When I first heard that my 5’ 12”, 280lb, wide frame, beer belly, “former athlete”, out of shape ass was now considered the new hot sexy summer look circa June 2015, I looked up to the heavens and just pointed, knowing that the great spirit in the sky was smiling down on me. All my hard work had paid off. A look that I didn’t have to aspire to, I was already there. I’m here to share with you exactly how I grew my self a Dad Bod and how you are already on your way to growing a killer Dad Bod, too.
Follow these 3 tried and true steps to getting your Dad Bod.
From freshman year in college until about age 35-just go for it- have at it. Drink an insane amount of alcohol. Beer, the cheaper the better. Cheap beer requires more cans and more cans means more calories, which are key to growing those front stomach muscles, and provide plenty of fat for the face and neck. Wine, this libation is important because it serves as your “break” from beer, and it allows you to appear classy. And of course liquor – never frowned upon in the a.m. -liquor’s weird because you don’t feel as full, so you think you’re not doing all you can to shape yourself into that Dad Bod, but liquor makes you mad hungry. You’re going to put in a lot of stupid Friday nights at a club drinking rum n cokes because you’re 23 and you don’t know what you’re doing yet, but every Friday night you’re going to stumble your ass into a Fat Burger at 1 a.m. and go “King burger on the char with cheese bacon and egg please” and go immediately to sleep, ensuring that every one of those calories turns into nothing but fat. Your twenties are a golden time for hydration, you really appreciate your weekends now that dorm life is over, you’re really good at all the drinking games because you’ve been on the beer pong circuit for 9 years now and, you can still wake up hung over on a Tuesday and go to work. If you missed your twenties, pop off that beer cap with your wedding ring and catch up, drinking alcohol is key to building a strong round gut.
The reason the Dad Bod works is because you can surprisingly pull off grown and sexy while you’re literally fat and sloppy, onlookers still see the skeleton of the athlete you used to be and that doesn’t happen unless you know how to work out. Step 2 will really make or break your Dad Bod look. I spent the majority of my twenties working out just to stay fit. Lots of sit ups and push-ups and meaningless hours in the weight room and on the tread mill, you see the trick is in understanding that the food we eat is so bad for us that all this time working out is pointless to losing weight but vital to sculpting the perfect Dad Bod. The six pack is still there, you just have to lean back real far and flex to see it. Curls for the girls, squats, your bench press max, all this makes for a great base and never leaves you as you grow the torso. All these pseudo muscles come in handy when you’re at the beach with your shirt off and you get tired of sucking it in, you can walk around with your arms in the air pretending to stretch- this display will shrink your love handles tremendously. When you catch on that you’re getting fat no matter what you do in the gym, start to change up your workout routine to include more reps less weight, this won’t do anything but make your workout easier and you can still tell yourself you worked out. Again if you’re late to the game, don’t panic you can still achieve the dream Dads, join your local expensive gym and don’t forget to drink beer after your workout to replenish the carbs you burned off flailing the empty dumbbell in the air 100 times with no weight.
This is the best part and the easiest. To achieve and maintain that Dad Bod, eat as many times a day as possible without cooking. You want processed food as much as you can stomach, bag of chips at 11:00pm – check, gas station sushi for breakfast – check, microwave popcorn for lunch – yes, please. The point is in America there is processed fake food at your fingertips every minute of the day and a true Dad Bod stud is going to grab it all. Fast food burgers for $.99, 50 chicken nuggets for $2.99, large diet Coke for $1.49 – YES YES Yes to all of that, its economical and it shows up big time in your waist and man boobs. Who wants to splurge and spend all that hard earned cash on a $3.00 bottle of water and an organic apple for $2.99/lb? Make the switch from fresh food to fake food and in no time you’ll be looking like a true Dad Bod God.
So now you have your Dad Bod- a true SitCom Dad- under six feet tall and over 200lbs- you’ve truly let yourself go. Starting in 2001 I put in major work, like you, I grew a Dad Bod before I was ever a dad, basically it should be called a ‘Merican Bod. If you eat whatever you want and fake a couple workouts a week you’ll be securely on a course for Dad Bod greatness. No need to chase girls at the club anymore, you’ve found a spouse, she still kisses you in the morning so you must be doing something right, you’ve managed to convince her to have sex and procreate (at least as many times as you have kids) so why worry about looking like Magic Mike anymore. The problem is a funny thing happened to me when I became a dad; I suddenly had this deep unwavering desire to… live!
SO I STARTED WITH THE MAN IN THE MIRROR.
My fat ass started thinking about heart attacks, and if I’ll be around to see my kids graduate college, will I ever see my grandkids; you know real life shit like that. I woke up one day and I looked in the mirror and I came to the realization that it’s all a lie. Fat isn’t cool- its normal- and when was normal ever cool. In the eighties there was 1 fat kid in class and you all knew his or her name, today the whole dam schoolyard is full of obese children. They’re running, they’re playing, but they eat so much fake food, there is no way they won’t end up with heart disease and type II diabetes by the age of 20.
Being the hefty dad is no model for health you should pass on to your children. I don’t want my sons to see me and think rocking a Dad Bod is inevitable. I did that; I saw my dad’s massive beer belly and thought yup, if I’m lucky one day I’ll be a man with a beer belly too. Fuck that! Live Dads! Shift the paradigm. They tell you “Eat whatever you want as long as you work out” bullshit, what should be said is “Eat correctly and work out whenever you want”.
The norm suggests that it is all on you, you ate the double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries and a large diet Coke “as part of a balanced meal” and you’re rocking’ a fat Dad Bod because you don’t work out. That’s a false narrative. Obesity and gym membership are both on the rise, because your workout is pointless if you keep eating animal products, sugar, and processed fake food. You cannot run the fake food off, you cannot jog long enough in a day to sweat out that Hot Pocket you had for lunch.
Realizing that our food as I know it and consume it was killing me with or without a trip to the gym, on July 1st, 2015 I woke up and told myself, I’m going to live the next 30 days like the healthiest guy I know, Hashim Mteuzi, vegan body builder/personal trainer/brother from another mother. I spent the next 30 days only eating a plant based diet –yup- I went vegan, and before you trip and tell yourself it’s too hard or too crazy or I need my meat or the most popular response “WHAT ABOUT MY PROTEIN!!!
Just stop and take a breath and think about it. Your ass is fat you could miss some protein, don’t rest on the food pyramid as your reason for not changing your diet. When you were in second grade the food pyramid was a legit way to sell the idea of including dairy and meat in every meal- things change- you should consume way less animal products than you currently do. Sorry if that upsets the inner child in you who loves carne asada or baby back ribs, but get over it – they lied about the food pyramid in second grade and they lied about the planet Pluto, too.
It isn’t that humans shouldn’t eat meat, it’s just we eat too much meat and the manner in which it is produced is “grounded” in a profit based model. If you have a Dad Bod you’ve been eating and drinking AND working out most of your adult life and you have very little positive results to show for it except you look like a normal fatty American. So stop and hear me out. The food you are eating right now is probably not real and definitely not good for you and if you want to change the way you look and feel you have to eat more plants. Period. Eat food that will eventually rot- that’s proof it was real, eat food that never had eye balls- mass produced animal products just aren’t good for you, drink less milk –because no other animal drinks another animal’s milk, it’s weird. Plant based diets work. Not because you care about the animal’s feelings and not because you care about the environment, but because you care about playing with your grandkids one day and if you’re too fat or too dead, that ain’t happening homie.
Now, I’m not saying we should change the name of this website from BIGBrownDad.com to PapaFlaco.com but if we do not open our eyes and realize that the food industry is mostly about feeding poor people fake food full of sugar and preservatives, well…you’ll be a big brown dead dad way before your time.
After my 30 day Hashim Vegan Challenge ( look up #TheHashimChallenge via Instragram) I lost 15 pounds in four weeks, had the energy of an out of shape 20 year old, stopped snoring so load that I woke myself up, and didn’t recognize my pantry or refrigerator (because all the crap disappeared). It is important to note that I incorporated a small stretching and push up routine but in no way would I consider what I was doing a workout. My results came from one source, eating a solely plant based diet and drinking expensive craft beers aka I chose conscience over ease. It has changed my life; I still drink like a champ but that intervention is for a different blog. I haven’t gone back to meat or dairy, I’ve been plant based for 8 weeks now and have lost a total of 26 lbs as of August 22th.
There are a few things I think about that culturally I have clung to as habitual eating behaviors that I still miss, but whenever I crave food from my status quo days, I just look in the mirror, suck in my now smaller gut, and smile. I no longer have a “dicky-do” (*a dicky-do is when your gut sticks out more than your dicky-do), I can see all my toes, and I don’t have to walk around with a permanent ab flex to mask my spare tire.
I bought some coconut oil and pan fried my tofu, bought a legit blender from Costco for smoothies, used a dab of sesame seed oil for my vegetable stir fry, and copped a large rice cooker. I looked up local vegan spots to eat at, these chefs are professionals, the food will be delicious and they are a great resource for recipe ideas. Planning out your meals always helps, but if you’re too busy just stop and think about each meal before you eat it and pay attention to what you put in your body. If nothing plant based was available, I waited, you can afford to miss a few fake food meals-you’re fat remember. Start slow and if you slip up try again next meal.
Going vegan isn’t a cult or a religion, actually it’s both, but you won’t get kicked out for food adultery. Good luck dads, and remember, you’re children are watching you – they want to be just like you- give them something healthy to look at. #BeBetter
Eddie Gorton is the lucky dad of Xavier and Lorenzo, the last two years have been filed with tears of joy and pain as his life is an array of endless daddy duties and sleepless nights. Eddie, a two time “#1 Dad” award winner, is an Instructional Coach for LA unified, rocks a psychology degree from Occidental College and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cal State L.A. He looks forward to the day when his two sons are old enough to wash the cars.