Looking back, maybe using the quote "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son" (Animal House, 1978) under my high school graduation photo (especially since I looked like Norm Peterson from Cheers at the time) wasn't the best idea. I was young. I WAS stupid. I wasn't looking to the future - well, at least not far enough ahead to realize what that sentence really meant. I just thought it was a funny line that would define the next 3+ years of my life... and it did. But that was then, and THIS is now. I'm not saying it wasn't fun while it lasted - my formative years of eating poorly, drinking with the best of them, and not worrying too much about how other's perceived me- but that's a young man's game. It's not an acceptable lifestyle for a grown man. And it's certainly not an acceptable lifestyle for a father (so I'm told).
Now, I'm not saying life has to be boring once you become as dad. I mean, you still have gambling (in moderation of course), but once you become a dad you just have to say to yourself that those days of playing Russian Roulette with your health are over. Gone are the days of clogging your arteries with bacon double cheeseburgers and curly fries, pushing your liver to its limits with Jack Daniels, and testing your threshold for recreational drugs (at least on week days). As of now, your life belongs to another. Of course, your wife thinks it's her as she nags you about your eating habits and watches everything you pile on your plate, but that's not who I'm talking about. The person to whom I am referring doesn't have a clue that you're a ticking time bomb made up of congealed luncheon meats. He (or she) only knows you as dad. And wouldn't it be sad to leave him without one simply because you're too stubborn to change?
It's time to Fodder Up! And I don't mean maybe. It's time to make a positive change for the future. We're talking your health people. And we're going to get as graphic as possible to help you see the error of your ways.
LESSON ONE: SMOKING - IT'S BAD FOR YOU
Honestly, you don't need me to tell you this- a quick glance at a cigarette pack will say it all. Smoking can cause gum disease, cancer, a limp willy- take your pick. But, more importantly it will shorten the time you have on this earth to spend with your loved ones, specifically that little bundle of joy you're just getting to know. And, yes, smoking harms your little ones in countless ways as well, but most importantly is can leave them fatherless (or penniless because you can't afford the life insurance premiums as long as you're puffing away). So what are you going to do about it?
13 Reasons to Quit Smoking - Video
LESSON TWO: SLEEP- YOU NEED IT
Think your body doesn't need sleep to function? Guess again. Lack of sleep, or not getting the optimum amount contributes to many health issues and risks. Sure, you won't be getting any until your baby starts sleeping through the night, but let this be a lesson to you so you don't continue this trend well in to your daughter's teen years. My suggestion, don't stay up trying to catch her sneaking out of the house; buy a Doberman to guard her room... you'll sleep like a... well, you know.
The Importance of Sleep- Video
LESSON THREE: FOOD IS FUNCTIONAL
I learned this when I took the Subway Challenge. If eating the same turkey sub on whole wheat every day teaches you anything, it's that you don't need variety in your food to be happy... but two chocolate chip cookies afterwards never hurt. I lost a lot of weight this way and my happiness came from feeling fit, not feeling bloated on empty calories. There are many healthy ways out there to lose weight or maintain good health, but the key is to change your eating habits so that your weight loss is sustainable. One of them is not eating all the kids left-overs, but here are a few more...
- Benefits of a Healthy Diet - Website
- Biggest Loser - Diet Tips - Article
- Planning A Healthy Diet Tips - Article
- Proper Diet Nutrition Information- Website
LESSON FOUR: EXERCISE IS NOT A FOUR LETTER WORD
Look, it's time to stop claiming that you get all the exercise you need by playing video game bowling in your living room. You need real cardiovascular activity. You can start by leaving the comfort of living room and taking your newborn child out for a stroll. It may not seem like something you're in to now, but when every woman and her sister comes up to check out the baby it will be both a boost to your ego (that a woman other than your wife will still talk to you) and your immune system. Just get off your a$$ and start moving. The more you do it, the better you will feel. And, don't tell me you're too tired... there was a reason I covered that first, my friend.
Participation - Get Moving - Website
Baby Barbells - Book
Quick Exercises for Busy Dads- Article
LESSON FIVE: EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Yes, it would be hypocritical of me to tell you not to use certain stimulants to get through the day that I may or may not use myself (coffee, other forms of caffeine, alcohol, etc.) to take the edge off. But, everything in moderation, my friend. You're a dad now and some things (in excess) are just bad for your health, and your ability to make good parenting decisions. So just take it easy, will you? Every kid deserves a father that is both present physically, and mentally (even emotionally) to help them get through their own s@#!; they don't need to be dealing with yours as well. Just remember, no one wants to be remembered as the drunk dad that comes on to all his teen aged daughter's friends, so let's just nip that in the bud long before it becomes a problem.
Stimulantt Abuse - Stats
Alcohol and Substance Abuse- Facts
The Impact on Children Whose Parents Are Alcoholics of Substance Abusers- Video
Well, I guess we've come a long way tonight. But, just so I can hear it one last time...
"Live Long and prosper" my friends. Do it for yourself. Do if for your family, but most importantly do it for your kids. "A (father) is a terrible thing to waste."
- Fodder 4 Fathers
Disclaimer: Fodder 4 Fathers is NOT a medical blog. The information we provide is for entertainment purposes only. We do not endorse any third part links and as such we will not be held liable for any information provided by said sources. This blog discusses some serious health risks to adult males, and should you find yourself needing to make drastic life changes to avoid the serious ramifications of your life choices (thus far) please consult your medical health professional to ensure you do so safely.