Now that a new year is upon us we as fathers can make new choices and commit to being optimal fathers in the lives of our children. One of the ways to do this is to begin making healthier choices in the kitchen. Many of us are working 2 or more jobs and find it difficult to take the time in our busy lives to reflect on our dietary habits. After my visit to the doctor in December he advised me that my going to the gym 4 times a week for 30 minutes of cardio was only maintaining my weight. He advised me to stand in between sessions and stand when I am completing case notes and other administrative tasks (due to the sedentary nature of my work). Additionally, he offered me the 5 meal a day plan. At first I balked at the proposal but I have to say I have been maintaining this lifestyle for 1 month and I am proud to say I have lost 12 pounds. The basic premise being that I eat every three hours but smaller portions. This lifestyle seems much more sustainable than my previous approach of going to the gym up to 6 times a week and killing myself on the treadmill. Exercise is still important but I was putting it above everything else so I could eat whatever I wanted. Now I avoid fried foods and have maintained the schedule with snacks in between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner (usually a 1/2 cup of mixed nuts or 10 baby carrots). My daughters have noticed and are learning from my improved eating habits. Here is my advice to getting on towards a healthier lifestyle this year:
- Eat 5 small to moderate size meals a day and you will find that in the evening you will not feel very hungry. (I usually eat at 7am breakfast; 10am snack; 1pm Lunch; 4pm snack; and 6:30 small dinner)
- I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and perform 30 minutes of cardio
- Stand up as much as you can throughout the day (also take the stairs if possible)
- Involve your child in an exercise regimen (doing sit ups together, walking together, running together, going to the gym together, etc.)
- Think about watching your child graduate from high school, college, get married, and other important milestones and how you need to take care of you in order to be present for these events in the future.
Many of these I will be concentrating on for this year as I continue to work on my physical health. Feel free to incorporate these suggestions with yourself and your child(ren). I hope this year brings each of you prosperity and happiness and a concentrated sense of life…
If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Inner Compass Blog.
Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 14 and 5.