Leaving the ‘dad bod’ and those blood pressure meds in the dust

Jan 17, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie

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Being plagued by poor sleep patterns and high blood pressure is no way to tackle fatherhood for the first time.

David Turnbull, 34, works as a director of consulting services with a large IT services organization. By the time their first child arrived, he and wife Katrina had settled into the pattern so many of us do. As working professionals with busy schedules, regular healthy meals too often gave way to the convenience of pizza delivery and evenings slumped on the couch.

The days when David would stay active playing soccer had passed. He didn’t look overweight, but the need for prescription meds to manage his blood pressure told a different story.

“I was ‘skinny fat,’” he said. “I wouldn’t say I was overweight, but as you get older, you get away with less.”

Men and women who are skinny fat don’t look obese, but they do carry flab in those trouble areas like the mid-section and hips, and lack lean muscle mass.

After the birth of his first child, David decided to get in shape and change his lifestyle habits. The introductory package of eight sessions for just $96 drew him into his local Free Form Fitness location in Westboro.

“Once I did that trial, I was hooked,” David said. “It was just the right time. I know that without a personal trainer to guide me, it would have been very easy to give it up. I wouldn’t go to a gym on my own and maintain it the way I have.”

Since July 2015, David has been a regular, coming in three times a week. Wife Katrina has also become a FFF member. They take advantage of flexible scheduling – she takes morning sessions, while he comes in after the kids are in bed during the evening.

David’s results have been dramatic, to say the least.

Within six months of starting at FFF, he freed himself of the need for those blood pressure meds. And that wasn’t all.

“My sleep improved for sure – the ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep,” David said. “It’s also given me the energy to keep up and play with my kids, and improved my focus at work.”

His body composition has undergone a substantial change, with lean muscle replacing fat.

“I’ve probably maintained if not gained some weight, but my body fat percentage has gone down,” he said. “You wouldn’t see it by a number on a scale, but I’ve definitely lost fat.”

It’s all thanks to trainers Michael Farant and Jules Boutet. Scheduled sessions keep David accountable and less likely to find excuses to skip the gym.

“I find that if I were to work out alone, I wouldn’t push myself near as hard, there’s something more motivating about doing it with these guys,” he said.

It’s not that David’s trainers are drill sergeants – quite the opposite. But he does find that he will push himself harder when working out with someone else. You could consider it a matter of personal pride.

So, what’s next?

“My first goal was to get rid of that dad bod, the skinny fat look,” David said. “That happened fairly quick, so now strength training is my new goal – to have that lean soccer player physique. I’ve gotten this far, now I want to see how much further I can take it.”

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