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Well-Balanced Dad Diet: Be Dedicated

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

To this point, we have talked a lot about our health. We have discussed the health of our body, mind, heart, and soul. We have talked about mind, body, and spirit. We discussed many topics and ideas within ideas and broke down some things that have helped me become a more well-balanced dad; I hope these things have helped you as well to this point. Don't worry; we're here on WBDD #10 and still have two more to come. You have likely dedicated about 1 hour to reading the WBDD; I appreciate it. You have shown dedication and commitment to bettering yourself as a parent, partner, friend, family member, and co-worker. For that, you get a hat tip; it is always a good thing when you dedicate yourself to being better.

You probably hear that word, dedicate or dedication, everywhere and in many different contexts. What does it mean, though, to be dedicated? It's often used as an adjective or a describing word; when I typed in define dedicated, it gave me this "ded· I ·cat·ed adjective (of a person) devoted to a task or purpose; having single-minded loyalty or integrity." It's being devoted and, within that devotion, being loyal and having integrity. That's heavy; those are words with meaning that, once broken, are next to impossible to return. As a father, husband, parent, wife, mother, or caregiver, whatever role you fill, you must have integrity intertwined with loyalty and devotion to your kids and partner and yourself.

Some ways that you can dedicate yourself to yourself. Dedicate time, energy, and effort to your health. Mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You can only fill the cups of your partners, kids, friends, family, and even your work if your cup is complete and has a few drops. I'm going to offer you some simple suggestions and places to start. Mentally and emotionally, I know these two can be intertwined very quickly, and they go hand-in-hand in my eyes. Mentally, you have to get your mind right. If that means it's talk therapy, get out and go. If it's as simple as opening up and talking to your partner or friend for that support with your emotional/mental struggles, that's amazing.

The offer here is to realize it isn't weak to speak, so speak up and speak to someone you love. I also offer you, for your mind, read one book a month or even listen to one book a month. It doesn't matter the genre; I just personally read The Gray Man by Mark Greaney, it's fiction, and I loved it. Now, I'm listening to Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins. Reading a book a month allows you to relax, enjoy a story and use your imagination and be the main character of these fictional stories like The Gray Man, or you can feel the power and authenticity of words that David Goggins wrote. The last offer for your mind, find a show on Netflix or some other streaming service, heck, find one with your partner, and watch it; set the time that you sit and watch the show, 1-2 episodes at a time, and then you talk about it. The relaxation you can feel from sitting and watching a show is fantastic, especially when you do it after the kids are in bed and you get to unwind; I highly recommend it.

For your physical health, I have three simple offers for you. They might sound familiar even if you've been with us throughout WBDD. The first offer is going to be drinking some water. Seriously, drink a gallon of water a day. Get your body the hydration it needs to function at an optimal level. No coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages do not count because they are water-based or have water in them—pure, plain, simple water. If you don't believe that there are immense benefits to drinking a gallon of water a day, then go and do some research and get to drinking water.

The second offer, get up and exercise 3x a week. There are seven days a week, and you only need to take time out of 3 of those days to get your heart pumping, blood flowing, and muscles active. The benefits will be tremendous as you can eliminate a lot of that negative energy that stems from multiple places in life. You will find yourself calmer, more focused, feeling better, having sustained energy, and feeling more you.

The last offer for your health in all these areas, I have referenced this method several times. But the 30min, 5x-a-week method. Wherever you are struggling the most, or if it's multiple areas, carve out this 30min, 5x a week, and do what you need to do. Exercise, walk, read, pray, talk to someone, put your phone down, meditate, whatever it is, do it. The benefits will be greater than your small sacrifice of time.

Time is money, and money is money, and money is time. Most of us have a limited amount of these two items: time and money. However, money does come and go rather quickly with the rising inflation in our country, which is why it's so important to dedicate ourselves to a budget that works for us, our families, and our situations. What works for the one budget hacks dude on YouTube or TikTok probably has some great principles, but overall, it likely will work differently for you. Find what works for you and do your research.

The first offer is once you find a budget, set it and stick to it. Keep going even if you fail several times, overspend, or don't follow it 100%. Work out the kinks, and once you have found your groove, live within your means and continue to thrive within that budget. Be a baller on a budget and be proud of it. Your bills are paid, you have what you need, and it might not be sexy, flashy, or extravagant, but it works for you.

The second and last offer for this section of dedicating yourself to a budget is to be aware of your eating habits. There are plenty of ways to eat cheaply and save money. This offer has a few simple parts: the first is to stop eating out. If you find yourself constantly in the drive-thru lines or front of pickup signs, you found the first place you are throwing money down the drain and filling your stomach with low-quality food.

The next is meal plan; when I say meal plan, you set a menu for the week's meals. I know this can be hard when you have kids, but when was the last time you asked your kids what they wanted to eat and let them have a say in their food? The benefit here is your kids know what food is coming, they can be excited about it, and you eliminate food waste. The next is that your grocery shopping list just got a whole lot smaller, you need to guess, and you can get precisely what you need when you need it. In addition, you should buy food and make items that can turn into multiple meals. For example, I like to make teriyaki chicken with rice; from there, I can use the leftover rice and chicken into fried rice, and then I get multiple meals for less money spent the week.

The moral of the story, keep meals cheap, simple, and planned. Stretch every protein you serve into at least two meals and save that money. Be a baller on a budget with your grocery bill.

To this point, we talked about your health and your money, but what about your time, the most valuable thing we have in our daily lives? The amount of time we have is limited. We should give our time in three main areas: kids, partners, and self. Imagine you have three cups, again the cups reference, and each is labeled- self, partner, kids. Your cup is the most important here; you need to prioritize that 30min 5x a week to have enough in your cup to give to others. Your partner also needs to be doing the same with your support. Find what filling your cup looks like, dedicate yourself to that, and make yourself a priority again.

Next, your partner and these are in no specific order between kids and partner, but this is my suggestion. Give your partner the number two spot. Filling your partner's cups and prioritizing time with them could look a little bit like learning and speaking their love language, commitment to improved communication, building in time daily for them, watching a new TV show with them, reading a book together, going on a date night with no phones, whatever it is, make sure its distraction-free.

The next cup we're going to fill is that of our children. Our children are beautiful, moldable, amazing little creatures filled with serotonin and dopamine. Our kids need love, and they need to know we are there for them when they need us. Prioritizing our kids and time with them could look like this: being there at a performance/game, sitting and talking, on a date with them, sitting and watching a movie, playing their favorite game with them, again, whatever time we are going to spending with them, do it uninterrupted, phone free and be fully present.

Lastly, bringing all of this to a close here is appropriate. As we dedicate ourselves to prioritizing our time, we quickly see where the things that bring us happiness and value. We see where what brings us value. As we reflect, you accept the offers I extended to you here today, and I gave you some ways to prioritize your time and what that might look like; there's a theme: remember to keep it simple. It doesn't have to be big or expensive. What matters is what you are doing and who you're doing it with, be dedicated, loyal, and fully present. By doing this, you will see what is truly valuable in our lives. Our time and money should not be spent doing anything with people who don't matter, things that don't bring us value, and things that won't bring us and those with us joy.

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