Sean - June 2018
This month's Featured Fit Dad is Sean. Sean's fitness story is similar to what a lot of fathers go through — play sports growing up, then start having a family, get caught up in the day-to-day of just trying to keep up with the craziness of life, and then find yourself several years later out of shape.
After he and his wife had twins, Sean found himself in "the worst shape of my life." But he dedicated himself to his fitness and to getting back in shape. And while the going was slow at first, Sean stuck with it, and as he looks back now, he can see the significant progress he's made.
Here is Sean's story:
When did you first get into fitness?
I've been a sports fanatic all my life, although usually from the sidelines. I've played basketball recreationally with friends and family. I got married and a couple of years later, we had twins. By the time they were two, in 2016, between sleep deprivation and eating what was easy, I was in the worst shape of my life.
I finally got serious about fitness at the start of 2017. I made the decision to invest in my health and fitness. I did my research. I purchased protein shakes, energy drinks, and exercise equipment. I also started cooking my own food every day and was able to control what I put into my body. I lost 36 pounds in three months. I've kept the weight off for a year. I gained tone and muscle, but not weight.
What activities do you do to keep fit and active?
All of my exercises are done at home in my garage with my dumbbells, a bench, and a pull up bar. Outside of the garage, attempting to coral my twin toddlers keeps me very active.
What is your favorite fitness memory or achievement?
Many goals within fitness seem unattainable at the start. That is true, whether you are a beginner or an experienced weightlifter. For me, it's about setting the next goal. It's something as simple as increasing the weights in my workouts.
I remember a time when I would get so sore from doing body-weight lunges or squats. I would think "There's no way I'll ever get to a point where I add weights to this." Now I'm at a point where I keep having to purchase bigger weights.
Recently, I decided to revisit a P90x workout that I tried years ago, but I never added weights or even completed any of the exercises. Now I am able to add weights and complete each exercise and I even also added some cardio after the workout.
What is your favorite workout?
The key to my fitness routine is to focus on fitness more than routine. I enjoy switching up my workouts from HIIT training to cardio to weight lifting to yoga.
Oddly enough, one of my least favorite workouts initially has become one of my favorite: yoga. Yoga promotes flexibility, muscle rehabilitation, and body connection. I do yoga once or twice each week. It is an amazing supplement to all of the weight lifting and running, to counter the damage that we sometimes put on our bodies.
In what ways do you hope to influence your children through fitness?
For my children, I always aim to be a positive example. That obviously extends far beyond just fitness. Still, I want them to see that taking care of their bodies is as vital as it gets. I want them to see how important healthy eating and consistent exercise is for their well-being.
What words of encouragement would you have for other dads out there who want to be healthy and fit?
It is possible. It's within your control. Take a quick assessment of your priorities. How does your health fit into that assessment? How willing are you to make it a priority? Don't beat yourself up if you slip up. You can always begin again. It's never too late to make fitness a priority.