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Dad Bod

When I was at my peak health, I struggled with body image issues. I couldn't see myself as matching the ideals portrayed in magazines. Looking back, what I didn't realize then was that my "healthy" eating habits were actually extremely unhealthy and unsustainable. I exercised five days a week, as I do now, but the amount of food I consumed was minimal. Sure, I had abs, but I wasn't enjoying life. I never allowed myself a cookie or fruit after 7 PM. Living that way led me to swing in the opposite direction when I encountered the most stressful events of my life: fatherhood and COVID-19.


This combination of challenges led me to find solace in food. Initially, it was manageable. I was running five miles a day and working out at home. However, injuries soon followed. I suffered from Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in both feet, which, as you can imagine, ended my workout routine but not my indulgence in poor eating habits. I devoured everything—cakes, Japanese food, Jamaican cuisine, cookies, tacos—and in no time, I ballooned to 192 lbs from a "soaking wet" 150 lbs. For reference, I am 5 feet 7 inches tall.


I lived in this 190-lb body for two years, thinking I could easily shed the weight. However, I didn't account for aging; as I neared 40, my metabolism slowed, and my free time diminished. Surprisingly, I also lost the discipline to maintain consistency in most areas of my life, including motivation to exercise. After months of attempting old methods that once shed 10 pounds quickly, I realized those tactics no longer worked. I had to find a new, sustainable, and safe way forward, not to mention heal my now injury-prone feet, which took six months.


Now, here I am, on the journey back to my desired weight, currently at 177 lbs. (Dad Bod) My focus has shifted from purely monitoring weight to improving my body fat percentage and VO2 max. More than anything, I'm concentrating on cultivating discipline and creating a lifestyle that is both replicable and sustainable. My mission is to be in the best shape possible—not just for appearance but to ensure I am healthy enough to play with my child and to be around for at least another 40 years.


So far, I'm doing well. The abs aren't back yet, but I feel good, strong, and disciplined. This time around, I am learning to appreciate my body as it is, ensuring that I am happy with progress rather than just end results. I encourage you to stay on your path, and I hope you are finding success in conquering your own challenges.


Stay strong,

Darrian





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