5 ways being a Dad Made You Hungrier but Healthier
#1: Road Trips have a new, non-food focus – When you were a young man, road trips were the best. Freedom of the road, time to think and talk with friends, new horizons, and most importantly, FOOD. Snack packing prep, gas station snacking (Combos are a personal favorite), fast food, and local specialties galore – and you’ve earned it all because you’re working SO hard driving. But as soon as your kid joined in the ride, your delicious road trip turned into a chore. A long, hungry chore. Want to stop for a burger? No way – the baby is asleep. Want to munch on chips? You will get less than half because your kid wants some. Want that amazing local bbq? Nope, its not kid friendly. Now, suddenly, the trip is about getting where you want to go, and keeping your kid docile while doing so. Sure, food is one of those things that you can use to keep your kid quiet, but now you are looking at pretzels and graham crackers (that is, if your kid will give you any) and not an orgy of beef jerky, Skittles, burgers, fries, soda, and pixie sticks. Think of all the calories saved. yay.
#2: Soda and snacks are officially “sometimes” (i.e. almost never) foods – As the King of the Castle, you would like to have unfettered access to soda, potato chips, ice cream, cookies and other foods. These things used to be staples in your cupboard. But now that you are a Dad, they are either banned, or at best, “sometimes foods.” As a survival technique, you have perfected what the Hungry Dads call “covert eating,” and consequently you have also upped your personal hypocrisy factor. (for more on cover eating, check out Hungry Hippocrates and Episode 18)
#3: Holidays are no longer a complete free for all – You lost weight over the holiday? How is that possible? Your Mom’s house is full of food. Delicious, unhealthy, wonderful food. Home cooked dinners with butter and cheese on everything! And you are allowed to indulge yourself since it’s the holidays, right? Wrong! Kids at the table essentially ruined every meal. Holiday style snacking was significantly hindered in front of the children. They were allergic to the nuts. They were asking for “more, more, more,” whch means the snacks have to be put away – out of sight. Sure, you snaked a little, but it was covert, rushed, and ultimately unenjoyable. While covert eating at home is generally a victory – getting something extra, you wouldn’t normally get – holiday covert eating was depressing. At a time where you could previously, normally snack with reckless abandon, you had to cower in corners like a rat to sneak an extra cookie or handful of Chex mix.
#4: Eating out and ordering in are no longer, fun, simple carefree decisions – Going to a restaurant with a kid is no fun. Restaurants gotta be kid friendly. And when you get there, you are so busy tap dancing to keep those kids happy, the food is mostly an afterthough. You are no longer going “out-to-eat.” You are now going “out-to-growl and grunt at you kids” in a low-volume version of yelling that does nothing to stop them from pouring ketchup into their water via a funnel crafted out of a straw and napkin, just before knocking the whole contraption into a drastic, attention, grabbing, spill. Ordering for delivery is no better. As if deciding where to order from (and what to order) was easy when it was just you and your wife. Add more people, especially finicky, greedy, irrational small versions of people, and ordering becomes a nightmare. Sure there is pizza, but say goodbye to the freedom to consider toppings options. Cheese pizza it is. ..yay… Restaurant? Ordering-in? food truck? It doesn’t matter. Your kids are gonna ruin it.
#5: Physically keeping up – Games like “banana peel” and something the kids invented called “daddy playground” (which is mostly just you getting stepped on or throwing the kids onto the couch over and over) somehow result in a LOT of physical effort and impact for YOU and very LITTLE for THEM. (“carry me” “throw me” “up, up” “again” “more” “faster”) And once you’ve started, it only ends in one of two ways: (1) you stopping it and they throw a temper tantrum; or (b) them getting hurt. You have to seriously consider and plan before engaging in physical play with your children since its as hard as PX90 marathon training workout with a relentless trainer.