically tell you “do something you like”…but you HAVE to do SOMETHING.
I said that I believe all dads are superheroes, but if you don’t start acting the part, you will never reach your full potential.
If you’re too out of shape or unhealthy to play with your kids, that’s a sad thing.
If you’re too out of shape or unhealthy and your kids start following in your footsteps, that’s a very sad thing because you’re setting them up for a lifetime of frustration and disappointment.
If you’re too out of shape or unhealthy that the thought of taking a walk with your wife or girlfriend on a nice evening sounds like too much work…that’s a very sad thing.
Being healthy and fit does so much more for you than just giving you the body of one of those juiced-up guidos from Jersey Shore.
It shoots your energy levels through the roof and you’ll be so much more productive.
It sends your endurance for all things through the roof so you’ll be able to play with your kids.
It makes your life less expensive because you won’t get sick as often, if at all.
And believe it or not, your grocery bill will go down by buying more expensive things like fresh fruits and vegetables because you will eat LESS food overall.
Okay, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time so I’ll wrap this puppy up and I’ll do it by telling you that I’m here to help.
If you need advice on what to do or where to get started, you are more than welcome to shoot me an email at ed @ fatlosstogo.com (I don’t want that to be a “live” link to protect me from spammers).
I’m serious about that. I love what I do and will do whatever I can to help all dads get the superhero bodies they deserve to have!
Talk to you soon and have an awesome day!
Ed Scow, aka “The Fit Dad”