Did you know there was a study conducted some years ago which revealed that married men are healthier and live longer, BUT… Men are also more likely to get fatter after they get married. (some of the ladies in the audience are grumbling, “Yeah no KIDDING!”)
It’s true. This was a survey study, so it was just an association of course, but even when demographic, social and physical variables were controlled, the correlation was there. A more recent study from the university of North Carolina discovered that Individuals who transitioned from single/dating to cohabiting or married and living in the same household were more likely to become obese.
Once living together or married, if one partner became obese, the other was also much more likely to to become obese as well. Scary, the powers of environment and personal association, aren’t they? (fortunately, social influence works both ways)
Now, we all know about the extra fat gain with pregnancy issue that new moms face, but what about new dads? I’m not sure what the research says about the likelihood of new dads getting fatter, but let me share what I’ve observed among my clients and members:
I don’t see a lot of “meh” or “in the middle.” I see a dichotomy where dads – with children of all ages – either throw their arms up in the air with frustration and say that between taking care of the kids/babies and working, “there is just NO time for exercise and healthy eating” so they do nothing at all.
Or, on the other hand, I see, even among men who did gain some weight after they got married, when they find out they’re going to be a dad, it becomes motivational rocket fuel for them to get healthier and fitter than they’ve ever been before…
I’ve heard it a thousand times – the “triggering event” for them to get healthier, get stronger, get fitter and stay that way – was the news of a son or daughter on the way.
“If I don’t do something about my weight and my health, I’m going to die…. and I HAVE TO be here for my son”…
“I want to have the energy and strength to play with and keep up with my kids.”
“I want to be a good role model.”
I may not be able to speak from experience, but I can speak for the thousands of dads I have helped get healthier over the years in my personal training, health club, and internet businesses:
Being a dad can be your greatest health and fitness motivation… and unlike other forms of fleeting motivation- THIS MOTIVATION can last a lifetime, can’t it? It’s right there, looking you in the eyes every day.
With that, I’d like to wish all the dads a happy Fathers Day, and I’d like to salute all the fit dads who have made the decision to make fatherhood their “reason why” they stay in such great shape.
And for the dads who haven’t made that commitment yet, when right now today would be a good day to start?
Want to see some of this real-life motivation in action? Take a look at some of the guys who recently transformed their bodies and their health – fast too – in our most recent body transformation contest. Yes, many of them are dads, with kids of all ages…
And if they did it, you can do it too!
Train hard and expect success!
Tom venuto, author of Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle
Great article Tom! I’m looking at my little “motivator” right now. One of the main reasons I’m living healthy and still around to be grateful about it:)Seriously, he is a great kid and I am a very lucky dad:)
Thanks again Tom:)
Thanks Scott! Hope your summer BURN is going well!
Great article Tom! I don’t have kids but if I did they would definitely serve as motivation for me to lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle. If for no other reason just to see them grow up and start their own families.
Parents should strive to be good role models for their children. This means maintaining a healthy weight, being active and eating more whole foods. If parents make this a top priority then the children will have no choice but to follow suit.
My father has always lifted weights, played golf and led an active lifestyle. When I was younger he used to play pickup basketball with my friends and I. He was able to keep up with all of us even though he was significantly older. Some of my fondest memories of my dad are when we would go down to the YMCA on Sunday and he would lift weights while I was shot baskets. Once he was done with his strength training he would come out and shoot baskets as well or participate in a full court scrimmage. His zest for sports has always been evident!
I just wish he could overcome his nicotine addiction. My father appears to be a model of good health but this pernicious habit could end up costing him his life. It is such a stark contrast from all his other healthy habits.
“HAPPY FATHER’S DAY” TO ALL THE MEN WHO INDEED MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AND HEALTHY . ANY MAN WHO IS WILLING TO REMAIN AS FIT AND HEALTHY AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN….WILL ALWAYS MAKE A GOOD ROLE MODEL.MY BLESSINGS TO SIR TOM VENUTO.I BELIEVE HE IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT I JUST SAID.DESPITE ALL MY EFFORTS AS A MOTHER TO MOTIVATE MY SON JAMES…NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH EVER GOT HIM TO EVEN MAKE THE SLIGHTEST EFFORT TO GET PHYSICALLY ACTIVE UNTIL WE DISCOVERED TOM’S WEBSITE. SO LIKE I ONCE SAID….IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ANY SOMEBODIES “FOOTSTEPS” ….FOLLOW TOM VENUTOS!(:GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY OVER AND OVER!(: AMENO
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Great post Tom!
On days when there is no fuel in the tank I just take one look at my little girl (or her picture on my phone) and I have all the fuel I need.
I was fit before becoming a dad, but the influence my lifestyle will have on my daughters is definitely motivation to continue living an active and healthy lifestyle.
Hopefully my positive choices will translate into their being more healthy throughout their lives as well. The rule of association certainly holds true when it comes to fitness. If you want to be healthy, surrounding yourself with fit people is one of the best choices you can make for your long term health.
My so was born in November 2010, and I was determined to lose all of my pregnancy weight and cut my body fat% in half, while improving my cardio health and lower my cholesterol. A very tall order indeed. The progress has been slow, but steady. And I have moved from no exercise for years on end, to working out 3 – 5 times a week. I think I was eating too little, exercising too little and destroying my metabolism, but things are starting to really shape up now that I am eating more, and working more. BFFM BABY!