Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Stay-at-Home Dadbod

Why I quit the gym

I had an annual physical last week, and you'll probably be relieved to know that I received a relatively clean bill of health.  I have been deemed fit for my current role as a stay-at-home parent.  If physicals of the President and professional athletes are newsworthy, I figure mine probably is too.  As to be expected, immediately following my check-up I came down with some sort of virus that is still making the rounds within our house, but more on that later.

This past spring, social media and the internet were abuzz (at least for a few weeks) around the concept of the "Dadbod".  It took hold when Mackenzie Pearson, a student at Clemson University, posted an article entitled "Why Girls Love the Dad Bod".  The phenomenon was picked up by major media outlets including The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, and other outlets of culture commentary (of course Buzzfeed), which helped solidify its prominence.  While the concept hasn't gotten any press lately and is by no means #trending, I wanted to revisit it.  Naturally as an opinionated blogger I have a few issues with it - it's kind of what I supposed to do.

I know what you're thinking, "Why would someone who has been sporting a "dadbod" for at least a decade have any issues with this?"  The first reason can't really be summed up more accurately than this conversation between Kristen Schaal and Jon Stewart on the The Daily Show back in May.  The sexist double-standard is bad for both women and men.  It's like the standing ovation for the guy who changes the diaper.  Don't encourage it.

The second reason is as someone who you believes they have cultivated an authentic "dadbod", I feel a little exploited.  As Jon Stewart was quick to point out in the segment, none of the male celebrities referenced in the media clips are actually dads.  And in the initial article by the Clemson University Junior that referenced the topic, she is presumably referencing "dadbods" on her male collegiate counterparts.  At least I hope she is.  While the physical nature of what constitutes a "dadbod" seems to be generally agreed upon, there are stark differences in how one can achieve a "dadbod" figure.

In the effort of full disclosure I quit the gym because my gym access stopped when I stopped working outside the home.  I stopped lifting weights because throughout the course of my day I'm typically doing a non-stop 25, 35, or 45lb arm curl.  Sometimes its one on each arm.  My lightly defined quads can be attributed to the various times at all hours of the day or night when the only way to soothe a sleeping a baby was to put her/him in the baby bjorn and do some squats reps.  Cross training and cardio becomes a mix of engaging in

As a parent your personal time decreases significantly, and subsequently

Sure I still enjoy my pizza and beer.  But now instead of eating a whole frozen pizza      

So frat boys, if you're currently rocking the "dadbod", enjoy a few more slices of pizza and a few more beers.  Revel in your ability to maintain your "dadbod" with minimal effort.  In ten years you may find yourself where those of us with real dadbods are, and it might not seem quite as enjoyable.  But we don't do it to try and keep up with you, or impress your sorority girlfriends.  If we're trying to impress anybody, it's actually our wives' friends.  Because as Brian Kelms has pointedly stated, and I've referenced before, the better we look to our wives friends, the more attractive we look to our wives.  We also do it for our kids, so that we'll hopefully be around long enough for them to appreciate the fact that we didn't completely let ourselves go after becoming fathers.  It's a tempting proposition.              

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