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Fit-Dad to Fat-Dad. . .What went wrong

My wife was a massive influence on my fitness and she inspired me to run. All I had to do was try to keep up with her!!

I was fit. My BMI was bang on. I felt good. I was always quite chubby, not massively overweight but always had that extra spare tyre, so to get myself to a place where I felt good in my late 30’s made me very happy.

My attitude to food had changed and I followed a very simple 80/20 rule. I was good 80% of the time and did what I liked for the remaining 20.  In reality I made this work by eating sensibly in the week and eating what the hell I liked at the weekend. It worked.

I was no angel and I’d be lying if I said I never fell off this healthy wagon. Of course I’d be drawn in by the temptation of a juicy burger and chips, but in moderation and running three times a week it all kept my weight ticking over quite nicely. I never wanted to be ‘buff’ but didn’t want to be skinny either and this regime kept me just about right.

Now add the amazing news my wife is pregnant. I was over the moon. We continued to run together until a scan at 20 weeks where my wife was advised to slow down her exercise as they were concerned with a low lying placenta. 

At this point my wife did alternative exercise but I stopped running altogether and this is where my problem starts…

Fast forward a few months and I meet this little bundle and I’m hooked…

Oh my God I’m a dad!!

What if I can’t do it?

What if I drop her?

What if she hates me?

I never really thought…

Where are my trainers?

Wow, this shirt is getting tight

My jeans are a little snug

It all ‘just happened’ during the whirlwind of sleepless nights, feeding, nappies, working, playing, loving, photographing…and repeat

Looking back it’s easy to see what happened but at the time I was completely blind to it.

I had recently started a new job. I was trying to impress. I was so tired, you can be the best at something but with no sleep you simply cannot perform at your peak, you just can’t. 

I would come home from work and try to take over from my exhausted wife so she could do something else – there was no option for a break for either of us. There were a million other things to do but it gave her a break from endless crying, nappies, bottles etc.


I was exhausted too. My perspective on food had changed. I was gorging on anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t care if it was a Wednesday or a Saturday night. In my eyes it was fuel and I was fuelling to stay awake. It worked, I could almost function but the impact and reality of this new tasty way of survival hit me a few months ago.

I really started to be aware of my love handles. My face looked chubby, my eyes had aged. One trigger that always used to give me a warning that I’d eaten one too many chocolate raisins was double chin and man boobs. I had simply ignored these signs and just let the good time roll!

Food had become my crutch. I had no desire for alcohol and have never smoked but I needed something to get me through this.

One thing I must add. Our beautiful baby was not completely conventional either and really did not want to sleep. Without going into too much detail, she’s a night owl, a party animal. She will never be a morning person…

Dare I say… just like her daddy?

So we had no evening. Nothing… She would sometimes outlast us. It was exhausting. 

But twenty months in. .  . we have more of a routine and finally I can start to regain control of my “Dadbod”.

I have started to run again, we sometimes run together pushing the pushchair. I have also started to run at lunchtimes while I’m at work. I will never have the time that I had before so I need to work SMARTER and utiliise precious time to a Military style. It can be done.

As for “Dadbod”, It’s early days but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel

It’s true – this was in the Daily Mail TODAY

A lack of sleep really DOES make you fat: Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain of 2lb in under a week

  • People who only got five hours sleep a night gained two pounds in a week
  • When sleep deprived, people eat less breakfast but more snacks
  • Lack of sleep slows the metabolism, causing the body to burn fewer calories

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  • Sally Hodge on

    Love it! Well written and so very true! :-) glad to hear your bundle of joy is now sleeping, we are 8 months in and still suffering with sleep deprivation…its hard work! Good luck to you xx

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