Everything we love about the “Dad-Bod.”
You could hear the smile on my husband’s face as he read me an article about ‘Dad Bods’ from the Washington Post. Originally coined by Clemson college student Mackenzie Pearson the term has been vetted high and low by the American Journal of Men’s Health and Instagram.
Steve’s reaction mirrored men all over the suburbs as he claimed. “I got this!” Reading the description of a cushioned middle flanked by strong arms and legs Steve added in a few details of his own. “I want to be as comfortable on a bike ride as in a barcalounger—so I need to keep up cardio.” I may or may not have rolled my eyes from my seat on the couch.
Over the last six months he has sculpted his routine, if not his body. With each bite he gloats as he grows closer to his goal of the ultimate dad bod.
The art and science of storing leftovers.
As an engineer my husband delays every road trip by packing and repacking the back of our car like a life sized bento box. When it comes to the fridge sized containers it has always been up to me. Steve does 95% of the cooking in our house so I generally do the dishes and pack the leftovers. Lately my job has been lighter. Steve has realized that the best place for the food scraps is in his belly. Which leads to less packing and more packing on the pounds.
He doesn’t just play with himself.
We live directly across the street from a park with a batting cage, tennis courts and basketball hoops. Assuming we can round up the required equipment from the various corners of our house we head over many nights after dinner. I’d like to say that the four of us run the bases together, but I have my mom bod to maintain so I read and occasionally look up to celebrate a success. The three of them have short bursts of play which Steve calls interval training. The whole event lasts 20 minutes which leaves time for homework and baths and reading…all the good dad stuff.
Team Sports are not just for the bedroom.
Mysteriously, to me, my husband never left behind the camaraderie of team sports. He was an athlete in high school and is the dad version of an athlete now. He plays in an “Old Man Football League” every Saturday morning, he stays up for hockey until one am once a week, when he golfs he carries his bag. The easiest way for him to get exercise is with friends. He concentrates on scoring goals, and returns red-faced to score another way.
Do the Wilde thing.
Oscar Wilde famously recommended everything in moderation…including moderation itself. Steve embraces this about once a week, or month, or quarter. This lack of schedule is vital in his effort not to get too lean. These irregular bike rides start with a quick kiss goodbye and end with him panting on the porch extending his phone to show me the app that reflects a 23 mile ride with a 14 foot elevation change. I show him my app which has pins in it for the local emergency rooms. The beauty of the long bike ride is that it fulfills the requirement of sporadic but intense cardio that Steve has set for himself.
Mop like a maniac.
The vigor with which my husband attacks household chores is legendary. He mops like a maniac, shovels up a sweat, and tightens tops of things to a thumb breaking tension. This is a perfect cardio/ arm workout. As a bonus we enjoy clean floors and sidewalks…and occasionally a clean break in our wrist as we try to open the peanut butter jar.
It’s not just the housework—it’s also the homework.
It is not all vim with him. He wears the patina of parenthood with pride. His shins are bruised from carrying our ten year old to bed. His neck has a slight bend as from the hours that he has pored over homework. His knuckles are burned from baking us tart cherry crumble.
It takes a lot of effort to maintain his dad bod, but according to Steve it is no effort at all. Time with his food, his kids, and his friends have not just left him a softie on.
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Photo: Getty Images