They say that the average woman gains between 30-35 lbs during pregnancy. This sounds about right, considering that mothers-to-be are not only carrying around a living creature but also a placenta, an enormous uterus and a sackful of amniotic fluid. I don't know how much breasts weigh but, by the looks of it, most pregnant women are gaining about 10 lbs in tits alone! So taking all this into account, it's obviously no surprise that women are prone to gaining some weight both during and after birth.
So what the fuck is my excuse? Seriously! I just got back from Texas, where I spent a week eating my Mother-In-Law's homemade Korean cooking. The woman is a cooking machine! She actually had planned every single meal that we would eat about a month before we arrived (let it be known that OCD, insomnia and a cooking fetish are a dangerous combination.)
Anyway, when we got back to New York, my favorite jeans seemed a little tighter than the last time I'd tried them on. I just figured that they had shrunk a little more than usual from being in the washer/dryer. But since I hadn't been on a scale lately, I decided to weigh in and check up on my poundage.
Holy Shit! I've gained about 14 lbs since the BossLady became pregnant! And this isn't pregnancy weight that can be lost by breastfeeding or a rebalancing of hormones. No, my friends. This weight gain was hard-earned, good old-fashioned flab, dispersed over a long period of time. Man, how the fuck did this creep up on me? Was it because I was joining my pregnant wife when she had all those late-night cravings for cheese puffs and Oreos? Was it from that period after the Peanut's birth when we were too tired to cook so we just ordered Chinese dumplings every night? Or could it be from the fact that I hadn't been to the gym since BossLady's first trimester? I'm guessing it's all these things.
It's funny. Having read literally every single book about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, I've come across quite a bit of literature about post-partum depression in men. It's not uncommon for new fathers to withdraw from the world around them after their wives give birth. Similarly, there's also a phenomenon called "Couvade syndrome", a psychosomatic illness where men experience the same symptoms of pregnancy as their wives (including morning sickness, food cravings, leg cramps, etc.). But I've haven't seen much data or hardcore empirical evidence regarding a new father's weight gain. I'm assuming that's because it's so fucking obvious, it really doesn't need any scientific follow-up.
Anyway, it's time to get on the program. I don't want to get back into peak shape because of any desire to look good (ok..I take that back. Who am I kidding? I'm a vain motherfucker.) But I really do want to get back in some sort of semblance of shape (besides round) so I can run around with the Peanut. Living in Manhattan, I see a lot of older Dads at the park with their kids. The vast majority of them are horribly out of shape. And though I don't know the specifics of their medical histories, I can't imagine it's all that much fun for a little kid to toss a ball to his dad, only to have him roll it back while parking his ass on a bench. Or to play hide-and-seek with your dad and win every time because the only place he can hide is behind the refrigerator.
Nope, that's not going to be me. I want to play with my daughter all the time. I want to teach her to ski, shoot hoops, and hit a curveball. And it's not like I've gotten fat. It's just that I'm 36 years old, that age when gaining a little weight is kind of like swimming a little further away from the beach. If you stray too far, you're never going to make it back. The problem is really about finding the time to fit in any sort of workout. Maybe I just need to eat healthier. Maybe I'll just sit on the couch and bench press the dog. Or maybe I'll go on the Keith Richards diet and subsist solely on cigarettes, drugs and Jack Daniels. I really don't know what I'll do.
Anyone out there got any helpful suggestions? (If not, stop hogging the couch and pass me some more of those Cheese Puffs and Oreos.)