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  • Gareth Ellis

No nod to the Dad Bod

I love almost everything associated with being a Dad, yet there’s one I just can’t bear to put my name to – the ‘Dad Bod.’

Everything else I naturally either assumed when that pregnancy test was positive for the first time, or I already did.

For example, I’ve been telling Dad jokes for the best part of 20 years. My humour can be pretty dark at times, childish a LOT of the time, but is also full of cheesy ‘jokes’ that would make even my own Dad cringe.

Something else I’ve always had in my locker is Dad dancing. I’ve never, ever had rhythm. I love music and I love to dance but I am quite terrible at it unless I’ve had a drink – then I’m terrible but I just don’t care. I was at a wedding recently and some friends of mine said ‘Oo, Gareth must be drunk, he’s pulling out the Dad moves already.” …… I was sober. *Facepalm*

However, when it comes to the ‘Dad Bod’ I’ve never wanted it, despite the fact I’ve probably had one since about 2008.

For those who may not be familiar, or who don’t want to open a new tab in Google, a Dad Bod is common amongst middle-aged men and is a celebration of the blurred line between a muscular physique and an overweight one.

Now, since I first joined a gym in 2009 (and probably many years in-between) I’ve had a bit of an obsession with how I look. I want the big arms, the broad back, the sculpted chest, and the washboard stomach. However, I always put too much time into the arms, shoulders, and back and not enough on the stomach and legs, so I’m too podgy for my liking. My stomach is too big, my arms and legs aren’t big enough and I’ve got the starting of moobs. If I breathe out properly when I’m in public I look a little bit like I’m pregnant, my belly sticks out far too far.

But it’s all my own fault. I can’t blame having children as the reason why my Dad Bod has existed for the 12 years prior to me having them. I work out (but not enough/or with enough consistency) I love to eat, and I have a dangerous sweet tooth, that’s the perfect recipe for getting bigger around the middle.

Being a man, you aren’t put under the same scrutiny as women for your appearance. If we as men get fat we just pat our stomachs and say something along the lines of ‘I’m in shape, round is a shape,’ or ‘It’s big bones,’ or the best one, ‘I’m bloated, I must have just eaten a big meal.’

When you have children, your time does get taken away slightly but you still have time to do things you want to – I mean, I’m writing this blog right now. I see so many people who have kids who run, exercise, paint, and do so many other things, and they still have 24 hours in a day, the same as I do.

As Rupert and our new baby grow up they won’t care what size I am. They won’t see me as fat, and the only Dad Bod they’ll know is that Daddy has a body.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t want it, and it’s something that’s well in my power to change. The same can’t be said for the dancing and the jokes – sorry everyone.

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