I n the vast expanse of the internet, my wife non-chalantly got me acquainted with the psychology and life of Sharny and Julius. The latter runs a programme called FitDad.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the trend in Hollywood over the “dad bod”… but it’s best described as “softly round”. It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique. So if human bodies were cuts of meat, the dad bod would skew more marbled rib eye than filet mignon; or, if human bodies were sea mammals, dad bod would be more like a lazy walrus than a speedy dolphin. The dad bod is more mudslide than mountain, more soft serve than sorbet, more sad trombone than bright clarinet, more mashed potato than skinny fry. The dad bod is built for comfort.

FitDad - Man stretching

I’m not comfortable with this idea.

But I am completely convinced that Julius Kieser is on to something with FitDad. He encorporates his kids into his workouts. They love it. He’s getting time with them and a workout with them.

“I realised I wanted to be the best role model to my kids that I could be,” he said in an interview. “I guess having my dad die, especially so unexpectedly, I started questioning what would happen if I died like that? What would my kids remember about me? Would I have regrets if I was to die?”

He got his life on track, and the results were profound. Eating the right way, exercising enough to get his heart rate up, and spending time with his family in the process.

“I did some gym stuff, but mostly because I don’t have much time I was doing really fast workouts for ten minutes to half an hour to get my heart rate going. I did that every day. I also do exercises with the kids, so I didn’t have to go away and leave my wife with the kids — you can do it together and your wife can have a bit of a break, and your kids can see what exercise looks like. It’s very important to me that the kids get to see dad more.

“I then made sure that what I ate fitted in with all of that. I started off calculating what it would require to get to a low BMI as far as food goes. I learned everything I could about the mathematics and science of fat loss — If I took X amount of calories out, how much would I weigh in 8 weeks time, that kind of thing. So for breakfast I had a smoothie with a frozen banana, some cacao powder and 500ml of egg whites.

“Mid morning I eat one of those jumbo cans of tuna from Aldi with a can of crushed tomato and half an onion fried in coconut oil. Tomatoes are so low in calories, it’s amazing. Lunch is barramundi fillets with veggies, and at night I’d have maybe 500g of steak, or chicken breast, and vegetables again. When you control your food your energy comes back. It’s so much about what you eat.”

So this coming week Tammy and I start the second season of summer FitMum and FitDad workouts. My youngest daughter makes for a pretty good kettlebell weight, my son is a great running partner on the track and my oldest daughter also enjoys some of the workouts. So we’re all set! Bring on active, healthy family life!

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