Hello and welcome to Slim Down Dad!
My name is Walt and I’m an overweight father of three girls. My kids are young and love to run and play. They often ask me to join them and, while I love spending time with them, my level of fitness makes it very difficult to participate for more than a few minutes at a time.
I recently crossed into my 40s and felt that it was time to make a change. Unfortunately, inspiration to start this blog didn’t happen right away so you are joining me roughly seven weeks into my journey.
I grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. In terms of size and weight, I was an average kid. I spent a lot of time outside playing with friends – primary sports in a local bank parking lot. Stick Ball, Touch Football, Roller Hockey, and Bike Riding were always fun and great ways to burn off excess energy.
When I turned 16, my family moved out of the city and to the suburbs in Berks County. I had a difficult time adjusting and spent the bulk of my time playing video games. I was very much a loner and only left my house to go to school.
This is the point in my life where I began to put on a lot of weight. Eating sandwiches and playing video games didn’t do me any favors and I found myself well over 200 pounds in High School.
One day in Gym Class we were doing circuit training. I was terribly out of shape but I enjoyed the exertion of exercise. I was approached by the Gym Teacher and asked if I would be interested in joining the Wrestling Team.
Wrestling didn’t really excite me but I decided to give it a try. That year I fell in love with practice sessions – not for the wrestling aspect of it but I got a thrill out of running laps and lifting weights. During that year I went from the Heavyweight Division all the way down to 165 pounds.
I was never any good at wrestling (I think I went 2 Wins and 10+ losses that year) but I worked hard. I went to school early every day for a workout and then pushed myself during practice after school. My coach told me “I wish I had a whole team of kids that put in as much effort as you” and that made me very proud of myself.
The following year I was eligible for a Co-Op Program through Tech School. I decided to take Cabinetmaking as a career path and focused all of my time and energy on it. I didn’t rejoin the wrestling team and went to work instead.
It took a few years but I managed to put all of the weight back on and a bunch more. I’ve been overweight my entire adult life. I’ve had some success with diet and exercise over the years but I’ve always put the weight back on due to a poor diet and a desk job that keeps me behind a desk for long stretches of time.
Making a Change
Earlier this year something happened to get me thinking about my health. I don’t recall what it was exactly but I found myself online researching Diabetes and I suddenly became concerned about where my health was heading.
I needed to make a change – sitting at my desk for 12+ hours per day and eating poorly was going to lead to serious health problems. I decided that running would be a good start and have the added benefit of letting me disconnect from work to reduce stress.
I loaded the 10K Runner App on my phone and got started. Honestly, it was a terrible experience. I finished that first run wheezing with pain in my feet and shins. Even though it was miserable, something about it felt good.
I stuck with the program and it took about four weeks before I actually felt like I was making progress. My confidence began to rise and I added exercises to my routine. As I type this I’m in my 7th Week and I feel exponentially better than when I started.
Even though I’ve only lost a few pounds, my energy levels are much higher and I find myself eager to exercise. Each day I push myself to do a little more and that is where Slim Down Dad and this Blog begins.
Slim Down Dad
I started the Slim Down Dad Blog for two reasons. The first is that I needed a place where I could create some accountability for myself. I want to be able to think out loud and share my struggles. This is where the second reason comes in. I hope that by some random stroke of luck, someone finds this blog and gets inspired to make a change in their life.
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