what a difference

Four years ago, I was working full time and would have told you that I was in pretty good shape. Today, I would laugh at that statement and thought.

Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for sponsoring this campaign. Including dads in an important discussion about family health care. These views are mine and are based solely on my experience as a dad and a parent, and I am not a medical professional.

Honestly, I was over weight and not living a healthy lifestyle. I weighed 190lbs, I am 5’8″ tall so that is not super over weight but not I couldn’t have done any of the events I do today. I ate fast food almost on a daily basis and smoked cigarettes. I had smoked on and off for 20 years, not a good thing.

What changed? I had kids. Everyone knows having kids changes EVERYTHING. It changed things in ways I would have never expected! I quit my job to be a stay at home dad. At first it can really be overwhelming, and after a few months my wife was doing everything to get me out of the house!

It is funny to look at it now, everything happens for a reason. When my oldest was six months old we started swimming lessons. Which means I started swimming, we swim four days a week for about an hour, such great exercise! The bonus for me was that I would walk there and back home which is over a three mile walk. That was the beginning of the weight loss. I really started to shed some of those pounds that built up sitting behind a desk for 8-10 hours a day, I got down to about 175lbs.

What also helped a lot was when my son started to eat solid foods. I found myself eating the same thing he was eating, a lot of fruits and vegetables. It is amazing what food we eat and how it effects our bodies.

These things happened slowly. I quit smoking because I was around my boys all day. I not only walk with my boys in the stroller, seriously probably 15 miles a week. We don’t drive unless the whole family is going somewhere. These days I have gotten a pair of roller blades for when we go swimming, so there is another 12 or so miles just rollerblading.

The last thing that has really pushed me over the top was being invited to do a Tough Mudder event with some other dad blogger. I accepted with only five weeks to train. The Tough Mudder we did was 10.3 mile run with 24 different obstacles. We all completed it together, it was amazing – especially because I was the one always in the back, it wasn’t easy but we did it!

ToughMudder_spiderman

Since that Tough Mudder, I have been training and eating right. I now weigh 150lbs and probably in the best shape I have been in since I was in my teens. My goal at the moment is to get a six pack – I am not getting any younger and to be in my forties with a six pack will be something!

™_walk_the_plank

Being a great example for my kids is a priority for me. I want my boys to understand the importance of being healthy, and if they have a question they should ask. This is where Anthem comes in to help.

Anthem, and it’s sister plans, are working to make sure that Americans are aware of the options available in their health care plans, and also, how to make the most of them. We pay for it, we might as well use it to the fullest advantage.

Need an example? Anthem offers a service called Live Health Online — it’s the old school house call meets the modern day technology. Instead of a doctor coming to your door, you have access to certified doctors via live video chat – clinical facetime for when your doctor’s office may be closed. It’s as easy as downloading an app (where available) on your phone, tablet, or computer. This is HUGE! Most of the time I don’t want to take time out of my busy day to go and sit in a waiting room for hours, to get my questions answered. I think this service is long over due and shows how Anthem is forging heading of the others.

Another service available (with all services, you should check your plan to see if your coverage includes said service) is the 24/7 Nurseline. Health issues are not restricted to a neat 9-5 schedule, and this service offers you an opportunity to speak to a registered nurse outside of “working” hours. Not sure if your (or a family member’s) health issue can wait until the office opens again? Call the line. Speak to a professional. Make an informed decision.

Bottom line? An insurance company, like Anthem, can be a valuable partner in managing not only your health, but also the health of your entire family. Know your options, know your coverage, and use the tools included in your coverage.

Our friends over at XY Media are holding a fun contest. Are you a #HealthyDad? Make a short Vine, Instagram, or other style video and share it on the Healthy Dads Facebook page and you could win a $100 Amazon giftcard. Be sure to check out the official rules here.

Want to see the winning entry? Here’s mine. (Okay, maybe it isn’t the winning entry, but a fella can dream, right?)

showcases your #HealthyDad choices and the reasons behind them.
Want to see the winning entry?  Here it is (unless you think you can do better – which you probably can)  –

Loading

Here is my #HealthyDad video. I do a lot of walking, rollerblading, swimming and running (at night, and after my kids).
How do you stay healthy? Enter the video contest show us how you stay healthy and you could win a prize! Go to http://www.facebook.com/healthydad #sahd #dads #health #fitdads #ad

View on Instagram