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Time Away From the Kids at the Gym Is Time for the Kids

My family has had a membership to a gym on and off over the past eight years. We formed this habit well before Addie was born.

I learned pretty quickly that Casey isn’t much of a jogger. She doesn’t use the weight machines, the free weights or any weights for that matter. The girl is a dancer and she enjoys a good yoga session now and then. However, those are both exercises that my wife does at home with the help of our XBox Kinect.

Casey is also capable of eating good healthy food, like spinach. I can’t even stand to look at spinach, let alone eat it. When Casey feels like it is necessary to, um, well, I’ll just say eat less and dance more, she’s fantastic at controlling her appetite and increasing her physical activity. With these abilities and her love of all dance games, Casey has no problem keeping her physique exactly the way that she wants it.

I, on the other hand, am not a dancer. I also seem to be able to gain weight just by thinking about eating a cookie. Let me have a taste of some dip on a chip and I may put on an additional five pounds by the end of the night. I once increased my waistline by three pants sizes in less than 3 weeks — no joke.

I don’t know what happened when I turned 21 and got engaged to Casey, but that was the point where my metabolism seems to have fallen asleep. I went from a healthy 185 pounds with only 5 percent body fat to 255 pounds and who knows what kind of body fat percentage in just under a year’s time. Gaining 70 pounds in under a year was something that I didn’t even think was possible.

My wife must have known that she had to get my weight under control or I would be pushing 400 pounds by our fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she decided to push me to get a gym membership. Shortly thereafter, I was able to get my weight back down to 175 pounds. But I had to follow a strict diet and exercise routine.

I wish that I could say I’ve been able to maintain the 175 pounds, or that I have at least been able to keep my weight under 200 pounds, but that would be a lie. My weight went up and then it went down. Then it t went right back up and… I think you get the picture.

In January 2010, weighing in at an unfit 265 pounds, I decided to rejoin a gym and get my weight issues under control. Since that day, I have developed a very strict exercise routine that requires an average of 1.5 hours of exercise, 6 days per week.

I also discovered a not-so-strict diet that seems to work for me. Even though I created the diet myself and it doesn’t always feel like a diet, it can’t be all that bad since it forces me to eat vegetables and unintentionally caused me to stop drinking diet soda.

I don’t know what my current weight is, but considering the fact that all my clothes fit again, I know it has to be a lot closer to 185 pounds than 265 pounds. My personal routine also allowed me to finish a half-marathon earlier this month.

All the gym time sounds like a good thing, except that it requires me to spend time away from my family on Saturdays.

When Saturday morning rolls around, I expect that Addie will beg me not to go to the gym and ask me to stay at home with her instead. Vivi also gives me a sad face as I wave goodbye and head out the door. The looks on those two girls’ faces when I leave makes me wish that I could skip my work-out.

So, why do I continue to go? I want to be able to participate in physical activities with my girls as they get older. I want to be able to learn how to walk on my hands as Addie practices this move after gymnastics. I want to be able to shoot the basketball in the driveway with Addie and Vivi when they are in high school like my dad did with me. Keeping myself healthy is the best way to be able to ensure that I can do those things with my girls as they get older.

Hopefully, they will eventually understand why I take time away from them to go to the gym on Saturdays. I also hope that one day they will be thankful that I decided to take care of my health, even if it did mean less time with them in the short-run. Hopefully they will understand that I am thinking long-term in this instance.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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