I'm a Dad, I'm 43 years old. I've been consuming 'Dad' media for almost 2 years on social media. I am so tired, so bored of reading the same messages over and over again.
When I first engaged with the 'Dad space' a space closely tied to the masculinity space I was interested in, it struck a chord with me. A battle cry, a call to action, a drill Sargent yelling in your face to move your fat lazy ass. The imagery of Sparta, Viking warriors, muscle-bound statues, it's all very rousing, especially to a man who used to play contact team sports like myself, who is missing those battle cries in the changing room, that them against us mentality before taking the pitch, going into the arena full of fire and bravado.
But ultimately it's shallow. It's a kick up the butt that lasts a short time. It's exhausting, do you want to be in warrior mode all the time? Do you want to be in a fight or flight 7 days a week to stay in shape? It just seems so counter-intuitive to me, you need to be able to switch it on but you also need to be able to spend time in rest/digest.
Looking at it through the lens of health, the body wants homeostasis, it wants to find a stable internal environment despite external fluctuations. If you are always in GO mode you are sacrificing your health in the long term. Yes, you may be making some gains in the gym, you have gained muscle mass and have a 6-pack showing, these things can appear healthy, but the road you have taken to get them is more important in a health context for your longevity.
You have been grinding, 4 am wake-ups and early gym sessions for the last 9 months or a year. Push through the tiredness is the mantra of your favourite influencer. keep going, and don't show weakness in your mind. You are measuring your food, your calories are below 2000 a day because you want those abs, its hell, you're starving, you feel weak but you keep going because your brothers have your back. The suffering is building you into a real man, a leader. Life is suffering, embrace the suck, read Goggins again and again.
Only it's not.
You have a nagging feeling that it might not be the best way to live, that life isn't a constant battle. You think David Goggins is an outlier, why the hell do I want to base my existence on an outlier
There are battles to be fought for sure but if you are fighting a battle every day when the war starts you will be too depleted and weak to fight it effectively.
The reality is fighting a war every day has left you broken, you got abs in 12 weeks but you tanked your hormones. You may look fitter but physiologically you are in a worse position than when you started because of all the stress you have put yourself under.
Sleeping in would be more beneficial to your health than that 430am gym session. Losing weight in a short time frame by effectively starving yourself is not a long-term approach. these things should take time and you should be well nourished and full of energy while you achieve your goals.
There are so many factors that play into optimal health for longevity, to be able to run around with your kids and even your grandkids. The answers are not found in balls to the wall, an all-or-nothing mindset just to get abs. Optimal might not even mean abs.
I believe in a different approach, a more nuanced approach. Maybe you could say it's a gentler approach. It's holistic and brings you back in tune with nature. But it works and will work for a lifetime. It's not quick, it takes time. no quick fixes, no 20lb before summer offers. It's a lifestyle that will last for a lifetime.
Look at me I turn 44 in a month from this writing and I have never felt stronger, I've never felt so vibrant and alive. I run and play sports with men half my age and top fitness tests. I don't do anything unusual or extreme, just consistent exercise and a lot of considered lifestyle choices. It's simple, sustainable and it's fun.
I don't get up at 4 am for a cold shower, I don't push myself constantly when I'm tired, I make sure I rest a lot, and I don't suffer. I do not drink protein shakes and I don't need pre-workout supplements.
Come with me as I document my lifestyle and choices around food and exercise.
About the Creator
I'm a 43-year-old Married Dad of 2. I am passionate about all things health and fitness. I'm head over heels for quantum biology and circadian health.
I own a post-production company that keeps me busy