Thursday, September 22, 2011

As Parents...Are We Doomed to be Fat?

Having had a baby four months ago…the topic of weight is literally heavy on my mind. The infamous baby weight is still lingering around, and not just for me, but my husband too. Come on…I know I am not the only wife out there with a husband who added a few pounds with sympathy eating… a diet of pizza and Sprite because it was the only thing I could keep down.

These extra few pounds and lack of motivation are not things either of us are familiar with. When we started dating, I ran a marathon and he did a 12.5 mile swim around Key West. We are motivated people …but now…our motivation and endurance are consumed by that of a 12 pound baby girl. The ability to find time and energy with a baby in the house seems pretty much impossible. The idea of getting up at 5:30 before our daughter doesn’t seem ideal after a midnight feeding with a long day of work ahead.

So it had me thinking, as parents…are we doomed to be fat?

In doing some research for NFI’s Fit2Father campaign, I came across an article from a few years ago in the New York Times. It seems my husband and I aren’t the only ones suffering from a drop in activity due to parenthood. A study showed that the amount of time devoted to exercise drops about 37% for mothers, while for fathers it drops a whopping 50%. Couple this with studies that show the more likely a father is to be overweight, yes…fathers more than mothers…the more likely a child is to be overweight…you have a frightening combination.

But how do we find the time?? How can my husband make sure he does not lose that 50%? And how as a family do we stop losing time and start losing pounds??

While the odds may be against my husband and I as parents, I think it’s time we dust off our shoes and make the time or, better yet, pull out that BabyBjorn and carry around my 12 pounds of motivation. After all, if we doom ourselves…we might just doom our daughter as well.

Need motivation to get in shape! Check out NFI’s Fit2Father Program!


  1. Great article. I am a fatherhood researcher (as well as a father, and a former personal trainer). I was wondering if you might share your resources regarding the impact that overweight fathers have on their children. It would be much obliged. Thanks,.

  2. It's hard to find time to exercise but I make it a priority. I belong to a Karate club and train three times a week. My two young sons (4 and 2) see that I'm serious about sports and I believe it has had a positive impact on their lives already. I generally come home from work, feed and bath the kids, and if things are nice and calm I'll run out and train for an hour. My wife is OK with this. We want both our boys to get involved in sports and setting an example is the best way to do it.


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