Posts Tagged ‘Fatherhood’

I went overboard with my calorie intake yesterday.

 

It was only my second time celebrating one more special day in a year apart from my birthday, Christmas and New Year. Growing up, Father’s Day was a simple time to get together as a family, have a nice Sunday lunch and appreciate having an awesome Dad in our midst. My wife’s family is big in celebrations and traditions, which is not a bad thing at all. She literally prepared a feast yesterday!

My wife, toddler and I had a ‘Surf and Turf’ for lunch, and we had a few relatives and friends come over for dinner with lasagna, pizza, ribs, and everyone’s favorite ‘tuxedo cake.’
After dinner I had a few minutes of time to myself (because I didn’t have to wash the dishes as usual) and decided to log in my intake using the app MyFitnessPal. Lo and behold, I ate 788 calories more than my daily allowance!
The whole point why I’m sharing this to you is to show that it happens to ALL of us.
It’s easy to over-eat calories and go overboard our daily allowances.
But it’s not the end of the world. 
Here are THREE (3) things we can all learn from eating and celebrating on special days:
1) Live First, Count Later. 
I didn’t restrict myself to eating only 3200 calories (my current daily allowance with physical activity) yesterday. The first thing in my agenda was to spend time with family and have fun with them at the table. I believe that getting fitter and healthier through exercise and healthy eating is meant to improve our lives, and not overcome it.
Everyday in social media you’ll see a ‘fitness guru’ with 6-pack abs working out 7 days a week and eating only carrots and kale. How does their life outside of Instagram and Facebook look like? How is their social relationships? These people basically work and live in the gym. Sure, it’s good to be inspired by them but people like you and I have our own lives to live.
If you have a party coming up, go for it. If you’re too stressed out from work and you tend to stress-eat, let it be. My point is to not the restrictions in your “Fitness Journey” affect whatever is happening in your life. Let life happen.

“Getting fitter and healthier through exercise and healthy eating is meant to improve our lives, and not overcome it.”

2) You Won’t Know Until You Count. 
I still did count my calories AFTER I knew that I probably ate a lot than I need to fuel my body. And it does not matter. I didn’t count my calories to bring myself down and feel bad after. I only counted for ONE PURPOSE: Awareness.
After logging in the estimates of what I consumed, I had an idea that I ate almost 800 (I probably under-estimated) extra calories than my daily allowance! It’s a big number, but I also know that I keep an average of 300 calorie deficit on most days because I’m currently trying to cut down. This means that my WEEKLY caloric allowance is still on point. I have dropped over 15 lbs. the past three months and I know that one day of going overboard won’t get me off-track. There’s no pressure. I didn’t stress about restricting myself to a certain number.
Know your numbers daily AND weekly. If you do, you don’t have to put the pressure on yourself every single day to maintain your daily allowance. Does it mean you have to count everyday? No. But at least do it ONCE to get an idea of how much calories you really eat on an average day.
One more thing, I don’t care if you say ‘I already eat healthy‘ or ‘I don’t eat too much‘ — healthy foods doesn’t always mean less calories. Less food volume doesn’t always equate to fewer calories.
Here’s what I mean: two handful of strawberries have less calories than a scoop of ice cream. Almonds are considered to be a healthy snack, but a fist size (100g) would already contain 575 calories.
Main point: if you haven’t counted calories yet or haven’t done it for more than 6 months, do it at least once starting now.

“Healthy foods doesn’t always mean less calories. Less food volume doesn’t always equate to fewer calories.”

3) Food with Purpose.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I had lasagna before yesterday. Pizza, maybe 3 to 4 weeks ago. Those sumptuous, fall-off-the bone  ribs, probably a month or so.
For me, I look at these types of foods as “special”: They are specially more flavorful and they specially have more calories, so they are meant to be eaten only on special occasions!
The problem with most people nowadays is that our consumer-culture makes ANY kind of food readily available to us, and everyone can be an instant “foodie.” I think this is what takes away the “special-ness” of certain food items, it is easy to have these special foods take over what is supposed to be healthy, wholesome, staple foods in our regular diets. Are you following where I’m getting at?

Believe me, I have met a young female gym member recently who confessed that she eats chocolate cake for breakfast every single day. I have also met a guy in his 50’s who snacks on deep fried prawns almost every night. I have nothing against these types of foods. I eat them myself! But not treating them as ‘special’ foods and instead making them part of your regular diet won’t do any help.

 

Think about all the food and drinks present in your daily diet. List them down on a piece of paper. Then see if each item is specially flavorful and calorific and could be dedicated for special occasions. The rest should be nutritious, wholesome foods that you eat to fuel your body properly everyday.

“Some Foods are specially more flavorful and they specially have more calories, so they are meant to be eaten only on special occasions!”

Looking at food and how it plays a part in our lives will take away the stress of not keeping up with your calories and macros, and removes the fear of gaining extra pounds the day after.

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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I’m reposting an article from The Art of Manliness website:
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The sport of rugby finds its roots in soccer. According to legend, in 1823 an English school boy caught a soccer ball during a game and proceeded to run down the field with it toward the opposition’s goal before he was tackled. Today the game is played in nearly 100 countries and holds a world cup every four years with the top 20 ranked teams in the world. Rugby is a full contact sport played with minimal protective gear that requires a very high level of cardio fitness. It is truly the “man’s sport.”

I began playing rugby a few months before my first child was born. I had two black eyes at his Christening, but I was the proudest man on the planet. I have always taken pride in being a man’s man, but as my son grew up I had to learn how to be the man’s father. There is nothing that causes a man to grow up faster than having a baby. As I grew in skill on the rugby pitch, I learned five important lessons that have assisted me in growing as a father.

1. Every Team Needs a Captain

Like in most sports, rugby teams each have a captain. He calls the plays. He negotiates with the referee. Most importantly, he encourages his team to victory.

Every child needs their father to be the captain of their team. Your children are looking for direction. They need someone to set the standard on how to act and react to the obstacles that they will face. Somewhere along the way someone got the idea that we should be best friends with our children. There is no lack of short people to befriend our children; what our children need is for us to be the leader. When fathers do not take a proactive leadership role in their children’s lives, the children still follow whatever negative behavior the father has exhibited.

2. Teamwork Is Vital

Rugby is literally the most complete team sport ever. It takes all fifteen players to score and every player needs to know how to play all fourteen other positions.

As fathers, we need to build a team with our children. Not to be mistaken with being their best friend, building a team with your children means being their companion as they navigate the difficulties of life. We cannot solve all their problems, like bullying on the playground and figuring out the complexities of the opposite sex, but we can be by their side through all of those events. It is the father’s job to offer leadership and companionship, listening to their children’s frustration and pain as well as pointing them toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Firmness Is Essential

We have a saying when it comes to playing defense in rugby: “Bend but don’t break.” Unlike football, rugby does not rely on a certain amount of yardage needed for each play. Rugby turnovers only happen when mistakes are made or the ball is stolen. A good defensive team can give up yards as long as they don’t allow the opposition to break through their line and get behind the defense. It is firm but not rigid. A rigid defense snaps when pushed too hard, but a firm defense will bend but not break.

As captains and team players, fathers have a great need for firmness. Children don’t need a father who is milquetoast, who folds at every pressure that comes his way. On the other hand, children don’t need a father who is so rigid that they never get a chance to fail on their own. Children need the opportunity to fail. My son needed the opportunity to eat too much chocolate one Christmas so he could finally learn that there can be too much of a good thing. Experience is often the best teacher, and if we protect them from everything, our children may never learn why they shouldn’t do certain things. Yet if we allow them to do everything they want, we do not show leadership. As fathers we need to set a standard for our children and direct them. We need to learn to live in the tension between being too soft and being too hard–the balance between bending and breaking.

4. When You Get Hit, Get Back Up and Keep Running

Rugby is an 80 minute game of continuous play. It has been said that a rugby player needs the strength of an Olympic wrestler and the stamina of a tri-athlete. When the ball carrier gets tackled, the play doesn’t stop. The ball carrier must release the ball while other players fight over possession. Once possession is won the tackled player must spring back up to his feet and reinsert himself into the action again.

As fathers we will fail. We will make mistakes. I remember the times when I was too soft. I remember the times that I was too rigid. I have often sat with my head in my hands feeling like a complete failure as a father. But it is never too late to start over. In those times when we come up short we need to get back up and get back into the action. Our children are expecting it and looking forward to it. It shows them our humanity and our strength. Our failures make us better team players and our comebacks make us better leaders. If they see our perseverance as fathers they will model it in their own lives.

5. Be Committed to the Whole Game

As I mentioned earlier, rugby is an 80 minute game. And what compounds the strenuous nature of the sport is the limited number of substitutes–a maximum of 7– that each team is allowed in a single game. There are no line shifts; the offensive line is the defensive line. Rugby players must be committed to playing all 80 minutes and dig deep to finish the game.

As fathers we need to have that same commitment. Quitting is not an option. Yes, single mothers have been successfully raising children for years, but just imagine how those situations would have been improved with a father who was committed to the job. Our children need us to be there for the whole game.

Rugby has been the most rewarding sport I have ever played but being a father has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. What I learned from rugby has made me a better father: being a leader and a team player, being firm and recovering quickly from failure, and most of all, being committed to the end.

 

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