Health Parenting

Hoping to be Healthier and a Better Dad in 2014

Every New Year I come up with some resolutions and by February I’ve already fallen back into old habits. But I’m feeling like I’m at a major crossroads. I’ve got to come up with some resolutions and stick with them. There’s a milestone birthday on the horizon this year and with time laughing in my face, I want to make the best of the year.

The glaring reality is that I’m getting older. Things (and by things, I mean my body) are not working like they used to. No longer do doctors say, “You’re too young to be having this issue.” Now they say, “Sir, you’re at the age that this procedure needs to happen. Let me get the glove.” That’s right, you know you are getting older when a doctor calls you “sir.”

Towards the end of last year I had a health scare. I had always believed that I was 20 push-ups away from being the healthiest guy in the room and that someday I’d get around to eating right. Before I became sick, I was even jogging regularly with my new jogging stroller. I felt good for the most part, then things started going south.

And they went south in a hurry.

You see, despite what I believed, I wasn’t taking care of my body.  I sort of ate healthy in that I would add vegetables and fruits to meals, plus an extra salad if I knew I would polish off some Oreos later on in the day.  For some reason, I believed that the extra vegetables would balance out the junk food that I ingested on a daily basis. But, as I waited for one test result after another, I wished I would’ve spent less time glaring over the snack shelf in the pantry.

This year, I must put the old ways of eating behind me. Junk food is fine once in a while, but I need to remove it from my daily diet. And once I’m all healed up from my wounds, I will take a healthier approach to exercise. That means stretching out before I jump under the barbell in an attempt to out-lift the woman that was just tossing around a bunch of weight in front of me. (Come guys, you know you’ve done that. You get on a machine or under a bar and you add more weight because you want to look tough.  Until your shoulder or your back or your knee reminds you that you aren’t as tough as you think.)

So to sum that up, at my age, I’ve got to eat healthier and exercise more and be smarter in my work-outs.

I’m not going to stop there with my resolutions, though. I’ve got another one and one that is even more important. Oftentimes, people think that just because I’m a stay-at-home parent and that I have a blog called “One Good Dad,” I’m actually a good dad. Many days I don’t feel like a good dad. I can be impatient, angry, and selfish. I used to say my main goal in parenting was to keep my kids from complaining about their old man while reclining on a psychiatrist couch. I may be achieving that goal, but I might also be passing on my selfish and angry traits to them. Which I suppose might send them to a psychiatrist couch anyway.

I’m only human and I’m not going to be able to cut those things out of my heart altogether, but I can cut down on those difficult moments.  I need to stop seeing myself as the center of the universe – my own personal god – and remember my place in the universe and who is God. 

Unlike Mick Jagger, time is not on my side and the years are clicking away. The time I have with my children is short, my body is mortal, and I’m going to make the most of this year.

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6 comments

  1. My last year also involved some health issues that reoriented my perspectives on . . . everything. Though some of it was outside my control, I took fabulous strides to do what I could for healing, but undid some in the throes of morning sickness. I’m a few days into clean eating, and it’s amazing how much of a difference can be felt in a few days.

    Best wishes for a healthy 2014!

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  2. Facing things that you’d like to change is the first step; realize that falling is also part of our human makeup. Getting up and taking the second and beyond steps is the key. None of us makes major changes immediately. With God’s help, the small changes gradually equal the large. One day you’ll look back and realize how far you’ve come.

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  3. Bravo! Hope you stick with the eating better, etc. In spite of what you may think, you are “one good dad.” As far as your kids winding up on a shrink’s couch? Just knowing their Dad is a pro wrestling fan is enough to send them into therapy, ha ha.

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