Dad bods are best for family men

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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robertk
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Dad bods are best for family men

Post by robertk »

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitn ... tter-dads/
Why men with 'dad bods' make better fathers than fitter dads
As new research finds men carrying a little excess weight are considered better fathers, I explain why this makes perfect sense

8 September 2020 • 6:00am
Michael Hogan with his two children
Michael Hogan with his two children Credit: Rii Schroer
Rejoice, fellow owners of dad bods. Throw your gourmet burgers in the air, raise your glasses of microbrewed craft ale and puff out your squishy chests with pride. Proof has finally arrived that we make better fathers than our gym-buffed brethren.

Well, sort of. New research shows that while people might rate a man with a muscular body as more attractive, we’re also likely to take a dim view of their child-rearing skills – not to mention their monogamy. Meanwhile, we perceive fathers carrying a little excess weight to be warmer and more committed.

It’s some small consolation for those of us whose six-pack has been replaced by an entire barrel. We might have swapped cardio and ab crunches for takeaways and TV, but we’re at least winning the fatherhood fight. Put that in your protein shake and drink it, gym bores.

For a University of Southern Mississippi study, 800 people were shown photographs of men with different combinations of body fat and muscle, ranging from lithe ’n’ lean to overweight ’n’ wobbly. Participants were then asked to judge how likely each was to demonstrate different parenting behaviours. It was the man with a textbook “dad bod” who came out on top (go us!) with his muscle-rippling rival faring the worst (in your chiselled face, loser!).

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“Muscularity could implicate them as not possessing the requisite warmth for parenting,” researchers concluded. “Such interpersonally dominant men also prefer pluralistic mating strategies that could undermine perceptions of them being providing for partners and offspring.”

Well, someone’s swallowed a thesaurus. Yet it confirms what us love-handled fathers have secretly long suspected: we’re the World’s Best Dads, like it says on that novelty mug we got for Father’s Day. The word “cuddly” is often used euphemistically. Here, it applies literally.

Michael Hogan
Michael Hogan writes that men with 'dad bods' are better fathers CREDIT: Paul Grover
For a start, there’s the issue of time. That pesky work/life balance is hard to strike and parenting takes up plenty of hours per week. In some ways, it’s a 24/7 job. Maintaining a super-fit physique also takes hours of work. Something’s got to give. In most right-thinking cases, it’s our waistline.

On a Saturday morning, we’d rather take the little tykes to the park than train for a triathlon. Our partners need a break, for a start. You’re hardly lightening her load by lacing up your £250 Nikes and disappearing for hours while she shoulders the parenting load yet again.

Male fitness hobbies happen to be solitary and take up vast swathes of time, usually at weekends. There’s often a suspicion this is no coincidence. My friend Ruth recently divorced her husband, and one of the biggest camel’s back-breakers was his new-found obsession with cycling.

Every Saturday, this mamil (middle-aged man in Lycra) would squeeze into eye-wateringly tight clothing, much to his cringing family’s horror, and pedal off for the day, leaving eye-rolling Ruth to entertain their three children alone. On Sundays, he would either lie around “recovering” or he’d do it all over again. Ruth ended up feeling like a single mother. Now she is one.

Fatherhood is often followed swiftly by a midlife crisis and new-found fixation with fitness. The maxim used to be that when a married man suddenly starts doing press-ups, he’s having an affair. Or at least thinking about it. Nowadays, the motivating factor is equally likely to be a desperate desire to avoid his own offspring.

Meanwhile, 50 press-ups on the bedroom carpet have been upgraded into a Tough Mudder miles away or one of those desert ultra-marathons. Basically, anywhere that isn’t the local soft play centre. In my experience, men who demand “time off” to indulge such interests make a song-and-dance when asked to solo-parent in return. They might even refer to “babysitting” their own children, which is always a red flag.

Being a regular guy rather than a gym addict tends to signal that you’re less absorbed in yourself and busy looking after others. Hands-on parents are too tired to be vain. We’ve got crumbs in our hair (from carrying a snacking child on our shoulders) and stains on our shirt (from when said child hugged us with a sticky face), but we’re either too frazzled or having too much fun to care.

My old PE teacher used to berate us if we came back in after rugby or football without muddy knees, because it meant we hadn’t got stuck in. It’s similar with parenting. Never trust a neatly turned-out father without grass-stains on his trousers or milky sick on his shoulder.

Smugly perfect dads are often preening show-offs. Resembling a snooker player rather than an Olympic swimmer indicates a balanced role model, an easy-going family man, rather than an uptight macho throwback. I love to cook for my own children – barbecues in summer, Sunday roasts in winter, pasta or something-with-chips in between – and it’s great for them to see a man doing domestic labour.

I should probably stop grazing on their leftovers, though.
=============///////%%%$==//
In defence of dads with 'fit bods': ‘Work out hard, then play with your kids even harder
By Joel Snape, editor-at-large, Men’s Fitness

Joel Snape exercising
Joel Snape explains how you can be into fitness and still be a good father CREDIT: Heathcliff O'Malley
Listen: I’m the first to admit that, if you’re a little too lean and limber at a certain stage of your child’s life, things look a bit suspicious.

Eight per cent body fat and you spend more time prepping your meals than your toddler’s? Priorities, papa.

Know the names of more local Strava segments than of your son’s friends? Dodgy, daddy-o. Wife seems constantly exhausted while you’re posting #whatsyourexcuse next to your ninety-minute workouts on Instagram? Okay, this one’s just objectively terrible.

But does that mean that any effort to better yourself physically is just a waste of those precious, fleeting moments with your child that you should be treasuring like tiny gems? Obviously not. Also, after a certain tipping point, every precious, fleeting moment you spend with your child makes you actually like them less. Don’t be upset, that’s just science.

Anyway. First, let’s dispense with the myth that working out has to take up a significant chunk of your life. Since the start of lockdown, I’ve been training for about thirty minutes a day, three times a week, and I’m basically in better shape than Antonio Banderas in Desperado (until superhero films were invented, this was the closest thing we had to a universal constant for male jackedness).

Ninety minutes a week is nothing: it’s probably less time than I spend browsing streaming services for something actually good to watch, and it’s definitely less time than I spend on Twitter. If you’re looking to prune your weekly schedule, there are better places to start.

Next, there’s the fact that the time I spend at the gym, unlike the time I spend coming up with bon mots to fling at strangers, almost certainly makes me a better dad. Everyone who’s ever spent any significant amount of time rebuilding and re-rebuilding a gigantic marble run knows that you need a break occasionally, and the occasional half-hour that I get to spend blissfully free of my toddler makes me a lot more appreciative of his company when he’s around.

Good workouts should energise rather than exhaust you, and a good workout programme will leave you healthy, happy, and more up for rambunctious play with your little loved ones than endless afternoons in front of the football. Try to spend every non-work waking moment with your kids, and some of them are going to be sub-par. Work out hard, then play with your kids even harder.

Oh, and by the way: if you feel the need to spend a bit more time working out than your spouse is willing to watch the kids for, there’s nothing to stop you getting the latter involved. Among my three-year-old’s favourite pastimes, for instance, is Crazy Horse, a game where he clings to my shoulders as I do bear crawls, sit outs and diver bomber press-ups around the flat: I get a core workout, he gets the giggles, and my wife gets nearly two minutes of blessed relief from both of us.

While I know that’s probably going to get old by the time he’s, oh, 15 or so, I can’t wait to start introducing him to everything from cricket to rock climbing to see what sticks.

P.E. left me cold (and muddy) as a child, but my dad gave me a love of long walks that’s always stuck with me, and I’d like to find something similar to share with my son. I’d also like to share it with him for a while, which is another good reason to work out. We’re becoming parents older than ever, and fewer of our jobs are keeping us physically active. With exercise a key factor in staving off everything from early death to dementia, it’s one of the best investments you can make in ensuring you’re around to support your kids for years to come.

Finally: don’t do yourself a disservice, dads. Sure, a scientifically representative sample of women might say that gym bods give off a whiff of “pluralistic mating strategies,” but my much-less-scientific survey of every woman I’ve asked confirms they all still fancy Jason Momoa. Being invested in your own wellbeing (or just really, really into dumbbell curls) doesn’t make you any less of a devoted partner, dutiful dad or dedicated bringer home of bacon: in fact, it’ll probably help. Now, go do some squats.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Sam Vara »

Reassuring, but anything about "Granddad bods"?
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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

robertk wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:05 am https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitn ... tter-dads/
Why men with 'dad bods' make better fathers than fitter dads
...
...
fathers carrying a little excess weight to be warmer and more committed.
...
...


One of the most uplifting research findings of all time.

Gals should be well informed about that.

:jumping:
.


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Self ...
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Dhamma Chameleon
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Dhamma Chameleon »

This sounds like men with dad bods are perceived by strangers as being better fathers, it doesn't seem to offer proof that this is actually the case. I'm not saying that it's not, the conjecture sounds plausible, but the research mainly reveals others' perceptions.
bodhifollower
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by bodhifollower »

So you win in the eyes of women who want to keep you under their power so they can live off you and make you their slave. Family man=slave man. Exert energy to live the life you want.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Mahabrahma »

Exert all your energy in the Dhamma, whether you do it silently meditating in the gym, or spending full time with your family, or leaving home to be a Bhikku. With your Spiritual success being ensured by refuge in the three Jewels, you will most be able to help those that you care about, even if it is from far distances.
Disciple
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Disciple »

Unfortunately chicks don't dig dad bods
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rhinoceroshorn
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by rhinoceroshorn »

AN 7.51 wrote:"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
SN35.88
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SDC
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by SDC »

bodhifollower wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:05 pm So you win in the eyes of women who want to keep you under their power so they can live off you and make you their slave. Family man=slave man. Exert energy to live the life you want.
Who is more of a slave, parent with living obstructions or single lay person with none? What keeps a single lay person, who wants nothing to do with relationships, remaining in the lay life?

Every time I call out someone with similar views to yours about women, they always give me the "debt", "health" or "aging parents" excuse for not ordaining. And if you have any of those, then you're just as much a slave as any parent - so it would be hypocritical to point fingers. If you have none, but haven't ordained, then your view on this matter seems to be 100% self-directed, as if you're reassuring yourself about your life strategy.
Dan74
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Dan74 »

Some good news finally! :clap: :clap: :clap:
_/|\_
DarrenM
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by DarrenM »

What about dads that go to mediation classes or to weeks long retreats, I wonder if they would be classed as worse fathers than those who stay at home.

By the way I do none of these, I’m in great shape due to lucky genetics, have zero friends other than my wife and kids and no social life at all. All by choice (other than the genetics bit). I must be the best dad in the world. My kids would likely say slightly different though. :tongue: :tongue: :rofl:
“Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn’t rest content with the thought, ‘We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.’ So you should train yourself, ‘Let’s periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.’ That’s how you should train yourself.”
AN 5.176- Rapture
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by Mahabrahma »

DarrenM wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:26 pm What about dads that go to mediation classes or to weeks long retreats, I wonder if they would be classed as worse fathers than those who stay at home.

By the way I do none of these, I’m in great shape due to lucky genetics, have zero friends other than my wife and kids and no social life at all. All by choice (other than the genetics bit). I must be the best dad in the world. My kids would likely say slightly different though. :tongue: :tongue: :rofl:
Love is like the Stream of Nirvana, in fact what is the difference? If you even spend the rest of your life as an ordained Bhikku your Loved ones will feel your Metta and will gain the greatest benefit following you into the Stream. Love cannot be separated from the Loved one.
lostitude
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Re: Dad bods are best for family men

Post by lostitude »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:52 am
AN 7.51 wrote:"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.
Thanks for this quote. This would deserve a whole lecture to fully understand what’s explained here. I wonder about two things, namely.
- the idea that a man delights in his own masculinity and is excited by it, as I can’t quite picture this,
-the idea of transcending one’s masculinity: I’m wondering if this should be understood literally, or if masculinity here is only taken as one of any number of examples of self-view leading to craving.
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