In this episode of The Good Dad Project podcast, Drew Manning reminds us that maintaining your physical health is a key aspect of fatherhood.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Being a healthy dad is no easy task. You’re at every soccer game, every dance recital and you help with homework. At the same time, you hold down a job that supports your family, take time for your spouse and maybe even help out in your community. Wait…where are you in this picture? “Eh”, you tell yourself, “as long as everyone else around me is happy, I’m ok with being a little overweight.” Ok, possibly, but what if you could be better at all of your other roles if you took a little more time and focused on yourself?
Being a Healthy Dad Isn’t Being Selfish
Believe it or not, taking care of ourselves first helps us to be more equipped to help others. Think about it: during the pre-flight instructions on an airplane, the flight attendant states, “In the case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from above your head. If you are traveling with small children, make sure to affix the mask to your face then place the mask on the child.” That makes sense; if we are not able to breathe, we can’t very well help the child sitting next to us place their oxygen mask on their face. So, why would the situation be any different for the rest of our lives? .
Being a Healthy Dad Goes Beyond Physical Appearance
Sure, you think you’re relatively healthy, but maybe you’ve noticed that you don’t feel as comfortable with how you look in the mirror. How does that translate to how you show your children to respect and appreciate their own appearances, or how does that parley to the bedroom? (think about it: if you don’t like how you look in the mirror, you certainly aren’t going to be too comfortable with your spouse looking at you). Your identity may include negative self-talk about your appearance or possibly you aren’t able to keep up with your kids as much as you would like. While being overweight does not make you a bad parent or person in any sense, taking care of your health and your body can simply make you a better person overall.
Change Your Inner Game
It’s time to change your inner conversation, but how? Start with building a relationship with yourself. Sounds strange, but it’s true. If we do not love ourselves first, we truly cannot love others as deeply as we could. Make a date with yourself. No joke. Like movies? Why not treat yourself to one (yep, by yourself)? Take yourself out for coffee; you might actually like the company! By giving ourselves permission to take care of our own person builds a mindset that we value our bodies and minds and gifts. The benefit of this is that those around us will see this and emulate our actions in their own lives. Yes, this is going to take vulnerability, but this is a strength, not a weakness.
Take Care of Yourself So You Can Serve Others Better
Yes, you are a great dad, coach, employee, spouse, etc., but you can be a better you. Your family counts on it. In order for you to be able to effectively take care of them, you have to place that oxygen mask on yourself first, then place it on the ones you love.
Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE
Photo courtesy of author