One thing I really hope is the case is that most of your memories of me will be of me as a pretty fit father… maybe a little thick abut the middle, but strong and trim. Most of my life I have struggled with obsesity. There are a lot of different factors involved in my weight problem. A lot of it cam from swallowing feelings when I was young – I overate to fill in the empty spaces and to numb the pain. And I drank an endless supply of sugary soda.
People really didn’t understand when I was a boy just how much damage a poor diet could do.Over-seasoned and over-salted convenience foods were brand new, and microwave ovens were invented just as I was starting school. People had just really gotten to the point where both parents had to work to support a family, and eating badly really had just become a trend. As a culture we didn’t see what damage this was going to do until it was a real problem for boys my age. My generation was the first wave in an epidemic of poor health.
Not that this was an excuse, either. Even when I was getting overweight, I was more interested in video games than getting fit. I didn’t ask for the help I needed to process my feelings, I just kept on swallowing feelings down. And so I got unhealthier and unhealthier as I went.
By the time I was into my thirties and ready to make the big changes, I had a lot of challenges – a damaged metabolism, low testosterone, migraines, sleep apnea. The past five years have been an uphill battle for me. And I have not always tried as hard as I would have liked.
My hope is that by the time you are old enough to really learn from me, I will already have lost much of that excess weight, and that I can teach you how to make sure you never struggle with it. You have a strong genetic risk for obesity, and you will have to work extra hard to be active and to eat right from the start. I want you to be healthy, because that will ensure that you are also happy, son. And that means that I have to set a good example.
But like a good coach and a good father, I won’t ask you to do something that I won’t do. I promise you that I will try to be as active as I can to set a good example. I push myself so that I will be able to teach you a way of masculinity that is physical and that loves its body. I definitely plan on roughhousing us both to a good burn every chance I get.