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When I ran the Warrior Dash last weekend, I was talking to a friend of mine who had recently started working out again. He was looking a lot fitter but felt he had a way to go. He laughed and told me that at least the “dad bod” is in.
For the uninitiated, a dad bod is a man’s body that has excess fat, lacks muscle tone, and might even have a decent sized gut. The concept is that, after a guy becomes a father, he stops caring about his looks and body to a (large) degree. The celebration of the dad bod became trendy thanks to a college essay written by a female Clemson University student. Her arguments more or less boil down to “it makes us (i.e. women) look and feel better.” More on that later.
So, do women really love that dad bod? My guess is they don’t really like a man having a dad bod so much as they are less focused on a guy’s looks overall. Men value a woman’s looks when determining initial attraction. So, they will see a woman with a great body and be very physically attracted. So, they think that women want them to have a perfect body too and spend hours in the gym working towards it. Then, they wonder why they are single.
Women, however, value personality factors above and beyond physical looks. So, while looks are important, other traits are significantly more valued. Confidence, dominance, charm, intelligence, and power are just a few. In addition, women are more attracted to guys who make them feel a certain way. Notice how the dad bod essay isn’t really about the man being attractive, not even a little bit. It’s about the woman’s feelings and perception of what his body entails for them. It’s not “belly fat is sexy” but “I can totally see him buying me Taco Bell when I’m hungry.”
So, I firmly believe most women don’t find the dad bod attractive, so much as they can accept the dad bod if it brings with it what they value (security, feeling protected, looking prettier than their guy, etc.). Most women will take a guy who offers them that over a boring, passive, weak guy with perfect ab definition.
We also shouldn’t take the opinion of one woman or the viral nature of her essay as an indication that women love the “dad bod.” Does this fad negate the love women have for guys with fit bodies? Hardly, but it does illustrate a point about female attraction.
This is why I ultimately believe a guy should continue to look his best and be healthy and fit. Having a kid is no reason to give up on self improvement and excellence and that includes physical challenges. Still, the dad bod fad is a reminder that, in terms of attraction, men and women think very differently.
A few months ago I became sick of both liking ketchup a lot while not liking the 20 calories per serving (and corn syrup) in the ketchup I usually buy. I reduced it to around 7 calories a serving (complete nutrition below). This is an easy, cheap, and low carb and no sugar added recipe. It also tastes great. Enjoy!
This makes about 1.5 cups of ketchup, if you water it down to the levels I do (some days I stretch it more). Depending on your desired thickness or spice, you can alter the levels of water, vinegar, and spices. The more vinegar you add, the tangier it will be, resembling Arby’s sauce.
2, six ounce cans of tomato paste
.75 cup water
.75 cup white vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp coriander
Stevia to taste
Empty into a large bowl. Whisk or blend.
Nutrition per tablespoon (Based on ingredient inputs into Fitday of 1.5 cups)
Calories – 7
Fat – 0
Carbohydrate – 1
Protein – 1
Sodium – 55 mg
Potassium – 133 mg
Vit A – 108 IU
Vit C – 2 mg
Humans were never meant to sit around in offices all day then go back to their homes and eat potato chips on the couch. Our bodies simply aren’t meant to live a sedentary, indoor lifestyle, at least not without health consequences. So, while any workout is better than none and others have benefits (like anti-aging properties, etc.), there is one workout that is fun, gets you fit, and connects your with your natural state: running. And, if you have a quick pace you can burn around 15 calories a minute.
I used to hate running when I was younger. I’m not sure why, but it’s probably because I associated it with being forced to do it at football practice or boringly running on a treadmill. In reality, running is a fun way to get in great shape. But, it is best done with a few tips in mind.
I personally still hate the treadmill and get bored after fifteen minutes. But, when I’m outside in nature, I can easily bust out 6-7 miles (OK, it’s not easy, but I can do it). Why? Because when you throw in the sunshine, breeze, and stimulation of nature, it becomes a totally different experience.
If you’ve never tried actually running (or jogging) outside, or it’s been awhile, give it a chance. Start out slowly, even walking fast, then work your way up. It’s a great way to connect with nature and get outdoors.
Start Slowly And Push
I’ve known many people who buy a bunch of cool running equipment (more on that later), get all excited…then they sprint for five minutes, decide it’s too hard and quit. Running isn’t something anyone can just jump into and become a beast at it. You must work up to higher levels of running ability. Start by walking if you’re really out of shape, then move to a jog, then gradually try to increase your pace. Start slowly, but keep pushing yourself. Otherwise, you’ll just quit and it won’t do you any good anyway.
Run With A Friend
If you want an extra push, then run with a friend. Having someone else to do it with accomplishes two things. First, you can keep each other motivated and accountable. This is important with any fitness program, but especially one like running. Second, running with a friend can make it go faster since you can talk (or at least grunt) to each other.
Make sure you pick someone of your similar fitness and ability level, though. Otherwise, it could be frustrating if one person gets left behind or a fitter runner feels she has to hold back to accommodate a less seasoned one.
Get the Right Gear
While you can literally run in just about anything, comfort matters, especially in your shoes. It’s also important to dress for the weather. If you are running in the winter or colder weather, you’ll need to bundle up. If you’re in the extreme heat, then go lighter and make sure to bring water (or run close to a fountain or something).
Shoes are very important when running. Make sure you get ones that fit. Believe it or not, people run in different ways and you need the right shoe to support you. Here is a cool guide to choosing a running shoe.
Also, I want to mention one of my favorite running accessories of all time: my Nike + GPS Running Watch. I have used this thing for four years now. It logs miles, locations, pace, etc. I absolutely love it. If you run a lot and want a record of your results, you have to buy it. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it.
So, if you are looking for a new fitness activity to try for the summer, you might want to take up running. It’s fun and will get you in shape in no time.