The baby is coming, but so is the dad bod!

Today is our due date, the 40th week of pregnancy, and my wife and I feel ready and prepared (touch wood) for our new arrival. What I’m not ready for is my other arrival … the dad bod!

Some think it’s a myth, some think it’s a legend, but I know I’m about to be a dad, and the dad bod appears to be a reality! I don’t know where it came from, the pandemic certainly didn’t help, neither did some recurring injuries, but I’m determined that this arrival will not be as cherished as our son. The growth of our family will not include waist size!

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my waning levels of motivation that have led me down this path, but be it for vanity, or mental health, something needs to happen.

Many men are happy to embrace the dad bod or some added winter plumage, but having fought with a negative self-body image for some time, this does not sit well with me.

Time for a plan! As a strategic marketer and occasional freelance journalist, you would think creating a plan of attack would come easily to me, but when it involves my fitness or sporting goals, procrastination is the word of the day! I know I have a habit of overtraining and overcommitting, which leads to procrastination. I’m a cyclist, so I need to hit those targets, I enjoy CrossFit, so I need to be fresh for the next WOD, I also need to run from time to time to counteract some ongoing injury issues. When you add up all of those ingredients, I have the ideal training plan … for a ten-day week!

Running and I have a love/hate relationship.

Where do I go from here, and what is the solution? It’s time to dial a few things back, remove some habits and try to find joy in exercise again.

Stop waiting until Monday. The first day of the week, first of the month, or as winter comes, even the first day of the new year, all feel like a more logical time to start a fitness plan, but in truth, they are just delaying tactics.

Ignore the seven-day week. The problem with squeezing a plan into a seven-day week is that there are only seven days to squeeze it all in.

Turn off Strava goals. Strava is a great tool, but last year I lost a lot of the joy of cycling because I had too many days when I was riding just to hit the numbers. With those numbers turned off, I may not be riding as much, but I will be getting more smiles per mile.

More smiles per mile.

Become a fitter, healthier me. Previously the emphasis has been on sporting performance first, with mobility, injuries, and general conditioning second, not any longer. Cycling has been my priority, in various guises, since I was a teenager, but for the last 13 years, it has been at odds with my physical well-being, aggravating injuries and limiting me. Moving forwards, I will be making an effort to correct and rehab my injuries, improve my mobility, and create a better all-around foundation, cycling will come after that! In the short term, I know there will be a dip in performance, in the long term, who knows, but what I do know is that I need to do this.

Competitive by nature!

I know what you may be thinking, this guy is about to have a baby and thinks he’s going to embark on a new fitness journey, he’s in for a rude awakening! I am under no illusions about my free time, I know it’s about to shrink, that’s why I am focusing on my well-being over performance goals. The better me I can be, the better dad I can be.



Cyclist, Strategist, Marketer & Journalist, fueled by tea! Writes about bikes, exploring & life’s adventures! Englishman living in USA.

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James Cornford

Cyclist, Strategist, Marketer & Journalist, fueled by tea! Writes about bikes, exploring & life’s adventures! Englishman living in USA.