In Response to the ‘DadBod’

By Ryan Emond

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A little about me so you can put the following article in context:

I’m nearly 28, 6’2” and sit at a comfortable 173lbs. I have never been a ‘star athlete’, but I grew up playing baseball. Lately, I spend a couple hours in the gym a week and practice martial arts. I like to stay active in the sense that I like being out in the world, but not in the sense that I take selfies from the top of a mountain or the beach every weekend. I am lucky enough to be in the position to make time to be as active as I am and still get a few hours in the gym a week – emphasis on lucky.

The phenomenon that is ‘dadbod’ came about from an essay written by one Mackenzie Pearson, a 19-year old Clemson sophomore. Seeing how far people have run with this craze leaves me thinking this young girl has some explaining to do.

The dadbod, in essence, is supposedly a celebration of guys who hit the gym, but also party a lot. Those aren’t the dads I know. The dads I know barely have time to get into the gym let alone party, but still somehow find time to squeeze in a few hours a week working out. Are they ‘ripped’? No, but that’s because of a combination of lack of time for regular gym hours and a compulsion towards stress eating.

That’s a dadbod. The body of a man who actually has kids and a job and real obligations on his time that prevents him from being as healthy as he would like, but he still makes every effort he can. It isn’t the body of someone who simply overindulges in booze and food and who could be healthier, but actively chooses not to. The young bros trying to embrace the dadbod trend are just lazy and their saggy forms reflect that.

Ultimately when I put on a slim pair of Raoul pants and shirt and feel completely comfortable it’s worth it. Putting time in at the gym when you have the time, is worth it. Choosing to eat healthy is worth it.

However, I’m not advocating living in the gym. That’s the other extreme and it’s equally as unhealthy. You can’t live in the gym any more than you can spend every weekend drinking until you can’t stand upright and eating until you hate yourself. Life, ultimately, is about balance.

It’s about not having to start taking cholesterol medication in your 30s because everything you ate in your 20s had extra cheese on it. How much you can eat or how much beer you can drink at one time doesn’t define you as a man; the example you set does. What does a guy say about himself when his idea of a ‘great time’ is always centered on excessive drinking and eating? Conversely, what does it say about a guy that spends every spare hour in the gym?

Strike a balance between dadbod and hardbod. Be healthy. More than anything – be confidant in who you are and everyone around you will respond to it positively.

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