Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dad Has Left Us with Big Shoes to Fill

Me trying to fill Dad's shoes
This coming weekend is Father’s Day and it is a fitting time for us to celebrate Dad.  But as we celebrate, we should take time to think about the lifestyle Dad is living and how it might lead to fewer Father’s Day celebrations.  Does your dad currently struggle with his weight, fight blood pressure, and/or suffer from high cholesterol?  Or maybe you are a man who is a dad, or wants to be a dad, who suffers from these heath woes yourself?  

In many families, a “beer belly”, “love handles”, the “done-lap syndrome”, etc. are used as jokes or punch lines about Dad and his physique.  However, these are NOT terms of endearment and they should not be laughed at.  When Dad, or anyone on the family, carries around extra weight it can lead to serious illness and disease such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, colon & breast cancer, hypertension and stroke.  I suggest we take this Father’s Day as a time to recognize the seriousness of being overweight or obese and do something about it.  Chances are your dad or an influential man in your life is overweight or obese – two out of three men are.  So, you do have the power to make a difference.  In fact, my dad has battled high triglycerides and high cholesterol for years.  I am proud to say that he has his triglycerides under control and is greatly improved his cholesterol numbers.  Not too long after I lost 50 pounds in college, my dad made some lifestyle changes and also lost some weight and in turn improved many of his health numbers.  I am so proud of him – he’s been my rock for so long, I want to make sure he sticks around! 

Me helping Dad with the fire
A new study reports that life expectancy nationwide has increased by about 4 years for men and 2 years for women.  However, the life expectancy has actually decreased for areas in the Deep South, Appalachia, and northern Texas.  That’s pretty bad and sad news for those of us here in the South.  The University of Washington Seattle study indicates that obesity, high blood pressure, and tobacco use have all contributed to this decrease in life expectancy.  All three of these factors can be reversed and are preventable ailments.  In the past few weeks, I have written about how we are killing our kids through their food intake and their sedentary lifestyles.  But, as it turns out, we adults are killing ourselves as well!  We can’t continue to eat the way we do and sit at desks, in cars, and on couches and expect to remain healthy. 

I personally want to be able to celebrate many more Father’s Days with my dad.  He is a supportive man who has encouraged me and loved me more than he knows.  And I am sure many of you have fathers who have done the same.  So, use this Father’s Day as the time to give back to Dad.  Support him, encourage him, and love him enough to see him get healthy.  Give Dad a pair of running shoes rather than a tie.  Take Dad for a walk rather than a movie.  Celebrate Dad with a healthful home-cooked meal rather than a greasy steak & loaded potato.  He gave you his best for many years, now it’s your turn to make sure Dad gets the best. 

Me and my Dad

If you and your dad need help determining how to get started or need motivation to get & stay healthy, I am here for you!   I’ll help you fill Dad’s shoes the healthy way – and you’ll celebrate many more Father’s Days together!  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get meals you and Dad can make together.  This week’s newsletter also includes lots of great facts about men and obesity.  Obesity is 100% preventable – let’s start today! 

1 comment:

  1. I made an order for 2 bottles of Birds Nest soup ( as well as 4 packets of Chinese tea that's supposed to be good for regulating cholestrol. My mom's cholestrol has been pretty high lately, or so she tells me.